Guest Post: Just Another JMU Tale
2003Duke won last week’s prediction contest and earned the right to guest post. Here’s his story about Just Another
Bronx JMU Tale. It’s a good one. I have no idea what to write, so I’ll go off the cuff and talk about JMU, good friends, and my love of the Dukes.
I left New York in the summer of 1998 and made my way down to Harrisonburg for my freshman year. As my parents got ready to leave me behind that August day, my father gave me awful advice, and then made a point to scream about how many rooms in my boyhood home he was going to defile my mother now that I was out of the house. The guy standing there next to me seemed sympathetic, and offered me a drink. Funny thing about that guy, it turned out he lived in the room next to me. 18 years later, I was his best man, he’s my daughter’s Godfather, and the closest thing I’ve ever had to a brother. JMU gave me that.
That buddy and I made some new friends… the referee in our intramural football game, some meatheads in the gym, Southview neighbors, and a few other unsavory characters. We had some good times… probably too good… and now these guys are partners in firms, Marines, Federal Agents, lawyers, teachers, financial planners, etc… It’s amazing. I can’t imagine I would’ve met a greater group of guys anywhere other than JMU.
We graduated and went our separate ways in 2002 (some of us 2003), but most of us ended up in the NOVA/DC area, so the good times continued. Sometime in 2005, I realized how lucky I was to have had the JMU experience. I had just landed in Iraq for the first time, and wasn’t sure what to expect. I hopped off my helo in the middle of the night, grabbed my gear, and looked up to see this tall guy staring at me. I couldn’t see his face because he had on a helmet with nods and was wearing a mask. He came over and gave me a hug. It was my first time in Iraq, so what did I know? Maybe this is what you did when you got to war, so I gave him a little hug. He flipped up his nods, and there stood a buddy that I had met freshman year in Eagle, but hadn’t seen in a little while. Have I mentioned what an outstanding group of guys I ran with at JMU?
It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since that day we watched my dad thrust his hips wildly and describe what God willing never happened. The best part of life is coming home every night to my two future Dukes, and letting them hang out with all of their JMU “uncles” and their kids on weekends. Here’s hoping one day my little ones will know the joy of an administration that sees the value in a jump up to the FBS.
The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever. But you can ask anybody from my neighborhood, and they’ll just tell you this is just another Bronx JMU tale.