The first I recall Ohio State in the Final Four was 1960. Miss Shafer’d directed our 5th grade class to scrapbook the month and with me being “too busy”, it fell upon our father, home recuperating from gall bladder surgery, to cut and paste. The Bucks won it that year (in an upset), and for our Dad it was like the coming of the Messiah!

By the next March I was acutely aware of the tourney. I shared then, our father’s remorse as we lost the finals in overtime one year and got blown out (again the title game) in ‘62 . (How he imploded at the latter. There was no shot clock then and as Paul Hogue’s Cincinnati went into its stall, Al Bogart stormed out of his house, seeking refuge up the street with Ralph Lomaz). He was early thirties then and had tasted only life’s victories. Years would pass, of course; there would be time and change, and he was yet to learn what really matters.

The apple, of course, doesn’t fall far from the tree.

My freshman year in Columbus, the boys returned. Even as they fell in the semi’s, even ‘though no one then could touch UCLA, it hurt. I was a baby…at eighteen, and had tasted only victory.  Years would pass; there would be time and change. I was still to learn what really matters.

Another apple fell.

The game my father viewed in black and white, the pain I took so well in living color…well…Michael walked that path too—in person. I had to look it up a bit, (and even called my boy for details), but how well I remember looking for his face in the crowd on national TV. It was Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg…1999. The Buckeyes lost that night—to Connecticut. And life went on.

In hindsight, I didn’t grow up on time. Learning life on a “need to know” basis is not recommended. Some (and I suspect my son of this), better and earlier balance their priorities.

He called last night, Michael did. Home with Meredith…and Max, warmed by the grip of family, he was in front of the tube.

The call went to voice mail.

“Sorry I missed you Dad. Hope you’re watching the game but you may be out shopping. Love you.”

Was he “busting my chops” (to coin his phrase)? It mattered not.

I was at a concert, you see: The Moonlight Coronation Ball—not that I was necessarily thrilled to be there. (Would YOU like to sit through four hours of Sam & Dave minus Dave, Creedence Clearwater minus John Fogerty AND The Monkees minus three of the four?). But I was there. I was with Hal and Margie…and it was all planned…

We are family.

I don’t know if it was time or change, or the way toxic administrators treated my daughter ten years ago.  Again, it matters not.  What I do know is that though my eye was on the score and I may have felt a little angst here and there,  my heart and body were where they belonged last night: with family. 

Oh, for what it’s worth, the Buckeyes lost last night.
And life went on.
And—better yet— on cribs in Illinois and New York little apples were shining.

        “…Time may change me
       But I can’t trace time….”


2 Responses to “CHANGES”

  1. Aunt Helen says:

    Am I not family?
    Do I not love concerts?
    Next time please include me. I would have loved to boogie with KC and Sunshine Band — “Shake Your Booty” is one of my faves.

  2. Caryn says:

    Great blog Bruce. And, Aunt Helen…. I really liked your comment as well. Happy, healthy Passover to all! Love, Caryn

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