We jumped in our hot, red, rented convertible and cruised up the Merritt to New Haven, arriving fashionably late for the picnic lunch.
We took our seats at a table of older people, and I introduced her to my classmates. According to Jo, I'm the hottest guy in my class. FYI. After lunch we roamed the halls of the business school, noting that every classroom, lounge, and hallway is named for a donor. I suggested that we make a donation in return for naming rights to a room. Jo suggested the Todd Tarpley Comfort Station (gift of Todd Tarpley, class of '93).
Here's Jo at the lectern.
"You. In the fifth row. What is the answer?" "What is the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act." "Correct. You don't need to phrase it in the form of a question." We walked around the campus, bought a cap at the bookstore, then hopped in our convertible and headed back to NYC.
Okay, one more shot. Then and Now. Eerie sitting there feeling like I was just sitting in that same spot a few years ago, then pondering all that's happened over the past 25 years.
About a month ago I bought an Art Deco club chair on eBay.
It was pick-up only, in Pennsylvania. What a great excuse to rent a truck, stay overnight, and get the chair on the way home. I suggested an indoor waterpark resort (duh). But it was $600/night on the weekends, and Ethan didn't really want to go, so Jo and I decided to go on a Sunday night--just us--and take a vacation day on Monday. Here is our 3-day extravaganza: Saturday (pre-trip rest day): We explored Roosevelt Island in the sunshine...
...followed by dinner with Ethan at "Good Enough to Eat"...
...followed by a late night at Chelsea Piers. Jo had never golfed before, but Ethan and I tied for worst shot of the night: we each hit a ball that ricocheted off the front of the deck and ended up behind us.
Sunday: En route to Pennsylvania, we decided to take a detour to Chester, NJ, where I lived for a year when I was ten. We stopped at Taylor's Ice Cream (still there 45 years later)...
...went to the athletic field, where I demonstrated my fifth-grade football form...
...then to my elementary school...
...and the woods behind my old house, where my brother Brad and I had a motorcycle accident in the summer of '73. Jo and I helpfully recreated the event.
We visited my old house...
...even knocked on the door, took a tour of the inside, and posed on the porch.
Here's me and Brad in '73, for context:
Eventually we made our way to Camelback Lodge, where we were the oldest kids at the waterpark.
A few more water slides, then we packed up and headed out to pick up the chair, stopping for lunch at a place called Mission BBQ, which had a big military truck out front.
We picked up the chair, which BARELY fit into the back of our SUV, and headed back to Manhattan.
I'm not a religious man. This is as spiritual as I get. But I believe we each have a calling, whether it's pursuing our dream to be a ballet dancer, climbing Mt. Everest, or volunteering in a pediatric cancer ward. The sooner we find it, the sooner our lives will have meaning and the world will be better.
Now that winter is over and spring is here.... Seriously, it was like 60 yesterday. Jo and I had Easter brunch at an outdoor cafe, bought a new picture book for Samuel, and traipsed all over Jersey City until our feet were sore.
But while we're here, let's say goodbye to March with a few highlights: 1. We made more than one visit to The Donut Pub last month. It's cheaper than opioids, but with the same effects. Here I am with Jo and Ethan. (Yes, Ethan got a haircut.) (Yes, Jo and I are both thinking, "I have to stop going to Donut Pub.")
2. I lend all of my picture books to my neighbor, Ollie, and I let him feed dog treats to Bailey. Whenever he sees me he points and says "Dog?" One evening we hung out in the lobby playing ball with Bailey and neighbor dog Pogo. A reminder that one can never have too many kids or dogs.
3. And--how did I forget to post this pic? This is one of my favorite people in the world, celebrating 17 years on Planet Earth. A reminder that they grow up fast.
And now, I'm going to Cayman for the rest of the week, where the forecast is 83 and sunny. I'm going to work hard, run on the beach, make some money, and write some manuscripts.
For the record, you have my full, unwavering support to pursue your dreams. Be as impractical and ridiculous as you want. You can be a VR engineer or a screenwriter or a podiatrist, I don't care, as long as it's what you want to do and you're not a jerk to other people. If you need to come back and live at home when you're 35 (even if there's a toddler in your bedroom), we'll work it out. I will never tell you you can't pursue the job you want, marry the person you love, or be who you are meant to be. Just stating it publicly so you can call me on it. Love, Dad