I’ve resisted writing the war stories down because they’ll take so long to write, and there are so many of them–but they demand to be told. Here’s a quick one to seed the garden.

In fall of 1984, my parents were in the process of moving from Philly to Canton, Ohio. They had plans to fly to Canton on a particular weekend, and my brother Joe approached me about having a party at the house while they were gone. I thought about it, but I just didn’t think it was a great idea. I told Joe “OK–if you had a party here, you’d have to be quiet. I mean really quiet. No one can know even in the neighborhood that you’re having a party.”

Joe actually decided he could handle that, and told me it was no problem, and went off to make preparations. Me, I worried. A lot.

The night of the party, I worked my shift at Denny’s (I was a waiter then) and after doing my sidework, drove home. As I pulled into the driveway, the house was dark and silent. I guessed that things didn’t work out for the party, or Joe had had second thoughts. I unlocked the front door and walked in. And tripped over something on the floor.

As my eyes struggled to adjust to the darkness, I heard whisperings and mumblings in the dark. “Who is it?” “Shhhh!” “What’s going on?” “Hey, it’s OK–it’s Dave.” I began to make out shapes on the floor. On the couch. On the stairs. In fact, just about everywhere. Joe had been true to his word, and I was witness to the most laid back, quietest “party” I’ve ever seen. The next thing I knew, a dark form worked its way up to me, and said in my brother’s whispering voice “Hey Dave! Whaddya think? I kept it quiet just like we talked about!”

To this day it still weirds me out–in a funny, amazing kind of way. I mean, they even parked three blocks away to avoid detection. Talk about dedication to a cause…