Brothers

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.  It is like the precious ointment upon the head . . . . and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion . . . .”  Psalm 133

In July 2015, I posted on attending the 100th anniversary of the Gamma Alpha Beta fraternity at Augustana College.   Many of the brothers from my era showed up.  We have remained a close-knit group since graduation. 

I wasn’t destined for college (see post of October 13, 2013).  My future was to work (assistant plumber) after high school.  Frankly, it’s a fluke that I even applied (after h.s. graduation) and got in to “college.”  And that I came to know my brothers. 

There are amazing memories and stories (most of which are gladly remembered — and a few that shall not be repeated).  One I personally relish is the dark night when my entire pledge class was corralled by police and taken off to jail (it was nothing serious).  One quick-witted pledge escaped detention by launching himself over a window well and clambering up onto a fire escape.   Yeah.  That was me. . . . 

The GAB’s won the Homecoming Sing with the ballad I sang to Lauren every night when she was little — “Oh Shenendoah.”   It was that song I picked for the Father-Daughter dance at her wedding (see post of August 14, 2011).  We had tears in our eyes as the music played.  It’s interesting how when you meet old friends, you pick up where you left off.    It’s as if time stands still and you’re back being 19 years old again.  In my brain, I’m still 19.  Now if only my body would cooperate . . . . .        

Sidewalks

[A repeat from September 24, 2012] Sidewalks.   We walk on them – they serve their purpose.   Providing a durable and predictable path from Point A to Point B. 

When I walk to and from the train station, I keep an eye on where I’m walking — looking for cracks or holes in the sidewalk.  Or those slightly elevated slabs.   That habit has helped me avoid trips and twisted ankles and to find money, jewelry, wallets and such as I reported in my post of August 2, 2012.  While I walk, I also peruse those permanent stamped impressions identifying the contractor — and the year the sidewalk was laid down.

One stony sidewalk near my home bears the weathered yet clear date “1912.”  Wow!   A century.  As I walk from the train station to my office in downtown Chicago, I pass two such markings which go back decades.  One is 1935 — six years before the U.S. entered World War II.  Another is 1947 — the year I was born.  I think of my trips downtown — with my parents.  Years ago.  I’m sure I walked here.   Then.  My parents and grandparents and even great-grandparents probably walked on these same sidewalks.  And here I am today — sharing the same space.  Walking.  On the sidewalk.