It began with an ending: a memorial service for Randy’s mother. It ended though, with a beginning—the birth of a child. Moreover, in the few days since, I’ve distilled the smiles, calibrated the camaraderie, and…and…



Sun blaring down, I was pacing the pavement outside Burntwood/Solon, awaiting the troops. Alan came first, and when the not-always-demonstrative Treinish greeted me with a warm bear hug, I knew it would be a special weekend.


Rich Bandelow introduces me to his wife with a story of how our junior high homeroom won the intramural basketball title. Who remembers? (I wasn’t even sure if he knew who I was. All I recalled was that when hitting Greenview, for the first time ever, there were Christians galore. Rich was one of the first I met. I wondered, walking away, if he’d have known me sans my nametag).


Saturday, just past 9: Steve Jurkovic walks by and even before he asks Stuey and me to reprise our rendition of “Telstar”, it occurs to me that he and my brother have much in common. Quietly, as the odd man out, I watch as the two rant ten minutes in dialogue, sharing stories of rock group reminiscence.


Saturday night, 9pm (give or take): I bump into Cindy Guzzo, the girl Auerbach so expertly observed back in the seventh grade. “So, you have a girl friend?” she asked rhetorically. “For about a year now. I really got lucky.” Her response was warm, and immediate: “You deserve it Bruce”.

NUMBER 6…Saturday night, just past 11. Minutes after Ned Welc introduced the set-closer with “This may be the last one ever,” the crowd stood cheering. Then, bolting through the audience from somewhere stage right…came Snyder!

Eyeing the Cellmates, working the crowd, he exploded “Every great band has an encore!”


Friday nite, nearing 10. We’d just left Ellen and Errol’s and I’m driving Masseria back to his car. Fifty-five years we’ve known each other, maybe more. From Bayard through schooling to today. From parties in his South Euclid basement through dinners with the guys through today. Neither of us is the physical specimen we once were; both of us, we know from our talks, have found peace. “I love you,” he said. “Me too.”


Friday night at the restaurant. It wasn’t just that Snyder took charge; it wasn’t so much that he spearheaded, directed and emceed the night. We expect that of Bob — par for the course. What made the night special, what made the moments glow wasn’t even the “special poll” he conducted or the walk-on guests he procured. No, it was watching Bobby’s face—watching BOBBY glow. My fun increased geometrically just watching him happy, watching this most unique, most heartfelt of my friends, not only smiling, but truly on his game.


Saturday night, almost 9. Hal Bogart joined our table “where everybody knows your name”. From Fenton to Ermine to CJ to Kraut, “Little Herb” was treated like a member of the class. What a treasure it is when your brother’s your friend.


Saturday night, not yet 8. I’m standing up front, checking folks in when Ermine approaches. “Turn around,” he says, guiding my body. Tenderly, he grabs my head and kissing me square in the middle of the cheek. “Carrie’s adorable,” he remarks. “I’m so happy for both of you. Bring her to Columbus.”
How great it is, I thought, that he really cares about me, and truly gets it.

AND—THE NUMBER ONE MOMENT OF MY 46TH HIGH SCHOOL REUNION WEEKEND…..Saturday night, just past 10. Meredith called, but I missed it. “My water broke,” says her voice mail. “We’re on the way to the hospital.” I tell Carrie and I tell Sandy and I tell Bobby and I tell George. And when the music’s over we go home…and to sleep…with the phone, volume LOUD, an elbow away.

It is 5, maybe 6 AM when the phone rings.  It’s the father of Eli Matthew Bogart.

And everyone’s healthy!

6 Responses to “GROWNUPS 2”

  1. Bobby says:

    Like you the weekend for me was a sampling of the circle of life (like the Lion King). The Memorial, MOM in the nursing home, lifelong friends, friends, new friends, people you want to be friends with, people you don’t want to be friends with, childish fun, serious fun and lastly but most importantly, the birth of a new generation. Hopefully at the 50’th even more of our lifelong friends will be there to join the celebration.

  2. Marc says:

    Congratulations-you’re a lucky guy

  3. Helunia says:

    Have you really had 46 high school reunions? You never tell me anything.

  4. Stuart says:

    As LD would say. Pretty, pretty good!

  5. Mark E says:

    I am so happy for you! You deserve everything good life is giving you. I hope to see both of you in Cbus…………………SOON.

  6. alan wieder says:


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