Hats Off

Among the nicest blessings life can bestow is a good family and a rich circle of friends. I’ve scored high on both counts. Over the past number of years I’ve developed some strong friendships with members of that over examined age cohort,  Millennials.  When I think about them as being half my age I realize that in most cases I’m prematurely aging them. We have completely different historical touchstones, tastes in music, and cultural contexts.  Once I caught myself tearing up just a bit when I was asked where I was when I heard about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Then I realized the blank stares that I saw came from people for whom Kennedy is simply a distant and not so significant historical figure.

But advanced generational membership does have some benefits. I’m gratified by the phone calls I get from time to time from friends or friends of friends that usually begin along the lines of; “Do you have time to talk? I think I might have done something stupid and I’m wondering if you can help.” These are often issues that they don’t want to discuss with their parents. And they aren’t limited to legal concerns. I like to think I’ve become something like a de facto cool uncle.

It’d be malpractice for me to offer much in the way of advice in the area of criminal law. I haven’t thought much about Crim Law since the bar exam which I took around the time a lot of these friends were born.

But my attorney credential was helpful last year when I barged into a suburban lock up and demand to see “my client” following a frantic call about a friend who was cuffed and hauled away after a colossal miscommunication with police officers who came to the social service agency where he worked. He is black and the Officers were white. My friends in law enforcement (some of whom I represent) will know I mean no disrespect. But the book gets followed a bit more closely when there is a lawyer looking over everyone’s shoulder. He was released that afternoon and no charges filed.

But I have to be vigilant about not sounding like some old coot from time to time.

MariosA group of us had dinner at Mario’s restaurant in midtown Saturday night. This is a venerable Italian place with white table cloths, waiters wearing tuxedos, and an antipasto, salad, soup and pasta course before you get your entree.  In my peripheral vision I could see a couple at an adjoining table. What was wrong with this picture? The (ah-hem) “gentleman” was wearing a baseball cap. I couldn’t not keep looking.  Was this his fault? Or management, who could have simply said “would you please remove your hat while dining with us?” Or was it me because I had an anachronistic notion that gentlemen don’t wear hats indoors in classy establishments. And all of that said, why did it bother me so much?

The steak I ordered turned out to be flavorless and tough. I’m not sure my friends got it when I said “too bad this place has turned into a truck stop.” Sounds like something an old coot would say.

This from Sunday’s New York Times. Should we think about replenishing our body’s microbes with an autologous fecal transplant rather than rely on failing antibiotics? I’m going to need a new (and separate) freezer.

The week end weather was glorious.  Two bike rides through the woods; one through the wooded path in Palmer Park and another in adjoining Sherwood Forest.

A happy Monday to you all and my wishes for a great week.


2 thoughts on “Hats Off

  1. I would certainly enjoy a bike ride through the woods with the cool uncle, after having my autologous fecal transplant done, and before a nice steak dinner at the truck stop. It all just sounds like the perfect post-modern family weekend experience

  2. I’m not comfortable with the feeling of having a personal niche in time, but am reminded of the fact whenever birthdays noted in the daily paper are for people I’ve never heard of.

    Thanks for a nice read, Michael. Wish you’d do it more often.

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