I like to joke that I was raised by Dominicans, but gave my son up to the Jesuits. I had a great education; so did he. Attending high school at Loyola Academy he learned it is always a “Great Day to be a Rambler!” Going on to college at John Carroll in Cleveland, he had the opportunity to play Division III football there at Don Shula Stadium.
Little did we know that he would also get to briefly meet Shula in 2007 at Super Bowl XLI and play American Football in Switzerland only a few months later.
Theodore J. Wysocki III turned 28 this weekend. TJ has been a blessing to Lynne and me. This blog’s headline is from the Margaritaville T-shirt we gave him for a present.
TJ had an early international trip to Ireland and Scotland when he was almost 3 years old. He was very comfortable being abroad, even walking out of an Edinburgh hotel on his own as we said good bye to colleagues in the hotel’s pub.
A trip to Puerto Rico became a memorable “Mom Adventure” as TJ and Lynne took two buses and a jitney to find a museum outside of San Juan. TJ kept insisting the hotel would send a cab for the return trip, if Mom would only call.
TJ grew up at Wrigley Field. I have already apologized to him for buying season tickets to the wrong Chicago team since he would have been at three Stanley Cup finals by now. I did teach him not to buy that Cardinals’ Bud but to enjoy Old Style from God’s Country.
My favorite story occurred at a Cubs game when TJ was about five. The Cubs were actually winning in the 7th inning so Harry Carey did not end signing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” with his usual tag line. TJ turned to me and asked “Dad, why didn’t Harry finish the song?” You see TJ had been at so many Cubs losses (including last Sunday), he thought the last line of the lyrics was “Let’s Get Some Runs!”
I have shared my favorite music with TJ; so we’ve gone to see Bruce and Jimmy Buffett in concert. Our first concert together was Garth Brooks, when TJ was 11. He’s introduced me to the Red Sox favorite Drop Kick Murphy. He put Zac Brown on my iPod; TJ will be there when Zac performs again at Wrigley in September.
So for TJ’s birthday song, I’m going with this addition to the U2Cando playlist.
Happy Birthday TJ!
I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today. Life is good today.
ZAC BROWN BAND