For various reasons, I planned to see all but one of my college roommates in a space of seven days. The first was Minna Gwyn in our home, and the next was Bonnie in her home in Nashville. I’m kicking myself for not getting the obligatory photo of Bonnie, but just imagine a most gracious Southern lady with a marvelous sense of fun. That would be your best image of her. She is one you feel instantly at ease with. If she knows you, and you’re still alive, she will say only good things about you. Let’s cut to the dirt. Bonnie had read that John told a funny story to Minna about a very poor music history teacher. She wanted to know, was that Mr. S.? It was. Bonnie probably ran into him more often than the rest of us, so that’s where we began our visit. I had Googled his name and found that he was ten years older than John and that he died at age 57, survived only by his mother. We don’t remember how long he stayed at our college, but mercifully it wasn’t long. Bonnie’s word for him was incompetent. That’s the most vicious word she would say against him.
We caught up on pleasant news of others, during which I discovered my serious conversational flaw. I let things drop, lacking a clincher sentence. I began telling about a fellow from my home town, but I never made the final statement that he ended up performing with someone we all admired at college. It was like telling a joke without the punch line. I never could tell a joke, and now it has spread to general conversation. If that isn’t cured now, it will only get worse. Any suggestions? Duct tape is the first option.