“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

Paris, France:  It has become tres cliché to use that Ernest Hemingway quote these days.  But if Paris is portable, then our dear Woodrow is potable; one can draw from its deep well sustenance and nourishment.  Wildcats have this fixed asset, from which its alumni annuitants can withdraw a lifetime income of memories, joy and friendship.  A camaraderie that cuts across race, class, creed and any other qualifying adjective.  In fact, that is to our advantage whether we go to the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Hotel in Paris or Sloppy Joe’s in Key West.

We cannot live by Woodrow alone, but it is the staff of life.  We are neither white bread nor milquetoast, but a rich baguette baked with a chewy texture of complimentary condiments and a crunchy crust.  Wildcats relish taking a bite out of life.

Although Hemingway gorged himself on his moveable feast, it turned to famine in the end.  Perhaps had he basked in the silver and read flames of Woodrow esprit de corps, he could have reached for a friend instead of a firearm.

The occasion of this episode of waxing Woodrow is the upcoming Class of 1976’s 25th reunion Oct. 12-13.  All friends, relatives, teachers, admirers (from 1970 to 1980) and those otherwise besotted with the vaunted Class of 1976 are invited to the following events:

Happy Hour, 5 p.m., Friday Oct. 12, Milkbar on Lower Greenville next to the Arcadia Theater (where you may have seen The Sound of Music of Fu Man Chu).  Look for us on the rooftop.  This event is being chaired by our very own Toby Shook, who has been building fame as an assistant district attorney for Dallas County and who recently successfully prosecuted “The Texas Seven” leader, George Rivas.  Yes, that was Toby on the front page of The Dallas Morning News and on television.  Unlike some of Toby’s parties, however, we will not have to wear Elvis cardboard sideburns or James Brown wigs.  Free admission, cash bar.

 

 

 

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, the Wildcats play football against the Samuell Spartans at Franklin Field (next to our old rival Hillcrest “Get” High School).  Classmate Niki Stefanos (married to Sam Harrington ’74) even has a daughter, Hali, in the Sweethearts.  And Classmate Tony Whitehead is an assistant coach and head golf coach.  Tickets for the game are available at Franklin Field that day.

The Big Event will be held at Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake right after the game until midnight.  Burgers, beer, a DJ and dancing will round out the very casual evening.  Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children under 18 at the door.  There is no guarantee we won’t wind up across the lake at Woodrow Hill singing the alma mater or even Disco Duck.  Doing donuts in my old Camaro does sound like fun.

For more info, check our website at www.76.sohodatanet.com, put together by our old Crusader photographer, Juan Castillo, who works his magic from Atlanta.  Or call Joe Sholden, 817-300-5235, who now lives very close to Fort Worthless.

 

Playing by the Rules by George Mason

October has been stamped in my memory since boyhood with the words World Series.  Growing up in New York, we had hopes for fall baseball.  But there was another World Series I aspired to a as a kid – the one held in Williamsport, Penn.

Sports Illustrated wondered enough for all of us (which, next to the annual swimsuit edition, is what they’re there for).  They sent a scout to the Dominican Republic to check birth records on the 12-year-old phenom.  Turns out he is 14, not 12.  Turns out Danny’s father set the whole thing up by falsifying his birth certificate.

More innocence lost.  Dear Old Dad has been in the Bronx with his Baby Bomber for more than a year without enrolling his son in school.  The boy has been practicing in the shadow of the House that Ruth Built to become a Yankee.

Young Danny may be a Yankee one day, but he’ll have to overcome more than the public humiliation of this episode to become a major-league human being.  He’ll have to overcome a family character flaw.

Who doesn’t?  Bad and sad as this has been none of us comes from perfect parents.  None of us leaps from the womb fully formed.  All of us need time and grace to grow into good characters.

We have to learn to hit the curveballs of family traits that come our way.  The job of parents is to straighten out the pitches as much as possible, so the kids can hit for average if not to for titles.  Life will throw enough breaking balls on its own; we don’t need parents putting us two strikes down in the count by teaching us to lie and cheat our way to success.  What success is it anyway to gain the whole world and lose your own soul, as Jesus said?  What good is fame or gain if it is ill gotten?

 

 

 

Kids learn character by watching us.  Cheating on a spouse, and trying to justify or excuse it rather than confess it.  Lying about a child’s age in order to pay less at a movie theater or for a plane ticket.  Calling in sick at work when you aren’t.  Cheating on taxes and tithes.  They know.

My grandfather helped start Little League in Staten Island.  He used to say in his o:  In Little League, parents are to be seen and not heard.

The question is:  What will our children see in us after they’ve heard it all?  *


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