Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stockon 2007 Fall Commencement weekend!

As the years progress, and time marches on, Stockton continues to evolve into a reputable, heavily populated college. This fact was never more evident than was case this past weekend when I went down there for Jack Horowitz’s graduation ceremony.

Originally I had planed to drive down to P-town on Friday night immediately following my day of work at Citistreet in Somerset. However, I did not get out of work until 7pm, so I decided to go home and rest up for the evening. Besides, I forgot to bring extra clothes and essentials with me for the weekend, so I decided to drive down on Saturday. I left D-town on Saturday around 1pm.

Apparently Crazy Mike Milek was going to be in the area as well, as intended to go to the Egg Harbor Township police department to pick up an application. One problem, though. On the letter that was mailed to him from the police department, a section of the letter clearly stated in bold print that he should not come down to pick up the application on Saturday. Applications are to be picked up on Monday to Friday. Having driven down to EHT and around for an hour and a half to come to that conclusion, he claims he felt retarded. In the end, it was all well worth it.

Eventually I had arrived in P-town, which is Exit 44 off the Garden State Parkway. It has been. It still is. In all likelihood, it always will be. B-Money had arrived at his old beloved stomping grounds. Upon my arrival, I met up with Mike in the parking lot by Big Blue and we walked around the campus and reminisced about the good old times that we had at that school when we were students.

I got sentimental at certain points of the visit, once again being reminded by the familiar buildings and areas of the campus that this institution was my home for four years and was a major factor in the progressive structure of my adult life.

Eventually, Jack met up with Mike and I at the campus and drove us to Hamilton Mall. We all had a bite to eat at the food court and then walked around in the stores for a bit. Jack was trying to find Spencers Gifts so he could spend the gift card that Mike had gotten for him the previous holiday season. LOL. He’s cutting it pretty close there, being that December 2007 is already more than half way complete.

Following our time at the Hamilton Mall, we headed over to Corner Tavern in Jack’s development to enjoy a pitcher of Yuengling and talk about life. This hot chick, Nicole, was bar tending there. I remembered her when she helped out Professor Daly in my Courses Majors and Careers class in Fall of 2003. Back at the time, she was a blonde and she was fuckin’ HOT! She’s a brunette now, and she is still hot, but she lost a little bit of weight. I think I liked her a little more when she had a little bit more meat on her, but she’s still really hot.

After polishing off the pitcher of Yuengling, Jack, Mike, and I decided to buy some alcohol in the liquor store section of Corner to bring back to Jack’s with us. Jack and I went half on a six pack of Guinness, which I haven’t had in a while. I also purchased a small bottle of Southern Comfort as well as a can of Sparks (which happens to be a malt liquor beverage that is really good – almost like the Mikes Hard drinks). Mike stayed for a little bit to watch Season Two of Robot Chicken with us, but didn’t drink much being that he had to drive back to Lavallette. Soon it was time for Mike to depart, so he left Jack’s apartment to drive home.

Jack and I stayed up for a while, enjoyed our beverages, and watched Transformers. Colleen texted me during the movie, saying that she had a fever and didn’t know if she’d be able to make it down for Jack’s graduation. That was as excusable of a reason as any not to come down, coupled with the fact that her area up in Blairstown was under a winter weather storm watch. For those two reasons, she had to withdraw from Jack’s ceremony. We definitely missed her.

On Sunday morning, I woke up and drove to Wawa to get breakfast while Jack showered and got ready for his big day. I ended up getting one of those Sizzling Pancake breakfast sandwiches with the sausage, egg, and cheese inside. Those breakfast sandwiches are absolutely amazing!!! I also got me a chocolate glazed donut and a bottle of orange. Following my breakfast, I was good to go for the day. I got dressed up, left Jack’s apartment, and headed over to Big Blue for the Winter 2007 Graduation Commencement ceremony.

As I stated earlier, the arena was packed with family members due to the fact that this was a record-breaking crowd of graduates. Jack graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Congratulations to Jack for graduating Cum Laude as well as with distinction. During the ceremony, I saw more graduates than I have ever seen at a ceremony before. According to Dean Saatkamp, this was the highest amount of graduates ever at commencement ceremony. The time came when Jack walked up to the announcement of his name from President Saatkamp to be declared a college graduate. Once again, I reiterate, it was in 2007 rather than 2010! LOL.

Immediately following the the ceremony, every one made their way over to I-wing for the reception. I had some cake and coffee and ran into a few old professors of mine. Donna Albano, Michael Scales, and the distinguished Professor Bill Daly are a few of the professors I ran into.

Jack asked me if I would care to join him with his family for dinner at Applebees to celebrate his graduation. I declined on the offer, due to the fact that that moment belonged to Jack and his family. I wanted them to spend some time together. Therefore, I quietly left the campus and went for a drive around P-Town, Galloway, Absecon, and some of the other surrounding towns.

It was good to be back at the place that I labeled my second home for so long this past weekend, but the time eventually came for me to leave and head back up North to D-town. After stopping for a Cinnamon Dolce Latte at Starbucks, I made my way to the Parkway.

Will I return to P-town/Stockton again in the future? Sure, it remains likely, but the exact time of my next return is uncertain. The place has become a location filled memories, ghosts, and history from my past that will live on for an eternity. Whenever I return, those memories will always surface to the forefront. That was my weekend down in South Jerz at good old Stockton.

Once again, congratulations Jack Horowitz!

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