The Bear Lackett Chronicles – Intro
Glory days well they’ll pass you by
It was 11:15 Friday evening, June 15th I just sat down and finger swiped the iPad to look at my inbox. I was returning from DC after watching the Nats lose to the Yankees 7-2 thanks in part to Ryan Zimmerman trying too hard in the 7th inning. He should have stayed at 3rd and let Desmond toss Jeter’s bounding grounder to him – but that would all be soon forgotten.
There it was an email from Peaches. FW: Passing of Steve Lackett.
In short order Peaches announced to select brothers that Brother Steve “Bear” Lackett has gone onto the Bond Eternal of the Sphinx. His email of 8:44PM was a notice and call to rise up for a Monday wake in Wall NJ. It set me back in a shock – I announced it to Denise who immediately said – “how could that be.” That part of this chronicle I will save for another day.
However, it was the note from Schafno that Peaches forwarded that took a hold of me and set me on this path. Schafno wrote an email at 2:17 PM, basically an obituary that would eventually be sent on to National Headquarters in Indianapolis. Bear died suddenly on the morning of June 14, 2012.
There buried within Schafno’s email was the “confirmation”. It was something that I never really put together for about 40 years. I knew of Bear’s connection, talked about it to my friends, heck I even live near one of the current band members. But now through Schanfo’s note Bear’s legacy grows among all DSP brotherhood.
In Schafno’s obit words “ As his high school’s baseball team’s pitcher, although he denied it, many believed Bear to be the subject of the 1st verse of Springsteen’s “Glory Days”.
I had a friend was a big baseball player back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
But all he kept talking about ….
Bear was from Freehold, NJ and to my recollection one year behind Bruce Springsteen. Bear had a high school rock band – he played the drums and, as was the times, there were other bands in high school – Bruce was a member of a rival band at Freehold Borough.
Bear and I roomed together twice. The first time was in my sophomore year at Maryland in the frat house and then once again at his apartment in Greenbelt after I graduated.
I thought Bear was the catcher on his high school team. This erroneous insight created my total state of disassociation. It also goes a long way to explain to me why I always ended up in last place in fantasy baseball leagues because I lose track of position players and pitchers.
But it was Springsteen’s last two lines in the first verse that’s now sealed the deal for me, it fits Bear to a tee. He’d sit down; have a few drinks, wanting to talk about the old times.
So, it’s been a long weekend of remembering. While sitting on the back deck Saturday evening with Denise I pulled out the old wedding album. Yes, Bear Lackett was there dressed in a white tux – one of two ushers at our wedding. We played my entire collection of Springsteen songs for the neighborhood to hear late into that night as we explained life and times in the 1970’s to my daughter Meredith.
Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye
I did not release this photo or any wedding photos for that matter to MCM for fear that they could go viral and that my wife might brain me with a spatula or frying pan – and then I too could suddenly join Bear in the bond eternal. However, I have posted it here on my own blog site for those to see, I know no one reads this blog – so I am totally safe. It will be here that I write the Bear Lackett Chronicles and from time to time, post excerpts to MCM. By the way, Steve is second from the right in the group photo, tall, handsome and big – unlike the groom.
Yes, my brothers from Baltimore County at Delta Sigma Phi may have been more on the ball than me. You see I was their MoCo connection and they all were from Bowie or Cockeysville, Timonium and other parts of who knows where in Baltimore County. Bear over the years after college made the drive south from his home in NJ to the Big “B” to visit the buds there. You will read all about that in the chronicle.
For now – you may be reading this blog as I drive north to Sea Grit, NJ on the shore. There Peaches, Schafno, Billy-O, Whitey, Utz, Bart and Steve’s brother Mike as well as others will get together, drink, cry and laugh – it may help me sleep better.
I promise this … any chronicle that I write – you can forget about the Big Chill, or a redux of a 70’s Animal House, or a dance with the GrooGrux King, yeah it will be ….
,just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister
but boring stories of glory days
Glory Days, glory days.
Rest in peace brother Bear. Y.I.T.B.O.S.
June 17, 2012