You take the good, you take the bad…

I don’t know how to write this post.

First, last night was a really good night. “Napkin Game” Pete came through town from Columbus and we hung out for the evening. It was just like old times. Laughing over beers, wandering from bar to bar (much easier in the walking district of Broad Ripple than driving around Columbus), and ending with a meal at not only Steak N’ Shake, but a 4:15am fried egg sandwich with bacon on my new griddle. (In hindsight, probably not the best idea, but it was fantastic!) We started the night off with a trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse to see a Butler basketball game. It’s the gym where the end of “Hoosiers” takes place, and is a very cool old building. Everything is brick inside and out, and the architecture and sound is just outstanding. I don’t know how much I really watched the game as much as I took in the sights. I’ll definitely have it on the list to go back sometime.

The only regret is that others weren’t able to join us out. It was a great night to show an out-of-towner Indy’s nightlife, but understandably a bit of a haul for a late night in the Ripple for a local. Hopefully we get another chance with some clearer planning someday. Also, Lyndi got whacked with a sinus infection and couldn’t make it out, which I felt bad about, because she seemed excited to get to see her alma mater play a basketball game and then had to back out. With holiday time coming up, it was the right call for her. (Although I think the gym was hot enough that it probably would have cured her….at least until the cold walk back to the car.)

Anyway, the night was a hit.

Then the morning came.

This is the hard part… I was all ready to put it off and not post, but ALOTT5MA gives me the perfect chance. They have a post up this morning about “share your favorite christmas present, and share it with YouTube”. Over there, I shared fond memories of my brother and I opening an Atari 2600, and another year getting a dartboard. That and the Michigan basketball backboard that caused more than a few bumps and thumps and maybe a broken bed board or two…

But as I thought of others, one in particular stood out. I forget how old I was, I just think I was wearing a white sweater. Probably 12 or 13, maybe? Anyway, I had asked for a football and got one from my grandma. It was an “official” Bernie Kosar model. As a Browns fan, that was huge. I can remember playing with it, but if it got a smudge of mud, trying to clean it off. That same Christmas at grandma’s she got a puppy, a Springer Spaniel to be exact. Looking for a name for the pup, we looked to the football and named him Bernie. He kept her company, but was quite a nuisance for a number of reasons, but I think all in all he was a good dog. In fact, he probably would have fit in well with the trio of hellions (sweet, darling little hellions) I’m associated with now.

I don’t think that football was as memorable a gift as the original question intended, I believe they were going more for “what was the PS3 of your childhood and how many snow monsters did your parents fight off to buy it for you” tone, but thinking about the question as it was, the memories of that (and many other Christmases) came rushing back, and that football and it’s namesake pooch were the most memorable of them all.

My grandma passed away this morning, but her and her Christmases will never be forgotten.

One thought on “You take the good, you take the bad…”

  1. Tony,

    I never met your grandmother, but I feel like I knew her somewhat. Your Dad told me so many things about her; about how she followed sports, especially Cleveland sports, as avidly as any fan out there. I learned about how Bob Feller was the slowest working pitcher in the American League, and how games would take almost 2 and 1/2 hours whenevr whenever Feller pitched. I learned about her feelings on loyalty when you (or was it your brother?) decided he was a Yankee fan instead of the obligatory Tribe fan. I don’t know how long you or he was out of the house until you finally came to your senses, but I am guessing it was the shortest tenure for a Yankee fan in the history of baseball. I also learned about roller derby, bowling, and professional wrestling. (I don’t know if she was aware, however, that it was REAL). Your Dad tells me she had some pretty set ways about her, and I can see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in that case.

    In any event, I know there are some strong memories there that will cause you to think back fondly on your grandma’s life. I also know there will be some memories of her that will cause you just to scratch your head and ask, “Where did THAT come from?” Savor them all as they flood your consciousness over these next few days and weeks. That is how you keep loved ones in your heart after they leave this world.

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