Friday, December 28, 2007

Alumni Meet

Note: This is the last in a multi-part series about my trip to Pennsylvania the weekend before Christmas. You might want to scroll down to the entry titled Audubon and work your way back up.

The alumni meet's purpose was not solely to amuse current members of my high school's team. Nor was it for the alumni to compare how fat we've gotten. It was a fundraiser. Our $30 entry fees will help pay for jackets or something else that the team members' parents will throw away when the kids go off to college.

Give this generation credit, though. When I swam, we raised our own money with a swimming marathon. We'd get people to pledge a few pennies per lap and one day over Christmas break our practice would simply entail swimming 200 laps. One year my brother Jim got people to pledge a total of $300. Even more impressive was that he collected the money and proudly handed our coach three brand new $100 bills.

The kids now have us raising the money for them. Smart.

There was also a bake sale. So that's why after coming back to Jamie's place from the Martin Guitar factory we spent the afternoon decorating cookies. Jamie did most of the decorating but I did just enough that when the woman running the sale asked Jamie if she had created the cookies all by herself and Jamie said yes within my earshot, I could needle her. "All by yourself, huh?"

The Cookie Maker

I shot another frame with Jamie in focus instead of the foreground but she preferred this one. It appears I'm taking requests on the blog now so just leave yours in the comments and I'll get to it as soon as I can.

If it's OK I'm going to gloss over the whole Pennsylvania Turnpike incident currently under appeal that caused a $2 toll to cost $18.25 except to say that the visit back north would not have been complete if I hadn't gotten at least one stick in the eye. "Welcome back to Pennsylvania, John! Now screw you!"

The meet was a blast. I was probably not the only one sore the next day but no one suffered serious injury or water intake during the races and some of them resembled actual competition. In a concession to our decrepitude, the butterfly race was shortened to 25 yards and in the 35-and-over race all of us finished within a second of each other. And I was wrong. I could have lasted two laps. Maybe not gracefully but I could have finished. But it was probably just as well. I had enough trouble moving my arms the next day.

The pictures from the meet didn't turn out well. My camera refused to cooperate. It wanted to shoot with the flash and I thought there was plenty of light. I think the camera blurred most of the images to spite me. When I wondered later if it was fitting that the pictures matched the fuzziness of my old swimming memories, Jamie wondered if I was reaching too far to make a metaphor.

Afterward most of us went to the former Eagleville Hotel to catch up and tell lies. The place is called Brother Paul's now.

Below is supposed to be a Flash slide show with more pictures of the meet and the meeting afterward if it will work. It works for me using my Firefox browser. Not so much using Internet Explorer.

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