Brooke Shields- Calvin Klein jeans, Cobleskill State College, Connie Carpenter-Phinney, Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant, Jean Kneel, Misty Kleen, Old Dog New Trick, Patricia Tierney Kenel, The goddess, Turmeric, UMCP, Wheaton Plaza
For thirty-six-plus years I have told the tale of Durga ignoring the pearls of wisdom that dripped from my tongue like honey until she was presented the same information by an expert whose presentation made her change her disbelief to wholehearted acceptance. Alas, I now find said shoe squeezing my toes in a most unpleasant manner.
I met Pat, the woman who later became my wife, in June of 1980. Her arrival was heralded while my reputation preceded me. At time of meeting we were both nineteen-years-old, I had successfully completed my freshman year at UMCP while Pat, who had not yet won any of her nomes de plume, had just graduated with an associate degree in restaurant management from SUNY Cobleskill in New York.
Pat’s arrival was heralded because my Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant was the training center for our district’s new management hires and we were told our next trainee would be a woman. PJT, she was a Tierney a’fore she became a Kenel/ Kleen/ Kneel, left her Brewster domicile in the Empire State and made her way south-by-southwest 300 miles to her new abode near Wheaton Plaza. It was her first day of work when she was asked, “Did you hear that Keith got hit by a car?!”
I had just begun cycling weeks earlier and being struck from behind at a red light was not an occasion to which I aspired. As fate had it, MS Tierney was elbow deep in work at her first Farrell’s shift as I went tumbling end over end on a wayward Beetle of the Volkswagen genus. Pat had no idea who I was but if you want to be indelibly inscribed in someone’s memory a great way to do so is to make a big splatter- er, splash!
My injuries were relatively minor and completely non life threatening. Below is a link to a more detailed examination of that fateful June night:
I had grown from tot to teen with zero interest in playing field or court while Pat had been reared a life-long devotee of all things sport. Despite this disparity it was I who embraced cycling and bicycles. I went from couch spud to commuting stud and along the interviewing years I studied bikes in a passionate pursuit of how they work, how they should be maintained and how we engines can be best utilized. I even bought first one and then multi pairs of weasel-squeezer bike-shorts, the kind that are worn in the same manner as swim suits, i.e. next to the skin or sans skivvies. Pat was having none of that.
Pat was having none of that until one day circa 1984 I tossed her a copy of Bicycling Magazine that featured an interview with cycling great Connie Carpenter-Phinney concerning does and don’ts for neophyte bikers in which MS Phinney reiterated what I’d been iterating. Boom! Flash-bulb! All of a sudden Pat’s taking Brooke Shields’ advice and allowing nothing to get between her and her Calvin’s, er, bike shorts.
For three decades I have ripped her royal nibs about this but today I feast on crow. Why? Because during my annual checkup I asked my doctor about joint pain and the first thing Doc Cziraky suggests to me is that I try turmeric, a supplement Durga, Misty, Jean, Pat has been urging me to try for nearly ten years.
I put some in my oatmeal. Tastes better than crow.
(Some old dogs can learn new tricks, it just might take a while.)