Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We Laughed Our Asses Off

Today I am saying goodbye to a friend. Steve passed away Monday August 17, 2009. I’ve known Steve for nearly 20 years. We worked together at York Graphics Services. Along with 4 or 5 others we formed The Brotherhood of the Sword. We got to dress up like Vikings and knights and fight with our home made PVC pipe and duct tape swords. We ate, drank, fought, danced and laughed our asses off.

We went to the movies a few times a year, went to concerts in Long’s Park in Lancaster during the summer. We went to the renaissance faire and the Celtic fling. We played poker, watched Penn State football and we laughed our asses off.

We smoked cigars while reciting lines from Monty Python movies. We watched episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 over and over again, and we . . . well, you know what we did.

One of my fondest memories was a July 4th when we went to Long’s Park to see a free concert by the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra culminating in the 1812 Overture. They had 16 restored Civil War cannons to provide the explosions for the denouement. After the concert there was an extended fireworks display. There were at least 6 times we thought we had witnessed the grand finale and clapped vigorously only to have the show start up again. Even though we were enjoying it, we started to look at our watches and go “ok, let’s wrap it up. Some of us have to go to work tomorrow.”

Walking through the expansive crowd were teenagers selling glow sticks. The sticks were flexible and the ends could be snapped together to form a circle. Most of the teenagers walked zombie-like over the grounds just collecting a paycheck. But there was one young man who fully embraced his summer job. He had 3 or 4 of the sticks around himself like necklaces and several more twirling around his arms. And instead of shuffling through the crowd, he danced. He jumped and twirled and thoroughly charmed many parents into buying glow sticks for their children.

Steve nicknamed the young man Puck. He shouted “Go Puck. Show ‘em what you’ve got.” We watched the kid dance and flit for an hour and we laughed our asses off.

Goodbye Steve. I will miss you.

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