Has been somewhat negative. People seem to think either it was sad or I was too hard on myself. No self-pity was intended, though perhaps one has to work in this business to realize what a dead end it can be. I just thought it was funny that the implied question whenever I run into an old schoolmate is, "Why aren't you doing better?" And in truth, I'm not doing too badly. I least I get to write for a living, and I get to interview some excellent musicians, which is something I couldn't say when I was working as a project manager for a mom and pop publishing subcontractor-type operation --- I don't even know what to call the place. (Sometime I'll explain statistical abstracting, another job that would make people's eyes glaze over when I tried to talk about it.)
The following is the e-mail I received from the police chief in Montgomery County, Pa., whom I mentioned in the column. The names have been deleted to protect the innocent:
I read your article in the Sun last night. I honestly don't remember making the MIT comment to Randy, but if he said it, it must be true. Either way, it was not meant as a slight, and if it was taken that way, I apologize. I actually have very fond memories of grade school, and even a few from [our old high school]. I'm pretty sure that you and I did a NASA presentation at [our grammar school] as a group project [this was the year after the first moon landing], but I know how you hate these trips down memory lane.
ps Some years ago, I crossed paths with D-----, another guy [from our high school]. Turns out he was an Abington police officer for many years and we never knew we were in the same profession.
Take care, Joe, and be sure to look for me at the Wawa.