Brother Edwin's QuotientSaturday, June 04, 2011
|Brother Thomas Fry, Alex W-H & Brother Edwin Reggio - Photo by Mike O'Connell|
On Sunday afternoon last week, the reunion at St. Ed’w was over and I was feeling a tad of that melancholy I feel when something that I have looked forward a lot is finally over and done with. I attempted to set up an evening at the Texas eatery The County Line but there were no takers. The County Line is a place that Brother Edwin really likes and in past years we have made it a little of a tradition to indulge and enjoy Brother Edwin in close quarters. My friend Mike O’Connell, class of 1967 was keen on the idea so I suggested an alternative plan. I point blank asked Brother Edwin if Mike and I could dine with him Sunday evening at Brother Vincent Pieau Residence. He immediately said yes. I went to St Joseph Hall where Brother Edwin was waiting and Mike showed up in his snazzy black BMW convertible. We drove to the Residence where Brother Edwin invited Brother Thomas Frey to sit with us at dinner.
After our simple meal (photo taken by Mike) Brother Edwin (he knows what I like) suggested the both of us have a frozen Snickers bar. As we left Mike said, “This was the high point of the reunion weekend for me.” I agreed and I can only explain why. It is called the Brother Edwin Quotient.
Back in 1958 at St. Ed’s we were young and our teachers were old men. At least that is what I thought. In 2008 I contacted Brother Edwin Reggio C.S.C. via email (after all those years had passed) and I asked him how he was. His answer was precise and direct. He almost seemed insulted, “I feel just fine. I am not much older than you are.” That’s when it hit me that at age 16 our religion teacher was a young man of 26!
That 2008 I traveled with my wife Rosemary and granddaughter Rebecca (9 at the time) to Yucatán. When my wife noticed that our plane stopped in Houston she suggested we visit Austin and Brother Edwin.
I could have never imagined back in 1958 that some day my granddaughter would meet and have a chat with Brother Edwin.
On our way to eat at the County Line (in a large Lincoln driven by Howard Houston, class of 1961, and his wife Lynne) Rebecca asked Brother Edwin, “How can it be that you and my grandfather can be friends?”
|Rebeca Stewart & Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C.|
Brother Edwin explained to her that when I had been 16 and he 26 the quotient was 0.6. If we jumped to 36 for me and 46 for him the quotient was 0.78 and then at 2008 that quotient was 0.86. I really did not have a clue what Brother Edwin was saying but my Rebecca seemed to understand and she smiled. She had grasped that as Brother Edwin and I became older (and that quotient approached 1) our age difference was smaller and smaller and that explained that we now had lots in common and we could be friends!
I understood later what Brother Edwin had stated so matter a factly to Rebecca and how paradoxically the man with the easy smile but the very private demeanour could now be described by her as, “He is so cute!” I concur with my granddaughter on that. And smart, too.