(Tim wrote this flashback New Year’s story from his hospital room at Munson this week. Since I wrote this story, he somehow managed to get himself back into ICU with more oxygen and antibiotics for an infection. Will keep you posted. -jb
It’s the mid-1970’s in Old Mission, and New Year’s is just around the corner. I’m living in an old parish house across from the Old Mission Congregational Church with several friends. One of them, Colleen, was expecting her brother and his new bride to visit during New Year’s. After graduating, they were on their way up north to start their new careers as alcohol and substance abuse counselors.
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Given my love affair with beer back then, I took umbrage at the insinuation that my lifestyle was a bad thing. So I decided perhaps a lesson was in order. Bob and Judy soon arrived, introductions were made, and lunch was served as they described their excitement at starting their new life together.
They asked what my New Year’s plans were. I told them I was on my way to town to a tire shop to get some used inner tubes to construct a bungee cord, and that it was my intention to bungee jump out of the church bell tower across the road on New Year’s Day. They implored me to reconsider, but I assured them I had made all the necessary measurements and I was pretty certain every thing would be ok. I then left for town, not to assemble a bungee jump kit, but to attend a New Year’s Eve party.
The next day, Colleen and Kay, who also lived with me, were saying their goodbyes as Bob and Judy had to head up north. They implored the girls to get some people and put an end to my nonsense.
Later that afternoon, I returned home, hungover but wearing a smile from ear to ear. Kay and Colleen started chasing me around the house and finally knocked me to the floor in the living room while beating me mercilessly with two large baguettes, all the while laughing hysterically and asking what was wrong with me! The next day, my sides still hurt from laughing so hard. Mission accomplished.
Fifty years later, Bob remarked that that lesson – that a devious little drunk can put one over on you if you don’t really pay attention – had served him and Judy well over the years.
So, lf you pass by the Old Mission Congregational Church this New Year’s, picture an idiot bungee-jumping out of the church steeple, just missing the porch with his head and bouncing back into the steeple while two rookie alcohol substance abuse counselors stare in horror from the driveway across the road.
I hope this vision puts a smile on your face. A vision sent to you from 50 years ago. Happy New Year.
(Here’s the house across the road they lived in… -jb)