05 September, 2013

{this memory} 90

This is the story behind last Monday's {this moment}.

Mom and me in early spring of 1970. I'm 21; she's almost 50. What you can't see is we are standing next to my 1970 Mustang Mach-1 (next car over). Zoom.

We're in front of my apartment on Stadium Road near the University of Virginia. It's actually my sideburns that give me the date. I spent four years in ROTC where those sideburns would not be tolerated. In January, however, I became physically ineligible for service because of a December diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As soon as I could, I grew those sideburns - especially after having the left side of my head shaved during my diagnostic workup.

Anyway, my parents were there with me as I began radiation therapy at the University Medical Center, and we were saying good-bye now that they were convinced I would survive the linear accelerator. Parents! - but I can't blame them for their concern, especially now that I'm a parent. I'm sure that even then it was hard for them to leave.

The University had a tradition of students wearing coats and ties in those days - so my outfit is nothing special. You can't read it, but the lapel pin says πKø (that last should be 'phi' which isn't on this keyboard). Pi Kappa Phi was/is my fraternity and one of the best things that happened to me at the University.

I am a fortunate man. Life's been good to me so far.