Here’s a story from 45-ish years ago that has been filtered through two of the worst memory banks I know — mine and my dad’s. Between his first-hand recollection and my second-hand retelling, this may not be anywhere near what actually happened, but I’m going to tell it with conviction anyway, and I’m pretty sure that automatically makes it true.
My dad and Rick Saylor were roommates at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in the early- to mid-60s. Lived in Roger-Williams Hall, better known as “The Bill.” Incidentally, I’m somewhat familiar with The Bill in a very hazy sort of way, having stumbled through a few of its hallways, rooms and bathrooms on my way to being asked to leave Bates, and never return, roughly 20 years after my mom and dad both earned their diplomas there. Oh, how proud I made them. But I digress.
So it’s 1964 or 1965, and Rick’s senior thesis is due, well, tomorrow, and he’s not quite done. Actually, he’s got quite a bit left to do. Actually, he hasn’t started yet.
And then midnight rolls around, so Rick figures it’s about time to get moving. He coolly puts a blanket over a table so it’s pitch black underneath, crawls under with a typewriter and a lit candle, and gets to work typing. All night long, he types. Morning comes. He’s still typing. Morning rolls on. He finishes. He turns in his senior thesis. And …
… Well, like I said, I’m a little unclear about the details. I have no idea whether or not Rick got an A or a D or something in between, but it must have been OK, because he graduated on time. But you know what? Rick’s grade really isn’t the relevant point here. The point is that Rick was, is, and I would imagine forever will be, as the kids today would say, chill. He’s happy. He’s relaxed. He’s got the perfect attitude in a world that can feel like it’s closing in sometimes. He’s just not the kind of guy whose going to let some silly little senior thesis cause him a whole lot of stress.
(By the way, he’s also got an amazing, some have said perfect, wife, and two beautiful, wonderful daughters. And a sweet golden retriever named Sam.)
At the end of the day, he’s just plain chill.
And tonight on the way from Connecticut to New London, he stopped off in Epsom, where he rebounded and oversaw the making of 1,500 foul shots in just a hair under two hours. It happened just as efficiently as I might have expected it would. One bounce out of the hoop to Rick, and one casual bounce pass back to me. No wasted movement, no wasted energy.
It was cool.
Rick is cool.
That’s 122,507 down, 877,493 to go to 1 million made foul shots.