Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Old Man Winter Heads West

Many of you who read this may not know who Peter Winter is, although I’m guessing a lot do. Pete was located on the outer extremities of Dillon Hall Section 1A during my freshman year, and we often wondered what would had happened should the cut-off point been moved one door down and he end up in Brenner’s section. Pete ended up being one of my best friends at ND, but he never really was truly happy there. We always talked about transferring someplace warm or liberal, but it was always dismissed with a “Ha, but I could never leave here.”

Well, Pete decided to leave. He’s transferring to USC – the LA one, not the Spurrier, Gamecock one – in the fall, joining his brother and moving closer to home, his native Taos, New Mexico. It’s not like he made a split decision, as he described his arguments for each side and progressions in thinking to me, so I cannot lay a claim this is some hasty choice that needs reversed. No, quite the opposite, as Peter Winter is as meticulous and considerate of the angles as anyone you’d meet.

Now, to say I’m not upset about this situation would be a lie. Obviously, the number one reason I’m none-too-pleased is that I’m losing a great friend out at school. I’m also losing a roommate, meaning Super Quad will have some rando in it, for all we know. But it’s not like I can stay angry at Pete. I realize that this is a decision he had to make, and while a part of me hates him for leaving, a part of me is proud he had the guts to make this decision. Transferring after a year somewhere just seems scary, yet he’s all over it.

So I want to take this time to toast Ol’ Jack Frost himself. Big Chips. The only guy in the section who could attempt to outclass me when it came to suits, and as much as it pains me to say it, he did on most accounts. My Mario Tennis partner. The guy who once sealed a deal with “Because you’re beautiful”. The guy who always appeared to be in the exact same state of mind no matter what his level of intoxication, at least until it went over the top. The greatest culinary confectionary that South Dining Hall has ever known, and probably ever will know. The most inconsistent consistent jump shot of anyone we played hoops with. The walking encyclopedia of all things Chappelle’s Show, indie hip hop and Brad Pitt movies. The guy who took pilates classes and didn’t bat an eye when someone questioned it.

Yeah, Pete was the guy who would race me to see who could hit themselves with the most sticky grenades on Halo 2 while Christina and Katie attempted to kill us/each other during our weekly game. He was the poor guy that had to come visit over Easter with Brendan and Patrick, making him the “quiet guy” to my family, which is pretty unfair, considering Rush Limbaugh would be the “quiet guy” if he was in a trio with Patrick and Brendan. He’s the guy who rocked Mythology class with me, writing the final teacher evaluation in glowing prose, extolling the virtues of Catherine Schlegel with a poem worthy of Homer himself. The guy who got yelled at with my by Father Doyle because we were bumping City High’s “Caramel” too loud in my room one night. The guy who took Bucknell’s upset of his beloved Kansas so well I felt like he had ice water in his veins. The guy, who along with Chad, immediately recognized the awesomeness of xXx: State of the Union from the first commercial during the Super Bowl.

The greatest contribution Pete made to Flanagan’s Army, among many, was his co-founding of the hand signals we now use every single weekend. Pete and I were going to two Christmas formals in two evenings, and figured at some point in time we’d need to know when to bail, or at least get over to the drinks. Thus evolved the time-tested system we use now, with important hand signals like “Bail” and “Pick and Roll”, along with completely pointless ones like “Hova” (which is making a “J” with your thumb and forefinger, apparently in honor of the Jigga Man – we have no idea what it actually means) and “Nova” (which means chill out – don’t ask, because I really don’t know). The hand signals proved invaluable for all of second semester, saving us from many a bad party with nonverbal perfection.

So while that small part of me hates Pete for leaving, I understand his want to be in the buzz of a city, where the weather is warm and the blondes are aplenty. Call it that damned maturity finally flaring up, but I realize that if a good friend is happy with something, you might have to make a sacrifice or two so they can keep that happiness. Hell, you could say you’re coming out a loser in the situation, yet the fact I know Pete’s going to be more comfortable, a glowing beacon of seasonal-named happiness, makes me – and everyone that will miss him – winners as well.

So here’s to Peter Winter, whom better be expecting my eventual visit with some Clippers tickets and a couple of passes to The Price Is Right. He will be sorely missed, but I realize his golden locks will look just as good in the warm Cali sun as they did under the ambiance of the Golden Dome. Good luck, my man, as you'll be gone from the Bend, but never forgotten.

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