The Blue And The Gold Of Tiger TownSaturday, June 13, 2009
The certainty that I would be able to connect with classmates that I had known for four years but somehow had not been my friends ( a mere sharing of a living space in a boarding school) has been a pleasant one. I have connected and spoken with these men that were boys once and discerned a warmth and intelligence in them that would have been missed by the stupidity of my youth.
The icing on the cake has been my two day visit with Brother Edwin. Yesterday he took me on a two-hour tour of the Austin lake district in a Chevrolet Lumina. This happened after lunch (again in the inner sanctum of St Joseph Hall.)
I saw new sides of the man when he went to the communal garden and banged a stick on the wall. A squirrel appeared and came up to him as he put corn and nuts into a little bowl. We passed by a little room with a barber chair. I asked. "I am the barber here.” I asked him who shaved the barber. "That's Brother Thomas." Brother Thomas was repairing the very old curtains of the Brothers' living room. He told Brother Edwin, "We are going to need new curtains soon." With money tight I know Brother Thomas will fix them.
In the memorial recognition lunch today we remembered those brothers, faculty and students who had been there before us (Brother Edwin's euphemism for those who had died). He opened the lunch with this poem:
To Remember You
A bouquet of beautiful memories
we place before our graves.
We wish we could be with us
as we recall the good old days.
We the Men of Tigertown
pledge our prayers for you.
You are still with us in those "Good old days"
as we remember the "Old Gold and Blue".
Brother Edwin Reggio, CSC (Congregation of the Holy Cross).
All that maudlin, but wonderful, content of above needs a little bit of irreverent balance..
We stood up to sing our school song (lyrics and music by Brother Edwin, naturally!) I never bothered to learn the words because I had to play the song on the alto saxophone. I was a member of the school band, not by choice, but by a gentle pressure from Brother Edwin who had diverted me and then fished me one day on my way to the cafeteria.
The song reminded me that at school football games, the cheerleaders would be in front of us and at the end of the song:
The Blue, fight, fight!
The Gold, fight, fight!
I would be rewarded by a rapid glimpse of Judy Reyes' fine legs and...as she jumped up in the air.