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August 31st, 2011

The Godfather recalls...

Forty years ago today...

I was staying in a little apartment in St Clair Shores, outside Detroit, looking over all the class registration paperwork that MIT had sent me and wondering what this strange new school I had just transferred into was going to be like.

(My parents had rented this place to stay in during the week while my dad was at work; the weekends were spent in the new house they'd built  for their coming retirement near Port Sanilac, on the shore of Lake Huron. They did retire to Port Sanilac in 1975; three winters later, they moved to Florida, where they've been ever since.)

In a few days, my old high school friend Mike and I would be driving to Boston. I would be looking for an apartment -- no dorm rooms for transfers -- and facing a completely different living and learning environment. Even the MIT paperwork had a sort of futuristic feel to is, as if it were processed by computers

I distinctly remember savoring the delicious mixture of fear and excitement about how my future was about to change... when the phone rang.

It was -- who? I don't remember. Maybe my sister, more likely her husband Nick, or her mother-in-law. 

"It's a boy," they said. "Your new nephew. He's going to be called John Emmanuel." Same initials, JEC, as my dad, for his first grandchild.

And I realized that all the coming changes in my life were nothing compared to what would be happening to my sister's life. And to my new nephew John's life, for that matter.

A few days later, they invited me to be his godfather. I accepted with delight.

Happy 40th birthday, John!



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