Is there a better combination? Old college friends, rowing and Venice. The old Princeton crew got together for this year’s Voga Longa, a 35km row around the Venetian lagoon with a final sprint up the Grand Canal. Some of us had not seen each other in decades. Most of us had not rowed together since 1981. But the old swing returned as soon as our coxswain’s gruff, authoritarian bark broke the 35 year silence. Huh, only now do I realize we rowed one kilometer for every year since graduation. The day was more beautiful than you can imagine, with 2000 small boats all waiting at San Marco for the cannon shot that would initiate a Lepanto-like chaos. Half-way, at Burano, we stopped to let Koontz out and Goldstein in. Then back to the galleys under the burning sun, finishing in 2’40”. Not bad for a bunch of aging cats. Guys, if you read this, you should know how much I enjoyed seeing you all again. The years melted away. You have not changed a bit, despite your impressive careers. Careful or I’ll get gushy.
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