The Rest of the Fourth

On the morning of Independence Day, first cousin Karen and her son, first cousin once removed Granger, headed back to Virginia.  (Since Susie and Granger have the same great-grandparents, they are second cousins.)  We sent them off with a bellyful of breakfast from Tommy’s Dinner on W. Broad St., lucky enough to get the last of their cinnamon rolls.  Hanging amidst the OSU Buckeyes posters and memorabilia is a respectable collection of old movie and classic rock posters.  Susie is getting better at identifying people in the posters–Elvis, the Beatles, the Rat Pack, the Marx Brothers (although my favorite Marx Brother–Karl–was not included), Laurel and Hardy, and Marilyn Monroe.

Barely had the exhaust cleared from Karen’s car when we were honored by the presence of an old high school friend, Robin, now living in Toronto with her husband Doug, who was also in tow.  Robin’s mother lives with her life partner in Clintonville, and Robin and her husband were in Columbus for a combination Canada Day/Fourth of July celebration.

This was the first time I had seen Robin for nearly 30 years.  She was a class ahead of me at Marietta High School, and we were quite close, although we were never romantically involved.  I hung around Marietta, unemployed and bored, for a year after high school before I left for Boston and fell into my typesetting job at The Harvard Crimson.  She apparently left Marietta as soon as she could.

I am so glad she spared Steph some of the anecdotes which shed light on the many less admirable qualities of my character.  Some of them can’t even be explained away by invoking youthful ignorance.  She said she remembered me mostly as being “this thin [holding up a pencil], pushing an A-V cart.”  (You know how every high school had a kid who always seemed to be there running movie projectors, operating the lights during shows, and could hold equipment together with chewing gum and spit?  At Marietta High School, that was me.)

Here is a picture of Robin and me, first time together in eons.  (Robin made contact with me, searching to see if I had published any books.  She came up dry there,  but she did find some of the reviews I had written.)

I spent Saturday at the Olympic Swim and Racquet Club with Susie and her friend Rosemary.  The pool seems to be back to normal operations after the mishap last week.  (The last we heard, the man was still in a coma.)  I didn’t go in the pool, and I didn’t blog because the Wi-Fi at the pool is so unreliable.  You almost have to sit in the volleyball pit to get any kind of usable signal.

We went to a bookstore afterwards, after I made a quick shopping trip at Weinland’s.  I didn’t have much cash with me, so all I bought was a Dell Yearling edition of Keith Robertson’s teen novel Henry Reed’s Journey.  I had read that while I was in parochial school, although my cousin Karen had introduced me to its predecessor, Henry Reed, Inc. while my family was visiting her in Richmond during her dad’s final illness.  I think both Sister Elizabeth (my St. Mary’s English teacher) and Karen recommended the series because the novels were told in the form of Henry’s journal entries.

The evening meal beckons, so I’ll sign off for now.


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