In Praise of Andy Hess


My biggest personal regret as a Kenyon graduate was failing to show up in Gambier, Ohio for our 20th reunion in Year 2000, even though I was actually in the USA around then (albeit just a week too early) - all because of work-related obligations ... Sigh!

Back then, Andy had emailed me to say he had planned to be our 20th reunion and he had even asked me whether I could show up as well ... I said I would try my best but I never made it back for our 20th reunion.

Boy, with the clarity of in hindsight, do I now feel really lousy ... It's too late, I guess, for me to cry over split milk (for not seeing Andy again before he passed on) ...

But shed a tear (or several) I will for the ever congenial (and ever cheeky) Andy, a chessmaster extraordinaire and the occasional buttock pincher (mostly in jest, I guess) of many a fair maiden at the Village Inn. (Ask someone with "N" in her name ...)

It was from the Village Inn where Andy would also deliver pizza and other midnight snacks, several nights a week, to others at Kenyon ... and from where, at the end of each working nite, Andy would call back to our room to ask me what kind of a "pizza mistake" (free pizza) I would like him to make for me! Most times, it was pepperoni and mushroom ... with extra cheese, s'il vous plait.

I also remember hangin' out with Andy and a few others at the graveyard next to Ross Hall in one late evening in the Fall of 1979, at the start of our senior year. We were all lying on the ground, chatting idealistically, while watching shooting stars strut their shine ...

For your info, I last met Andy the book editor in Chicago, after attending our 10th reunion in 1990! Just prior to our 20th reunion, Andy was last known to be hiding out somewhere in California ...

"Stayin' alive" ... This musical tune has never been more meaningful to me since Saturday Night Fever in the summer of 1978 ... Andy, you will live on in me and the many others who have known you while we were fellow sojourners at Kenyon!


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