Friday, September 24th – Monday, September 27th, 2010
Written Monday Morning in
The Family Room, Mom & Dad’s, Winnetka, IL, USA
Photo of “Still life with cattle skull.” By, Will Brewer. Oil on canvas.
Early Friday morning headed East with Mom and Dad to visit Jeffrey for Allegheny’s family weekend. Arrived mid-afternoon and our first stop was Sprague, a local micro-brew that grew its own hops and was built out of a old barn. My favorite part was how they served all full pints in mason jars, something I hadn’t seen since Johnson City, TN.
Had a quick, lovely dinner at the Montana, where I got my first taste of a Cowboy Cut. Evening’s cultural entertainment was the Greek Sing. All the school’s ten greek organizations organized themselves to sing three or four songs together on stage. Naturally, the three of us were most looking forward to Jeffrey and his theta-chi borther’s performance. They did not disappoint, with tracks from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and “Oh my darlin …”
Sadly, though the boys did not come in second or first. Former went to the ’09 champion fraternity whose song and dance included cross-dressers, and the latter was a group that featured rap and the 4-chords song. That evening I observed Allegheny “Jeff”. Started with him arriving at his frat house excitedly greeted by two cute girls hugging him, one of whom then hugged me. We went downstairs to play beiruit, and represented ourselves well, winning the first three games, despite multiple non-positive Danoff comments. Patronized a local watering hole named “Sports Garden” afterwards. Highlight for me of said establishment was that they played “Sandstorm”. Jeffrey and his buddies were more concerned with “icing” one another, which was fun to observe.
Started bright and early the following morning, with a pre-football game tailgate, hosted by the Danoff parents. Jeffrey rounded up five or six folks, and we ate sandwiches, chips and cookies, washed down with brews for three or four hours. It was so much fun, we never even made it inside to watch any of the actual game. For a little we discussed Friday’s sing, and Mom and I felt really out of the loop to hear the 4-chord song we were so impressed by, wasn’t actually original.
In the afternoon we took care of a little business, buying attire for Jeffrey’s upcoming interviews. Had a little fun with him when he told the store manager his waist size was “33″. Met up for dinner with one of Dad’s junior high school and high school friends at Springfield Grille. The food was delicious, especially the desert apple donuts, fresh-made and drizzled with caramel sauce. For three or four hours, Jeffrey and I got to listen too stories and adventures, shedding a little more light into the unknown of our father’s past.
Returning to campus that evening, the event was a dry dance party at the boy’s fraternity. Jeffrey headed over immediately to set things up, while I took the “fashionably late” approach with a few of his friends. By the time we did arrive the party was nearly over. I invited a special lady to dance, but she was scared off by a friends retreating from the floor saying “don’t go in there”. Jeffrey’d informed me it was coming to a close soon, so I decidedly to head in solo.
Dance floor was indeed a little out there, but I found some open floor for myself then did what I do. One of the younger members of the fraternity was galivanting around in a catcher’s mask and a cape, dancing with whomever he pleased. At one point, he pushed me into two cute blonds dancing together. Just as I was touching, about to see if she’d accept me as a partner, the music stopped, lights flared on blindingly and Jeffrey proceeded to yell “Everyone out!”
I’d been meaning to head out to Allegheny for years, now I’m very happy I finally did. Definitely felt out of the loop and like the weird-old-guy hanging amongst all the young folk, but Jeffrey and his buddies did a wonderful job taking care of me, making me feel welcome and ensuring I always had a drink in hand.
Images: First two, “the sphinx living room aug ’09 ed.” and “newton observatory aug ’09” are from last summer, when Dad and I drove Jeffrey out to Allegheny. The one at the top is of a painting in Jeffrey’s home living room, done by one of his buddies. Both images are Copyright Charles Jeffrey Danoff, 2010, all rights reserved. The final image is “the beer snob” by, johnny_automatic, published in the Open Clip Art Library, public domain.
Amplifications and Corrections: 27 Sep 2010 20:44 USA CT – Added the title of the painting.