“A million tomorrows shall all pass away
                ‘Ere I forget all the joy that is mine…today.”

                                          The New Christy Minstrels

When I was younger the concern was years: In a year I’ll drive… two years to OSU…and then, before I knew it, it was 1970: one year “then the real world.”

College framed the best times—but they, being years….blurred. It was one continuum of special events (beating Purdue, contacts, the marina blue Mustang convertible, falling in love) set against the canvas of my first independence. No parents, no curfews, no budget. How could they NOT be primo years?

Older now, sightline adjusted through the lens of time, I focus on things more compelling than years: days. Years connect moments but days—single days— keep me connected. And days don’t have to be special to be special. They just have to be….Like yesterday:

There was nothing unique about it: just two brothers, each sixtyish, joking and relating more like they were six (or, in a strong moment, sixteen).

7:30 and our cars met at Corky’s. Pointing to my seat belt, Hal’s next request was to hear segments of a live Turtles concert. Barely on the highway he’d shed four decades.

Fast forward: His ipod stores 5,000 songs and two circuits through the car. As such, H could move to the next tract from his steering wheel as I sat, finger poised on the dash. Most songs went two bars and out. (Question: How is it two kids from South Euclid, raised on a monaural victrola are so picky in the new millennium)?

“That’s the difference between men and women,” opined Hal. “Do you think if our wives were in the car we’d be allowed to change songs every three seconds?” We laughed and I turned around looking for my wife. The last time I had one of those I was turning off Michael Jackson who was singing “You Are Not Alone.” (I was).

Approaching Columbus in record time H questioned the street to exit.

“Should I get off at Hudson…or go to 17th?”
“Hudson, “ I replied.
“Are you sure?” he shot back. We were heading, yet again, into our typical overanalysis. Never let it be said Bogarts don’t think things through.
“Well, we can’t make a left turn at Indianola.”
“OK, then 17th,” he smiled, still half-asking.
“No, absolutely not.” came my assertion. “All the idiots get off at 17th or 11th because they think that’s where campus is. We’re better than that!”
(I don’t know about Hal, but at least on this end more thought poured into choosing that ramp than in choosing my spouse).

We got off at Hudson then headed to Summit. Summit to Lane, then into campus. Eyeing a parking lot near High, Hal entered. Vacation-giddy, we bounded from the car like immigrants at Ellis Island.

“How do you get out of here after the game?” H asked the kid taking our money. “We don’t want to be boxed in.”
“Talk to the guy in charge—he’ll help you,”
“Who’s that?”
“Over there…that guy….his name’s Parker.”
I couldn’t resist: “You’re kidding me!”
“No,” he said with that stupid freshman look.
“You don’t think there’s anything funny, “ I asked, “…About the fact that the guy in charge here’s name is Parker?” The kid just stared at me.

I was that kind of day. Simple stuff: two brothers, all laughs, no boundaries.

“What percentage of people here have Ohio State on their clothes?”
“75%” I answered to the other Man In Black.
“I’d say 95,” he regaled, and pointed to an old man in a wheel chair.
“OK,” I shot back: “If there are 100,000 people at the game today, how many will not be wearing underwear?
He didn’t even hesitate: “500. Exactly.”

The game was no game at all: a blowout. Midway through the first quarter H noticed an inch thread on the back/right shoulder of the fan in front of him. Pointing it out, he vowed to remove it from the guy’s jacket, without letting him know. Problem was, every time Hal leaned in to flick it the man moved. My brother, though, could not be denied. He captured the thread at 6:22 of the third quarter.

I, too, had my mishigos. We had seats 3 and 4 of our row; our host was in the 1 hole on the aisle. At a pre-game meeting, Hal and I agreed to always be standing when the host did, and always sit down as he did. Kickoff, time-out, whatever. Monkeys see, monkeys would do.

Midway through the first period there was a TV timeout. Standing for a bit, (our host was), I was interrupted by the putz sitting behind me.
“You make a better door than a window!” he shouted. (Mind you, NO ONE was on the field). I vowed then and there never to stand up again. The balance of my game time was spent—ALL OF IT—sitting down. Kickoffs, touchdowns, times-out….100,000 people stood—I sat. They scored six times the first half. Hal stood for each, cheered for each. Me? I sat and clapped from my seat.

At 49-0 our host left. The Bogart boys followed suit. It was nearly 3PM and time to head home.

Bolting from the stadium we head to our car. Haskell Hall. Denny.
Arps Hall up ahead. We were marching through our past.

“Should we take Indianola to Hudson?” asked Hal.
“No, let’s keep going to Weber.”
“Yeah, but we got a good jump leaving early. Maybe Hudson will be OK”

It was a dialogue lasting from just outside the vehicle to just across Hudson. It was a conversation about nothing but a day about everything.

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