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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


More very sad news. An old friend died over the weekend. He and I graduated from the College Formerly Known as Glassboro State in 1980 with degrees in journalism, which puts us both at 47. Our professional careers intersected also.

There were a lot of laughs and a lot of stories. I'll share one that is not profound, sheds little light on this decent human being, and has no big payoff. It's just a cute story that my friend figures in.

In the summer of '79, between my junior and senior years, I was working in Cherry Hill and staying with my folks while my year-round college apartment in Glassboro was sitting idle. My little cousin Joey, who was maybe 11, was visiting from Pennsylvania. He, my sister Barbara and I decided to crash at my pad just for the heck of it -- no grownup to tell us what to do. I made a joke that Glassboro was "my town," and I was going to show Joey and Barbara a good time. (Of course, a "good time" with your sister and your 11-year-old cousin is McDonalds and a movie.)

My late friend was the manager of the CollegeTown Cinema, a two-screen theater that showed second-run movies for a ONE DOLLAR ADMISSION. That's right, a lousy buck! Even in the '70s, that was a crazy bargain. Some of the movies I recall seeing there: "Audrey Rose," "Smokey and the Bandit," "Interiors," "Starting Over," "The Goodbye Girl," "Thunder and Lightning."

Anyway, the night that Joey, Barbara and I showed up at the CollegeTown Cinema, the movie we decided to see was "Love at First Bite," the underwhelming "Dracula" spoof starring George Hamilton and Susan Saint James. My friend, resplendent in his blue manager's jacket, took one look at us in line to buy tickets and said, "Mark, I respect you too much to allow you to pay good money to see this (expletive) movie." He then unhooked the velvet rope and waved the three of us in.

My little cousin Joey looked at me and said, "This really IS your town."


Anonymous Gail said...

Mark, YOUR ROCK - even back then. That's such a cool story. I bet your 11 yr old cousin NEVER forgot that coolness either.

6:05 PM, April 25, 2006  

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