Thursday, January 19, 2006
Tonight I spent some time with a kindred spirit. A brother in the Drakes. John Vakidis and I have never met in person and I didn’t even know the kid existed until last week when he left a message asking if it would be possible to connect while he was in California. We met up in Newport Beach where he was staying with his girlfriend at her mom’s townhouse. Us three went to Balboa Island, then walked around the otherwise dead Newport Beach peninsula. We landed up at a restaurant for appetizers and one beer, me being the consumer. Turns out John isn’t quite yet 21. We talked about parties and pledgeship and binge drinking and drug use and the various fraternity celebrities that seem to cross time and space. We discussed the state of Greek life at Austin College and how much things have changed and how the same old Student Life staff are employing the same old tactics. Our conversation took me to a place that breathes discreet somewhere in my mind. An exciting little place that is stimulated when I hear words like party house, mug fest, or noise violation. Getting to know this young man, this new duplication of a Drake, was a bit awkward; like meeting a distant little cousin from Michigan at the family reunion or something. What it did remind me is that the bonds do not end and the legacy lives on. The fire still burns, the pulse still beats, and somewhere, a guy is passed out on the toilet wearing a green shirt with five gold letters on the front.