Sweet Victory

I’m in Oswego, New York this morning. I’m sitting at a Macintosh in the new campus center. I came here last night to watch the Fredonia State Blue Devils compete in the SUNYAC Men’s Basketball Championship. The Blue Devils prevailed in a close contest winning in the final 8.5 seconds on a driving layup by Junior guard, Brad Coooper.  I brought an overnight bag in case they  won and I got to use it. I stayed overnight at the Scottish Inn near the college. I’ve stayed there a number of times when our son Devin was playing for the Blue Devils. I miss seeing Devin play and wish that his basketball career could have lasted longer. I never would have thought that my allegiance to Fredonia State would have continued, but it has. I’ve been a member of the Fredonia Boosters since Devin was playing and I’ve continued my membership. 

I’m really delighted for the young men of this year’s squad and happy that they can be in today’s final game which will be played at Laker Hall on campus here at SUNY Oswego. This afternoon’s opponent for the Blue Devils will be SUNY Brockport. Brockport’s got a great team and they’ve prevailed against Fredonia in two earlier meetings this year. Nonetheless, whatever happens Fredonia State Head Coach Kevin Moore can take pride in his team’s accomplishments this season.

After last night’s game I text messaged my wife, my daughter Dara who is a Fredonia State Senior and my son Devin who is former Blue Devil player. We were all excited and happy for the team and especially for  Kevin Moore.  Like all coaches Kevin has had his ups and downs and I was happy to see him so elated with last night’s victory. I’m hoping that the Blue Devils can upset Brockport today, but even if they don’t I’m glad that I’m in Oswego this morning even though it is only 7 degrees above zero.  Life is never what we expect. It is full of pleasant surprises and ironies and this morning I’m sitting in a building that didn’t exist thirty-seven years ago when I was in the middle of my second semester at SUNY Oswego, but I’m in full sight of the campus that did, the dorm I lived in and the buildings in which I attended classes. Thirty-seven years ago I had no idea that I would be transformed from an Anthropology major to a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy in less than a year. In the ensuing thirty-seven years I would complete an enlistment in the U.S. Navy, meet a lovely young lady, get married, have two children, finish college, work in public school for over thirty years and be considered by some a geek. Those items weren’t on my plate or even in my imagination in February 1972. 

I’m trying to say that you ought never put limits on what can happen. Whatever God you believe in or don’t has plans for you. There is a force in the universe that works for good even though sometimes the good is hard to see.  I don’t know what today will bring but I’m going to try to be open. Openness and flexibility are the keys. Godspeed Fredonia State!

Road trip

Today I started out for Mass at Mt. Irenaeus but was lured by the lovely weather into taking a much longer trip that saw me eventually reach Oswego, New York by early afternoon. I began college in the Fall of 1971 at State University of New York College at Oswego. I was a green 18 year old kid. I remember that on my first weekend there I coaxed my roommate to walk from campus to Ft. Ontario which is about 3.5 miles east of the campus. Being an American history student,  fort’s have always intrigued me. This particular fort began as a British outpost during the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. In 1796 it was handed over to the United States and has been in our hands ever since. It was the only refugee camp for survivors of the Holocaust on American soil for brief period of time following World War II.

Following my visit to the fort I drove west toward the campus of SUNY Oswego. On my way I stopped by the River’s End Bookstore on Bridge Street in Oswego and bought a new book. Then I  meandered to the campus, stopped to see what had changed since my last visit and then began to wander toward home. I drove along the Lake Road which follows the shoreline of Lake Ontario all the way to Webster, New York. I stopped at Burnaps Farm Market in Sodus for some fresh peaches, nectarines and red raspberries for my wife. I also got some delicious sugar cookies for myself. On my trip along the Lake Ontario shoreline I passed the Ginna nuclear power plant. I didn’t know it exisited. My journey took me eventually to Market Place Mall in Henrietta, New York where I stopped at the Land’s End Inlet. It was a great day to be out and enjoying the lovely weather that came our way today.