Sunday, October 14, 2007

October 25th

October 25, 1415 was the battle of Agincourt. The Battle of Agincourt was fought between the English and the French. The French had the English significantly outnumbered. Henry the V, commonly called Harry, gave a speech that rallied his troops to win the day.

In 1599 William Shakespeare immortalized Harry's words.

"This day is called The Feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes home safe, will stand a tiptoe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age, will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say, 'Tomorrow is St. Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, 'These wounds I had on Crispian's Day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
familiar in his mouth as household words -
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Glouster --
be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
and Crispin Crispian shall ner go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered --
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks
that fought with us upon St. Crispin's Day."

October 25, 2007 will be the second anniversary of my terminal diagnosis. Like Harry, Glouchester, Salisbury and Exeter; I, too, would like to be remembered on St. Crispin's Day. It seems appropriate since King HenryV and Shakespeare took the lowly saint of cobblers and leather workers to such a great height. One would think that the most often quoted speech from Shakespeare would be from Hamlet, MacBeth, or Othello, but because of the fortitude and meaning of Harry's words, the above by far is the most quoted of Shakespeare's words.

To those who are in the same situation as me -- we, too, can start our own band of brothers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Two Idiots Volume V....Hot Dogs, Ketchup & Mint Jelly"

Mohonasen Jr. High, 1961.
Most of us "browned bagged it" for lunch. Many of us were first or second generation Americans
and our mothers were very creative with our lunches. Lou Amoroso brought the greatest Italian "sangwiches"; things like "peppers & eggs", fried moolie, sausage, peppers & onions, mortadella, prositto, of course, all on freshly made Italian bread. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we had Bruce jelly on Wonderbread...everyday! Georgie dogs with ketchup...on white....everyday! Jimmy Lucca mother, Mona, made great lunches- most of the time. Mona was a nurse and sometimes would not get home in time to make her three sons lunch. On those days, the boys would make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Naturally, we would all ask each other what we had for lunch. You had to be careful because Jim called them " steak & sauce". Occasionally, he would find someone to trade. One day, Glenn's father made his lunch. Unfortunately, his fathers favorite sandwich was Grandma Browns baked beans, which are a lot like refried beans, with thin slices of Bermuda Onion. Glenn
got no trades that day.
We would also see a lot of "last nights" leftovers. Bobby Godlewski's pork chops, Kathy Kresnewski's glumpkies, Nicks grandmothers pizza, Jeff Kings fish fry and Gary Scholtes meatloaf. First place went to Walter Cuff, a transient from Hawaii, who's daily menu consisted of sardines, onions and cheese, with mustard, on marble rye. The smell was worse than a compost pile.
Lunch was always concluded by blowing up your brown bag and popping it on your knee.It sounded like a firefight in Vietnam.
On to Bishop Gibbons... 1963. The cafeteria here featured "ala carte" items, such as , cheese wedges,pickles, olives, sliced carrots, chickpeas, hard boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers and brownies with frosting. Whatever flew....did, usually launched by Jerry Pompilio and Al Kuhns,then, joined by the masses. It was every man for himself and it was always fun to watch Glenn run around the cafeteria with cheese stuck in his hair. Silverwear was next. Kurt Minersagen achieved the most velocity after he flattened knives, forks and spoons with his size
13 cordovans.He was the biggest man sized boy we ever saw. About 6'5'', 250 lbs., in ninth grade. His voice was bigger than that. The end result after getting caught was cleanup, which usually ended well after the buses departed. We'll tell you about the fish tank episode as Two Idiots continues next week.