Some guy named Dickens once said “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” I always thought he was just being indecisive and hedging his bets. Little did I know that it would happen to me in 1987.
The best of times was starting my dream sales job at Data General and meeting the other two-thirds of the Triumvirate, Will “Wild Man” Price and Henry “Stud Muffin” Norris.
The worst was that my “Bluto” Blutarsky persona had re-emerged. I thought I had buried it a decade prior when I graduated from Framingham State.
35 years, two brain surgeries, and massive quantities of adult beverages dull the memory but there are several distinct events that spring immediately to mind.
The first was being stopped by a Massachusetts State Trooper while riding home in a taxi on Route Nine in Southborough. Yes, you read that correctly! We had actually been stopped while doing the right thing and making sure no one drove. We had stopped for last call at the Rustic Inn (like we needed more alcohol?) and our honorary fourth member, Jumbo decided he was ok to drive when we all knew he was not. He was just about out the door, car keys in hand when I tackled him on the floor and grabbed his keys away from him. The other patrons were in stitches laughing at us, while the owner took a dim view of our wrestling and proceeded to dial 911.
We finally got Jumbo calmed down and he decided to do the right thing (for once!) and call a cab. This is where it gets interesting! The four of us piled into a cab not knowing that the owner had told the cops about the four miscreants who were fighting in his establishment. While we were patting ourselves on the proverbial backs for doing the right thing, we never realized the police had other ideas. We knew we were in trouble as soon as we saw the blue lights flashing behind us. The Statie read us the riot act for disturbing the peace. He checked our IDs and sent us on our way after we had convinced him we had done the right thing by not driving.
The second event was a weekend on the Cape after a particularly tough week at work. We made the decision that our hijinks had taken on legendary status in the Webo/Sobo/Nobo area and it was best to get the heck out of dodge!
We landed at the Town Lodge in Yarmouth and I’m quite sure that they wish we hadn’t! After a weekend of drinking, eating, swimming, and drinking some more (are you sensing a theme?), we decided it was time to head back to reality. But first a quick stop for a bowl of the wonderful chowder at Captain Parker’s Pub in Hyannis. It was straight up noon and we were convinced we would be on the road by 2 and home by dinner time. Twelve hours later we heard the bartender say “last call.” We knew we could never make it back home and reluctantly (for them!) checked back into the Lodge. We left voice mails for our respective managers that we were sick and proceeded to sleep it off.
We drove home Monday afternoon and prepared for the s@*t storm that would greet us on Tuesday morning.
When we arrived everyone gathered around our desks, knowing full well that it was highly unlikely that the only three bachelors in the department could not all be the only ones sick on the same Monday.
Our managers came over, broke up the coffee klatch, and called us into their offices. Suffice to say they read us the riot act and sent us back to work. We learned our lesson and never tried that again!
The third and fourth memories (and for me the best!) were the two road trips to the Bronx.
The year 1988 brought about a DGC-sponsored field trip to the original Yankee Stadium for a trifecta of Yankees vs. Red Sox games (Friday night and Saturday/Sunday matinees). We piled into a bus, headed down the Pike, and had more fun than is legally allowed! Good seats for all three games, lots of laughs, cold beer, and warm dogs (good but nowhere near as good as Fenway Franks) made for an unforgettable trip (well except for the scores, but the beer tends to dull the memory just a little)! We had such a blast that we decided to do it again the following year. By then I had been promoted out into the field and sent to Charlotte, North Carolina. The rumors that Charlotte is the end of the earth are not true but I’ve heard you can see it from there!
When Henry called and said “game on” I hopped out on the first flight to JFK and the fun was on! Upon our arrival, we found that our seats were up in Bob Uecker nosebleed territory, but that was when old eagle-eyed Henry came to the rescue. He spotted three empty seats a couple of rows behind the third base dugout. We quickly and quietly moved down and into these great empty seats as if we owned them, which the usher could see we did not. But we greased his palm and he let us stay as long as the rightful owners did not arrive (and they never did). After the first round of dogs and brews, we gave both vendors big tips to come back and see us on a regular basis. And they most certainly did. Three bachelors loose for the weekend with plenty of alcohol-fueled fun, and I’ll leave the rest to your imagination (this is, after all, a family story).
Suffice it to say we had every bit as good a time as the year before; there were no arrests (that doesn’t mean we didn’t break a few laws it just means we didn’t get caught!) and we returned to reality with some wonderful memories. I’ve heard it said many times that the Red Sox vs. Yankees is the greatest rivalry in all of sports, and based on these two amazing weekends, I would have to agree most wholeheartedly.
Keith D. Guernsey is retired after a 40 year career in sales and sales management with Data General, Cahners Publishing, Motorola and Comcast. He lives on Lake Lanier with his wife Susan. He is the author of three popular, successful books. He is currently working with the Cresswind Performing Arts Club. Past board member of ITNLanier. He enjoys reading, writing and traveling with his family.