Monday, February 12, 2018

My connection to Johnny Weir - & the Olympics

Now what do we do?

I'm usually a big Olympics buff, but I'm having trouble getting into it this year.

Call it a Super Bowl hangover. We're all still walking on air following the Eagles astounding Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

I'll probably settle into the Olympics this week.

Part of the reason is my wife. She has banned me from watching the ice skating. It's too nerve-racking for her, fearing the skaters will end up on their back side during one of their daring jumps.

She thinks I kind of wait for the spills. She might be right.

But there is another reason I look forward to the skating.

It gives me a chance to check in with an old friend.

Well, sort of.

I love Johnny Weir.

But not for the reason you might think.

Johnny teams with Tara Lipinski to form one of the best breaths of fresh air to come along in sports announcing in a long time. Both are former champion skaters. Both do not hold back when it comes to being critical of poor performance. And neither is a cheerleader for the USA.

None of which forms the reason for my joy every time I see Johnny's face.

That's because when I look at Johnny, I see his mom. He's a dead ringer for the girl I used to know as Patti Moore.

That's right, I have a connection with Johnny.

And that connection is none other than good old Oxford, Pa.

That's where his mom and dad grew up.

Me, too.

We went to school together.

The then Patti Moore and John Weir were a year or two behind me.

Actually, Patti and I knew each other long before I finally made it to Oxford High. Remember, I didn't attend public school until the day I walked into Oxford High. For eight years I got on a bus and traveled 10 miles down old Route 1 to Assumption BVM School in West Grove.

But Patti's family and mine knew each other from church. Hell, we sat just a few pews away every Sunday at the old Sacred Heart Church.

The truth is I still knew most of the kids in town because I worked most days after school at my parents' store, just a block down the street from the high school.

The Moore's lived just a few blocks away.

I played football with Patti's brother Mark. And her future husband, John. That's right. Johnny Weir's dad was a football player, and a damn good lineman at that.

Every time I see Johnny on TV, it's like a trip home - and to my childhood all those long years ago in Oxford.

Oddly enough, I drove through town this weekend on my way to visit my kids in Washington, D.C. I always like to go through town on my way to pick up I-95.

I always make a visit to the cemetery, and drive down Wheeler Boulevard past our old house. And finally I drive by the corner where Heron's was down the street from the high school.

I think back fondly of those days. Life was a lot simpler back then.

As always, thanks for the memories, Johnny!

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