Here's the Scoop: March 31, 2010
As I glanced at my incoming e-mail last week, a familiar name flicked past. If the e-mail was from whom I thought it was from, it had been three decades since I’d been in touch with this person (or since he’d heard from me).
Sure enough, “Little Rhodie” was the e-mail author. To protect the innocent (and myself), I will only refer to this friend as Little Rhodie here. No sense getting the feds involved in this stuff. And our college days were a very long time ago — so I’m sure some statute of limitations protections would kick in to save us if any really bad recollections creep up.
Anyhow, Little Rhodie (he hails from the tiny New England state) had been contacted about our 30th college reunion and decided to Google some old friends to see if they’d be attending this salute to higher education. As much as I try to remain anonymous, I couldn’t escape Little Rhodie’s Internet search.
To tell you the truth, I was glad he found me — even though I had deleted the same reunion e-mail that kindled his nostalgia. After I responded to a few tentative questions, Little Rhodie and I were exchanging witty banter — just like in the days when only a concrete wall separated our living quarters.
He told me a bit about his life and various adventures of the past three decades. He wasn’t bragging, but this was a very successful fellow.
Changing the world
For some reason, my competitive nature took over and I casually noted that the “Google” thing he had used to track me down was actually the company I founded! And, as a result, I own a bunch of islands, yachts, houses and a few professional sports teams. The usual stuff.
Little Rhodie had been a firsthand witness to my study “habits” and instinctively knew that my claims may have been a bit trumped up.
“Did I say I invented Google?” I quickly responded to his e-mail that featured a screen icon with a set of raised eyebrows. “I meant that I was thankful that Google had been invented so that I could look up information on things like, islands, yachts, houses and professional sports teams. In case I could ever afford such items. ” Whew. That was close. Of course, ironically, I had to confess before he Googled the truth.
After this little misstep, we quickly entered into a series of exchanges regarding various parts of our college history that were either clearly remembered or hazy. Or forgotten on purpose.
Even when one of us couldn’t unearth a certain event (“I must have been in the library” was my standard excuse for not recalling facts that Little Rhodie conjured up), we usually both wound up agreeing on the basic premise of the incidents in question.
With one large exception.
Little Rhodie, you see, was the talented point-guard on our awesome intramural hoop team, the Spuckeyes. His memory of our team’s exploits is quite foggy, though.
He recalled making nifty passes in my direction, only to have me fire up shots “from all angles and distances.” I’m not entirely contradicting this statement, but my recollection is that a huge percentage of these shots wound up firmly in the basket and put the Spuckeyes on the path to countless post-game celebrations.
It seems that Little Rhodie recalls the victories, but wasn’t quite ready to hand over a large chunk of credit for these wins to my deft shooting skills.
“I agree,” I wrote in response to his rapidly-deteriorating reminiscence, “it wasn’t just my shooting that made us so good — I was also pretty tough on defense.”
This comment near blew up Little Rhodie’s Skeptic-O-Meter. I swear I could hear his guffaws in Colorado.
“I see you’re still reaping the benefits of all those creative writing classes,” he wrote.
Fortunately, the e-mails quickly turned back to important college elements such as parties and late-night snacking. Many laughs followed. Oddly enough, both of our wives used the “nuts” term to describe our behavior.
After numerous e-mails, Little Rhodie said he couldn’t wait until the reunion and he hoped to see me there. I told him I’d give it some serious thought, but I was concerned that other former Spuckeyes teammates might show up.
“I can just hear those guys shooting their mouths off about the supreme confidence I had in my scoring ability,” I wrote to Little Rhodie.
“Don’t worry,” he assured me, “I’m sure they all vividly remember that when you’re around — no one else will be doing any shooting.”