Some of my most gratifying times occurred just seizing the moment—going with it! Throwing caution to the wind…doing things a bit “outside the box.”

I’ll always regret not heading west one Rose Bowl. I’d bled scarlet and gray all season, but my Dad was against the long drive, so I opted out of Pasadena trip with the boys. Games come and go, but on the way back that year Will’s car broke down in Albuquerque. A Kodak moment I missed. For a variety of reasons, the guys just flew home to Ohio—stranding Will and his car in New Mexico. Sure, I missed the “Granddaddy” of the bowl games, but I regret more that I am unable to revel with the men as they continuously relive that saga (Come to think of it, their constant retelling may be the precise reason Willie passed on this year’s reunion.)

One Friday in the late sixties Alan called to see if I’d join him at the evening’s Indians’ game. I declined since it looked like it’d be rained out. I can’t remember if Wido went downtown or not, but Sonny Siebert did throw a no-hitter that night.

A moment missed.

May 15, 1981: Riveted to the tube, father and son sit on the corner of a South Euclid bed watching Lem Barker throw a perfect game. Later that summer I took the (then) two kids to Baseball’s Hall Of Fame somewhere off Route 10 in New York. As the saying goes…you can’t get there from here. (But we did), because it was an opportunity to be had—a moment to remember: They had a simulated carpet field in the library. Michael ran the bases endlessly, each time sliding into home as a piped audio of the invisible crowd cheered, and YES, with every score he’d rhythmically bounce up from the “turf,” dust off his would-be uniform, wave to the stands and then begin circling the bases again. Jamie, barely 2, never let go of my hand.

Barker’s game ball was framed in a glass showcase. With kids flanking it I snapped a photograph. That August the pitcher stuck his head out of Cleveland’s home dugout to autograph it. Cooperstown was majestic, but in twenty-eight summers I haven’t been back.

I don’t know if it was a mid-life crisis or not, but my brother in recent years, has been seizing many moments. As a member of the Jack Benny Fan Club, he got notice of his hero’s induction into the Comedian’s Hall Of Fame. Hal jetted alone to L.A. for the ceremony at the famed Friar’s Club. In addition, he said Kaddish at Hillside Memorial Mausoleum, Benny’s final resting place. No One-Hit Wonder, my brother! He later grabbed some time and flew for another tribute at Benny’s birthplace in Waukegan, Illinois.

Carpe diem.

July, 2009: Another magic moment is now upon us. Another opportunity to Just Do It.

For reasons known only to Bob, our high school reunion committee meets four times per year. Reunions are every ten years but Snyder convenes regular outings. (Did I mention that he is the only man on the committee?)

I’m invited from time to time, but rarely want to intrude. It’s Bob’s domain.
Still, I did stick my head in at Brio this January. Ten minutes and out the door, leaving Bobby with his menagerie. While there though, I was advised that lo and behold, Steve F was alive and well and living on the east coast. Not only that, but Michelle had his contact information.

Couldn’t be! It had long been conventional wisdom that the former star of Bayard & Wrenford, swift pitching, Greenview, Brush, Sol’s Boys, teen idol, neighborhood icon…had been long dead. Buried.

But not so. The very next morning I called him, after thirty years. And he answered. And remembered…not only me, but “Little Herb,” his name for my brother…and Fenton. It was he alright, and he even knew that “Bulb” had died.

We spent a few minutes catching up, and made the predictable promises about getting together.

But we are. Indeed, we are.

Hal and I are going on a Road Trip this very Friday night. Destination: Princeton, New Jersey—Lunch Saturday with Steve.

We planned it last winter, set the table in the spring, and are acting on it now. Our schedules have been lighter, but not our hearts.

Sane friends keep asking why we would drive 7 ½ hours to dine with someone we haven’t seen since virginity (ours). We are staying in the moment, and asking “Why not?”

Worst case scenario, we will spend a few days with each other, cherishing each mile. Best case, three boyhood friends will laugh and rekindle a past where the only worry any of us had was whether it would rain the day of a Little League game.

We can’t wait!

“Life, so they say, is but a game, and we let it slip away.”

                                                        James Seals (Seals & Crofts)


  1. Aunt Helen says:

    Well written.

    Given that I was in the music business for many years, I, more than most, can appreciate the title/significance of this blog.

    As you point out in your quote at the bottom of your text, the lyricist of the titular song was Jim Seals.

    What your readers might not realize, is the ironic timing in your choosing this particular song/subject. I certainly know that it is not lost on you that Jim’s brother, Dan Seals (of England Dan and John Ford Coley) passed away a just few months ago.

    So, with that in mind. Seize the moment. Enjoy your time with your brother and your long-lost friend.

    And don’t worry about me. Dunn Hardware said that I have 30 days to return my seventh toaster oven.

  2. Marc says:

    Have a gr8 trip to NJ and tell SF I said hello-don’t know if he’ll remeber me-tell him Mitch’s cousin-I don’t think he was on Sols Boys, if so what position did he play?

  3. bob says:

    Just to be accurate, Randy is on the comittee as well and Ned showed up just after you left Brio. Not that I dion’t enjoy being the olnly male at times.
    Actually, I think the women enjoy it and feel less pressure with no other men around. You can’t believe the things they say.
    I think your road trip is a great idea since you want to do it. Why get older if you can’t do what you want to do.

Leave a Reply