“…The long and winding road that leads to your door…”


‘Tis said that moving is one of life’s stressful events. (Is that why my crown’s turned gray?) Still, it’s that time again. Ten years after settling in Georgetown I’m heading off campus. A decade enveloping many of the best years of my life is ending. It’s time.

I’m NOT stressed, by the way. Something in the waters of our youth made us resilient. Look no further than that self-proclaimed Big Four of Brush High’s Class Of ’67. Varying degrees of nomads, each has paddled through the years, never breaking stride…thriving to this day. Consider:

Our leader hit Dalebridge then Orange, back to Bayard then Lyndhurst before nesting off/county. And Stuart? The conservative one? Let’s look at the record! Yanking roots mid-adulthood, he went east to West Hartford before coming home—just to leave again and dodge gators down south. (He swears, by the way, that his jogging beats stress. I ask: wouldn’t it just be easier to stay put?).

And then Wieder: South Africa…South Carolina….Really? A new country? The Deep South? The former (I might guess) lacked justice as the latter lacked electricity. Yet he loved both homes! Go figure.

Which leaves only me…and my odyssey.

A few years ago I breakfasted in Vegas with a lifelong friend, a man I revere. My world, he suggested, was both narrow and evolved. (Six decades, I’d submit—six decades within two square miles—can do that to you). Still, he had no idea the backstory. Having been away so long he had no idea the details or bounce of my road less travelled.

…Beachwood to Mayfield to University Heights to Shaker to Lyndhurst…No stress truly, just street signs and growth…

Which brings back a memory…The last years of high school, Michael lived with me in an upstairs on Cedar. Walking distance from Jack’s it appended (but not in) Beachwood, and to the naked eye the geography fit.

“I really don’t want to rent to a bachelor,” the old lady’d said. Hesitating at first, she was ultimately receptive to my “Nice Jewish boy, single parent raising a kid alone” approach and gave me a lease.

“Just promise me that your son won’t block my driveway with his car and that he’ll remember to close the side door. I get a draft when it’s open and terrible back aches.”
“No problem,” I swore.
(Need I tell you how the saga ended? Michael, heads and tails over most of his peers, was still but sixteen. Hello??? A year later she asked us to leave. “No renewal for you!’ shried the SoupNazi.

Just about then…

“Your landlord’s running an ad,” said Aunt Helen, brandishing her Jewish News.
Alas, she was wrong. Scanning the ad, noting that the description was right but the phone number wrong, I called. It was, indeed, the same upstairs unit— RIGHT NEXT DOOR! Same layout…one house down.  Different owner!

It would be my favorite move of the ’90s! Enlisting a cadre of high school buddies, Michael and crew, in but a few hours, schlepped things down one set of stairs, defiantly across the front lawn and up to a brave new world. (All this as the old landlord stared). A dinner at The Swamp Club capped off the night.

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I told my sponsor—just yesterday—that I was moving…that my lease was up and the landlord was selling…that Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show was again moving on. “Are you bothered?” he asked. “No,” I said, “I can’t wait!”

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
It’s been a nice run at Georgetown. A long one…. Friend Jay, (a South Euclid boy) offered help with the move. (How many Jews do I really know that sport both tattoo and truck?)

Ah, but there’s little to move. Boxes, of course. Loads of pictures and programs—trinkets of past. And my books, and the stuff from Grandma Cele, and my Dad, and the kids’ old report cards, and, and, and….the limited three-volume edition co-written by my progeny including Michael’s autobiography “It’s Not Easy Being A Bogart”, Jamie’s B.U. treatise “Totally Tote” and Rooney’s gut-wrenching narrative of OSU.

Hard goods can stay (I’ve been urged). All well and good. My true bounty, you see, rests safely in cardboard, secured for my heart. My real assets, the ones assuring my peace, are the memories and feelings and loving friends that cemented the steps on my journey, the turns on my long and winding road.

Each street sign’s found me more at peace with the world—more excited to live. As such, ‘though again on the move, I remain “in a good place”.

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