On Reminiscing

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Sometime during the first half of my teaching career, I recall a conversation at the lunch table when another teacher asked about the best years of life. Some answered about having young children. I noticed a puzzled look of one lady (with 2 boys) who said, “You are crazy. The best years were in college.!” Then I (with no kids) turned for a high-five. Her answer didn’t surprise me because she was a huge college sports fan – a loyal follower of her Purdue Boilermakers.

My time at Bowling Green State University on the flatlands of northwest Ohio forged many of my best friendships. Those days began in September 1971, and I know if I need them today, my fellow Falcon friends would be there for me.

My first college roommate (Steve) and I now live 850 miles (1368 km) apart. We were friends throughout our college days, best man at the other’s wedding, and even collaborate on this blog (using his photos).

One day this past December, Steve sent me several texts with images. He said he was going through his files (deleting and filing) and wondered if I wanted them. It stirred memories that made me smile, which established the reason for a blog post.


First all, look at that hair!

This had to be fall of our sophomore year (1972, 19 years old). Steve was either still a journalism major at the time or was taking a photography class (an important hobby to him then and now). He asked me if I could be the subject of a collage he had to do for a class, so sure – that’s what friends are for – and the image above was the final product.

Bill, another friend throughout college, is my chess opponent. After graduation, he returned to his hometown near Buffalo, New York. We stayed in touch, then I discovered that he died in a car accident. He was very active and respected in his community – such a deep lose for them. Bill was also one heck of an athlete!

Yes, I was a member of the Falcon Marching Band for 5 years. (The sun always shines on the Falcon Marching Band.) I served as a squad leader for 2 years, plus I ended up meeting my future wife through band.

Two years before she came along, I had a crush on Diane – (who I think is) the curly haired lady, who was a twirler in band. We never dated, and her time at BG was very short – and I don’t think I ever saw her again. I loved my time in marching band, and wrote about one of my unexpected band moments on this past post (2011).


Sandy is another long-time friend and one of the best I’ve ever known. We met through Dwain, (her cousin) a fellow band member who happened to live beside Steve and I our first year. Sandy and I are sitting in a basement food area in my quad. She was in the group of us who hung around together all the time in college, and have stayed in touch ever since. Steve actually married a friend of hers who is from the same hometown. Sandy lives about an hour from me, while Dwain and I are about 300 miles (483 km) apart.

This post was about reminiscing back to a wonderful time – all stimulated from a collection of photographs from the distant past. For me, college was about being away from home with a degree of independence – life on my own while still having a home for the holidays, breaks, and the summer. Yes, a good transition toward the next step in life. Cheers to long-term friendships.

Special thanks to Steve for initiating this post by simply sending me the image. Now it’s time to enjoy a fitting song by Queen.

On 1972-73

It was the summer of 1972 and the Munich Summer Olympics. Although an Olympiad of tragedy, it was also one of pride. We Bowling Green students were excited that one of our own was in the Olympics.

Back to campus in the fall, a longtime friendship with Randy started. We talked tons of sports (and still do). At the start of the season I predicted not only would Miami would win the Super Bowl, but they be 17-0. Of course I haven’t let him forget that he calls it “the greatest prediction he’s ever heard.”

The coach Don Nehlen’s young Falcons were coming off a successful year and picked by many to win the MAC. After winning at Purdue and a 3-0-1 start after 4 road games, a tough Don James coached Kent State team burst on the scene at our home opener. That was my first exposure to HOF LB Jack Lambert, who made sure there was no Tangerine Bowl for us.

Randy was a Pirates fan, and October was the memorable Reds-Pirates playoff. Who could forget Johnny Bench’s game-tying HR in the bottom of the ninth! The eventual winning run for the Reds scored on a wild pitch by Bob Moose. To this Randy, Randy still steams about the game.

The Falcon basketball team was horrible the year before, but was loaded with a promising sophomore class. (Remember, freshman didn’t play in those days). The next three years were the same for basketball and football; high expectations and always the bride’s maid yet never the bride.

I loved Falcon hockey. The season brought us future ’76 Olympians Bob Dobek and Doug Ross; the latter was sitting out his transfer season. Little did I know that they were the prelude for a future Falcon to be the first to win an Olympic Gold and a Stanley Cup the same year; actually months apart. In the spring, Coach Jack Vivian jumped up to the newly-formed WHA, which that brought us Ron Mason, who would become the winnest coach in NCAA hockey history. And I’m sure Scott Hamilton skated between periods.

I never imagined that technology would remind me of those events 36 years later; let alone share it with others. After reading Basic Blaganomics about the Dolphins perfect season, Randy and I talked and laughed about the prediction, which led us into other events of that year. He still hasn’t forgiven Bob Moose, he won’t listen to my recording of the homer or the pitch, and I haven’t found the pitch on YouTube – at least not yet.

1972-73 was an interesting sports year for me; so here’s Dave Wottle’s 800 m race as called by the late, great Jim McKay …. and to think the Olympian was in one of my chemistry classes.