How much without the sundries? That is a line from an episode of the Odd Couple TV show starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. My best friend and friend of over 50 years, Dr. Zal, and I find that line to be hysterical. If I have to explain why it will “lose something in translation.”
On this day 45 years ago, which was also a Sunday, Dr. Zal (not his real last name but he really is a Ph.D. in a science discipline), his father—the legendary Boomee—and I attended the last game of the Baltimore Colts season. The Colts, who were in the middle of a dismal three-season stretch, were coming off a huge upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins (which we also attended); the Dolphins would repeat as champions that season. This last game was against divisional rival New England.
Between Boomee and Dr. Zal, a male member of the family attended 99% of all Baltimore Colts games between 1947, the first year Baltimore had a pro football team (in the All American Football Conference or AAFC), and 1983, the last season before the team sneaked out of town.
The main storyline of the day was snow. (The Colts won 18-13 finishing their season at 4-10.) Dr. Zal and I loved snow even more than most school-age kids. We would draw weather maps with features that would mean snow for our region, enough snow to close school. I don’t remember exactly when the snow began during the game, but by the end of the game around 5 PM (Baltimore Colts’ games started at 2 PM because of some antiquated blue law; the Colts were the only team whose home games started at that time) the snow was coming down heavily. Dr. Zal and I began to realize that Monday might be a day with no school.
At about 10 PM that evening we began a phone conversation, which consisted of talking about football and snow. Dr. Zal lived in an apartment, but I lived in a small row house that had a back porch. Every 30-45 minutes I would go on the porch with a ruler to take a snow measurement. I wish I could remember the snow rate or the accumulation, but I do remember that we did not end the conversation until 3 AM! Yes, five hours talking about football and snow. I spend so much of my time pining for my youth…
Schools were closed Monday and Tuesday, the first time I could remember a multi-day closure due to weather. My mother would not let me attend school on Wednesday as she was afraid of the conditions. If one were to look in the dictionary under the phrase “Jewish Mother” my mother’s picture would be next to the definition. I went to school Thursday and Friday and then we were off for eight school days due to the winter break.
A toast to Dr. Zal and Boomee and that incredibly fun day/night 45 years ago.
Boomee loved the Pontiac Bonneville. I cannot remember his owning any other car.
From 2040-cars.com a picture of a 1973 Pontiac Bonneville sedan. The Bonneville was a model with a long history, built by Pontiac primarily as a full-sized car between 1957 and 2005. This generation of Bonneville was a big car: 123-inch wheelbase, 226 inches in length and about 80 inches wide.