Saturday morning was the dedication of a plaque honoringÂ Colonel Engle C. May. Coach Bisso described parts of his life that few of us knew. Not only were there stories of some of his ways of administering “punishment” as the Commandant, each of us conjured-up our own memories of times standing before him to answer for breaking the rules. He was indeed tough but earned all of our respect for being fair. The plaque is a tribute to a man who help shape our lives and becomes more appreciated long after we have left Riverside.
On Friday afternoon, as we all arrived at different times, we met at the Holiday Inn in Gainsville to start the 2011 homecoming weekend. We sat around drinking a few cold ones and swapping stories from our years at Riverside. We were hosted by Steve and Brian McCabe. Also joining the story telling was , Roger Palmari, Fritz Wolchick, Dynamite Lee, Victor Carew, Joe and Patty Moceri and Shaun Harrell. We were waiting on a few late afternoon arrivals and grumbling about some of the guys that were not going to make it. We all agreed we need to make this gathering an annual event.
The afternoon rap session was followed with dinner at the Holiday Inn after the arrival of Ward Phillips. After years in England, Ward has returned to the Atlanta area. The stories and harassment continued though dinner. Harassment tends to increase proportionally with time spent together and the amount of libation consumed. As we approached the end of dinner it was as though our relationships never changed from 39-years ago. Good friends are hard to come by, making it really rewarding to have friendships that have lasted this long. After dinner we went to the back porch and continued talking and drinking. We were glad to see Bud Oakley join us … bring his keen whit! Always ready to drop some political bomb and stand on the sideline and watch the fireworks. The evening lasted pretty late, well as best as we could recall the next day.