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Mike Tasos: Looking back on old memories takes my mind off today
Mike Tasos

We are a “dog-less” household. And there are times when it is downright spooky.

I walk in the house and expect to see Chester, the world’s best English Cream Retriever who has long since traipsed across the Rainbow Bridge, waiting around for any morsels that might be sent his way. He was indiscriminate in his fondness for all things culinary, but had an affinity for pizza bones (crusts).

My sister-in-law loves Corgis and Greg wants one — eventually. They are awfully cute but we are trying to get the house repaired after a busted pipe wreaked havoc on the main level and basement. Procuring a contractor has proven to be a challenge of epic proportions, but I need to have reasonable expectations.

Moving forward at a snail’s pace is still progress. At least that’s how I’m going to have to look at this, realizing the project will be done correctly and not be completed yesterday.

I’ve been thinking of new pets to share in our newly remodeled digs.

I received a video of baby elephants in the wild frolicking, making life difficult for their minders. It’s probably a lot like the experiences elementary school teachers are having, trying to keep their classroom cool while temperatures swelter.

The Braves had a rare two-day break this past week, so my mind wandered of the feasibility of having a pet baby elephant. I thought I might not mind having one, reasoning it might drive ol’ Zack at the property management company bonkers.

But a baby Dumbo would present some inherent problems.

I can’t imagine what the going rate would be for an elephant sitter. I imagine that’s a specialized skill set.

I have no friends with local agriculture leanings, thereby necessitating an investment in a peanut farm. And elephants don’t work for (or eat) just peanuts.

The household budget would take a major hint at having to buy hay.

We keep hearing “trust the science.”

It’s logical that all that food going in translates to massive backyard mounds.

This is sounding like a really bad idea.

Besides, who wants the neighbors saying: “Your place is a real circus.”

For now, our pets will be the deer families that show up and eat grain and apples. They look for Vicki, content to show off their babies and “snuffle” at her as a means of greeting.

All this pet talk has allowed me to relate to a most-welcomed email I received last weekend.

It was from a grammar-school classmate whose Google-fueled browsing habits led him to this website.

Apparently, a mention of Bakersfield spurred him to query if we had been classmates at St. Lawrence School.

Indeed. We were both (not-so) distinguished graduates from the class of 1969.

Jeoff is a highly decorated attorney from Orange County in California, appearing on “Oprah” and playing a role in an Ann Rule book. He was a gifted quarterback in college and passed those traits to his son. Both are flinging it for separate Division 1 programs.

One son was recruited by ex-Georgia coach Mark Richt and played there until Richt departed.

Of course, the conversation gravitated towards the staple items of old-guy conversation: “Whatever Happened To?” and “Remember When We...?” 

We giggled about a classmate who had greeted Jeoff after a game. Richard was a guy I hadn’t thought of for nearly a half-century.

We remembered Rich having a special affinity for a playground dog that adopted Rich as his de facto owner.

“What was the dog’s name?” Jeoff wondered. “I think it was Rex. I remember it was cock-eyed.”

“Rex sounds about right,” I offered. “That dog could look right at you and follow a fly buzzing around its head at the same time.”

I guess Rex was our class dog, waiting patiently outside the classroom until the recess bell rang. In retrospect, it is touching to reflect on Rich and Rex playing with one another.

Rich and Rex provided some memories that would have remained locked away in my 66-year-old brain locker.

With all the nastiness occurring half a world away. The phone call provided a respite from watching our country become a laughing stock each day.

Thanks Jeff.

Mike Tasos’ column appears every other weekend. He is on Facebook and can be emailed at