Monday, January 27, 2003

Surprise! I was a relatively good boy Super Bowl Sunday. Sure, I ate my fair share of chicken wings, those little mini hot dogs in barbecue sauce, potato chips and pie, and paid the price for it this morning, but it was all in moderation. I had a small plateful at the start of the game and another at halftime. I drank two 7ups, one each half.

My parents, Esther and I went to Leo and Vicky Dombrowski's house for the game. Vicky's my cousin on the Locascio side. We used to always watch the big game at their place, but its been years since I've attended. They have seriously upgraded their entertainment system. The screen covers an entire wall in the basement, with surround sound stereo. The players stood larger than life. I noticed the liver spots on John Madden's hands and how freckled the faces of Jon Gruden and Brad Johnson are. Vicky's son, Jerry, who set up the sound system, said he was disappointed he didn't buy the sports package for his digital satellite system. The pixels really wigged him out. I didn't notice until he pointed them to me.

We watched the game with Father John, a priest and friend of Leo's. Vicky is the organist at St. Bridget's Catholic Church. Her house is all decked out in cherubims, gold-colored grape vines, pillared shelves, and framed paintings of the Virgin Mary. Very Catholic. Leo used to be a priest. He's older than Uncle John. The love between priest and organist was once a family scandal. But Leo's a great guy and they are a lovely couple with two beautiful children. Vicky must be a special woman for a man to renounce his calling to be with her.

Uncle John and Aunt Joan Locascio were also at the game. Joan's still got that cynical sense of humor that cracks me up. The Dombrowski's fox terrier Poco begged for scraps, standing all bug-eyed on two legs. She adored me. Luckily, the short-haired pooch did not set me off on a sneezing fit. When the game got boring Father John told a story about getting robbed when he travelled to Italy. Dad said whoever robbed him could never buy his way out of hell. Typical Dad humor. I love it.

Once again, I had this morbid sense of prescience at a family gathering. Uncle John is 70, Joan's in her late 60s. Leo's in his 70s. Dad just turned 67 and Mom will be 64 in March. No one's getting younger. "Little" Jerry's in his junior year at Elmhurst College. Good news for my genes, my older relatives all get around pretty good and are of sound mind and body. But in 10 years... maybe 5... Cherish these moments. Tempus fugit. Who'da thunk the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers would win the Super Bowl?

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