The Sins of my youth explained, or at least, excused
or are coincidences simply God's puns?
I think it only fair that my dear readers be advised concerning what a complete cad and libertine I was in my misspent youth.
On the other hand, misspent may be the only profitable way to fritter away this unchained time.
These critical thoughts rose up this week almost like an unwanted pustule as I read my Alumni bulletin from Culver Military Academy on right.
Most of my friends (both of them) know of this ill-considered and asinine move born out of my youthful enthusiasm for armed combat. After all, I was ensconced quite comfortably in the ivied halls of Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut in the 1940s. But World War II was raging, and I convinced my parents that I should transfer to a military academy where I could earn a commission and thus fight the naughty Nazis as an officer, if not a gentleman.
Loving fools that they were, they allowed me to choose my new prep school, and I picked Culver on the dull plains of Indiana, a state I have avoided like the plague ever since.
All this may seem quite harmless until I tell you two facts;
One such who graduated a year ahead of me was George "Damned Yankees" Steinbrenner. And yes, George was as a big a snob and lout as a teenager as he became in adult life. Even worse, he was in The Black Horse Troop whilst I was a mere infantryman.
Be careful what you wish for
Be patient, dear reader, I'm almost at the worse part.
You see, I hated that school with a passion, and believe that Culver made me the man I became. I have been rebelling against its discipline and regimen ever since, and it surely explains why I became a Beat Poet and a voluptuary shortly after graduating.
The (rather good) wages of sin
Luckily these same characteristics helped me become a successful newspaperman, and I have always been secretly proud of the fact that I survived four years at Culver until the latest alumni bulletin arrived this week.
It contained an article in the magazine Elite calling the school a meritocracy but also extolling its most famous alumni.
I was not on that short list.
But Osterville's Bill Koch was.
That's Cape Cod's Bill Koch in the middle photo at right above the author. He is an America's Cup winner, billionaire oilman, wine and art collector in the extreme, and also the major underwriter of my personal bête noire the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
What an ironic juxtaposition that Bill Koch. our Nantucket Sound wind farm's greatest financial detractor, should have shared the same education as myself, the wind farm's most clamorous promoter.
But what an unholy trio of "Culver men" we represent - Steinbrenner, Koch and Brooks. It does make one remember the adge, "Coincidences are God's puns."