Day 441, September 9, 2021


When I was a child, the Korean Catholic Church in Massachusetts had two congregations, one in Springfield and one in Brookline. So, basically, every Catholic Korean east of Worcester came to the church in Brookline, and it seemed more Sundays than not, mass was followed by a party at one of the Lee’s houses, or Helen and Ann’s house, or our house. But I loved going to the Charles’ house, because he had a whole basement to himself, a cozy nook of a room where he introduced me to Denon stereo components, metal cassette tapes, The Police, and I remember watching snippets of Xanadu on his basement television. He also had one of the first Olivetti all-in-one computers, if I remember correctly. A kind of predecessor to the laptop.

Charles was a little older than me, so he was preternaturally cool, and yet, for a period of time we hung out together. We would eat tacos in their kitchen, daring each other with increasing layers of hot sauce. We once went to see a movie together, The Final Countdown, and when his mom was late in picking us up… and the opportunity arose, we slipped back into the theater to watch it a second time. And then when we emerged, and of course his mother was nowhere to be found, we slipped back in and watched it a third time. That was the freedom children had before the age of cellphones.

Last weekend, at my mom’s birthday party, Charles’ mom and dad were at the party and I discovered, they met my parents at their naturalization ceremony in 1973 when they all became citizens. They met and realized they were all Korean and struck up a friendship that has stretched 47 years!

I wonder who in my life will have that kind of longevity when I am their age. It is a thing to aspire to.

Take care and be well,



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