Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Giants of the Midwest

At the Seagram Building, from left: Spaulding E1, Spaulding E2, Clark, Ginley.

The arrival of the boys from Indiana electrified 56 Voorhees Place in Metuchen, N.J. Theo and Natalie looked up in wonder and utter shyness at the new arrivals, several of whom were more than six feet tall. Nathan Ginley (son of the legendary Ty Ginley), his three cousins Ethan, Evan (or was it Evan and Ethan) and Eli Spaulding and their father Rob dropped by at about 6:40 p.m.
“Nice place,” they said. “Great to see you, nice to meet you,” they said. “Say, by the way: we have to be in Elmhurst, Queens at 9 p.m. – Eli’s job interview.”
This last bit came as a blow. I had intended to sit out on the patio against the sinking light of day and share tales of the Ginley clan – the dominant Edgewood family of the 1970s (the greatest decade in the history of the United States of America). Instead, I dropped them off at the Metuchen train station, gave Eli my monthly transit pass and wished them all luck.
The following day at lunch, we met up again at the Seagram Building on Park Avenue. A beautiful afternoon in New York City it was. Ordered from the Fast Food Indian guy, and toured the great St. Bart’s Cathedral, one of three churches designed by Bertramm Goodhue in Manhattan. Off they went again, to Ground Zero – still a mess after five years, an utter failure of public-private redevelopment. (I suggested, perhaps not eloquently enough, a visit to Central Park, the city’s great monument to public planning and civic beauty.) Off they went to pay their respects to the fallen towers.
We met up again at 9:30 p.m. at Ollie’s in Times Square. A nice dinner, and a nice walk through the crowded tourist district was enjoyed by all. During the drive back to Metuchen, we shared Bible stories and tales of courage. We visited the Alexander Hamilton rest stop, to the delight of Evan (or was it Ethan), a history buff, apparently.
I wish they could have remained with us for a trip to the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, but time, she is a jet plane. We said goodbye the next morning in the parking lot of the Menlo Park Diner.
Theo was just beginning to warm up to the Hoosiers when they had to leave. So it goes.
Oh Giants of the Midwest, you came and you gave without taking. And we miss you today.

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