Keith Luhmann’s One Steining Moment: Homecoming 2013

In a year missing two of the cornerstone Stein Fillers, Messrs MacLeod and Jenkins (but thankfully including a lesser yet still more flexible cardboard version of the former), there was a plethora of new faces and a different feel to this year’s event. Call it a “kinder, gentler Homecoming,” devoid of much of the  boisterousness and hoopla that marked our early years of Homecoming; yet still wonderful in a more “mellow” way. Family, friends, and children of friends enjoyed a beautiful morning of tailgating and, yes, we still snuck a few sips of Miller during halftime just to be feel daring, but this year I found myself more interested in sneaking in a nap and visiting my infant nephew than getting blasted off Bailey’s Irish Cream in the hotel room to pre-game for bowling. Call it maturity setting in, I suppose, or maybe I’m just getting smart enough in my mid 30s to avoid driving eight hours back to home in New Jersey while nursing a hangover? Either way, I still had a fantastic time catching up with my family and cherished friends made through the University of Maine and look forward to next year and whatever Homecoming 2014 brings… 

Though I do hate to be redundant, my One Shining Moment echoes some of the reminiscences mentioned by my esteemed colleague Matty G. With all the changes in faces and venues, the evening still found a core group of Steinsmen managing to enjoyed “a few buds” and watching the Red Sox in the post season. For a New England ex-pat like myself, it’s always exciting to watch my team surrounded by like-minded fans rather than a sea of Yankee hats (my low point was at a bar called Three A’s in Hoboken in 2003 for the Grady Little Affair…brutal) and this year the timing was right to watch the Sox clinch the ALCS. I thank the Ghost of Johnny Pesky that they came through with the help of a heroic blast by the “Flyin’ Hawaiian,” Shane Victorino. At the crack of the bat, the entire clientele of the Hilton Garden Inn’s Great American Grill were on their feet in anticipation until we watched the ball clear the Green Monster and the Sox finally broke out of the hitting malaise a tough Tiger’s rotation had cruelly inflicted upon them. Cheering along with my fellow Fillers and local Sox lovers was for me enough reason to make the trip. It brought back fond memories of watching Game 1 of the 2004 Fall Classic at the Hermon Sports Arena with Manny’s blunders, Ortiz’s home run, Mark Bellhorn, Kelly Clarkson in her prime, etc, all leading to a win and the eventual reverse of the Curse…the more things change, the more they stay the same…

October to me is Homecoming and Post Season Baseball so when I get a chance to have both, that’s One Shining Moment. 

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