Traditions

Today we took a trip to my alma mater: Susquehanna University. The reason for the trip was not a happy one, we went to celebrate the life of G. Edward Schweikert III, swim coach, professor, and a good man. He was also the father of one of my friends, Gedd IV. I was already sad as we got in the car, but then I also had a "moment" as we drove towards the highway. This would be my daughter's first trip to SU (outside of the womb). I had been going to the University since I was a wee one, as my father also attended the school. This would be the third generation beginning her trips to Susquehanna. My father was there today as well, helping to celebrate Ged's life.



We went up early, and took a few pictures as we strolled around campus. It was a beautiful day. Pictures I could not take but will never leave my mind were the many people that filled the concert hall, the slide show of Ged's life, I cannot share the bagpiper - his haunting music bringing all to tears. The words that were spoken made us laugh and cry - Ged was a man who loved to laugh...I am sure he was happy looking down and sharing those moments. He was SU's only swim coach. He started the team in the 70s, after having been an all-American swimmer himself at his college. I was to have been a swimmer at SU, but before the try-outs for the team, I tried out for the University's musical. Because I was cast, I could not do both...and the rest was history. Ged never let me live it down either. His son was my saving grace my freshman year - my roommate drove me from my dorm and Gedd and his roommate let me hide out in their room quite a bit. All of these memories came crashing back as I sat in that hall today.


Susquehanna is nostalgic for me for every year of my life - mostly my own college years - but it really has been there for all (almost) 34 years. And now we start new traditions of taking Peanut up. We showed her "my" tree, we took her for Bongo-bongo dip (really, you have NO idea), and she met some wonderful people who were mourning a great man. Hopefully the next trip will be a less emotional occassion, but given what SU has meant to and for me over the years, I cannot think of a better introduction.

May Coach rest in peace. We will miss him, SU will miss him - but he will always be present there.


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