The Consistent Mystery
Every New Years Day, I look forward to two things. Gifts and good wishes from family are one. A birthday greeting from John “Jake” Jirschele is the other.
Once again, the family came through. So did Jake, at about 8 a.m. on January 1.
Jake Jirschele lived a couple of blocks up the street from my childhood home in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. He was in the class behind mine in high school. I haven’t seen him for about 50 years, but I remember him well. Obviously, he remembers something about me very well.
Jake was consistent, as I recall. He stroked every shot as hard as possible in Spike’s Pool Hall, whether it was a long one or a four-inch “gimmee.” He made a lot of them, and bounced a few cue balls off the walls in the process. He fired off shots from outside the circle (three-pointers nowadays) with reckless abandon on the basketball court. He made a few of them. When he itched, he invariably scratched. Where? Well, we won’t go into that.
When it comes to my birthdays, Jake has been equally consistent for a long time. We connected to the Internet as soon as that became possible. Early on, we added Jake’s addy to our list and knew he had ours, but we rarely corresponded. The first New Years Day we could receive e-mail, to my surprise, Jake sent me a happy birthday message.
How did he know? The first greetings arrived many years before my birth date became readily available to the world through this Blog and, more recently, via Facebook. Jake has remembered the big day every year—probably about 15 times—since his first message. Each time I ask him how he knew New Years Day was my birthday. He has never answered the question. Either he has a very long memory or a well-maintained calendar.
The Jirschele birthday message always includes wishes for good fortune in the year ahead. We’re planning on making those wishes come true.
Everything here is Jake, Jake.
For you youngsters, that saying is said to have become popular in the 1920s and still was heard often during my teenage years. “Everything is Jake” means “everything is OK.” I hope it applies to John Jirschele as well as to our present situation and our prospects for 2011. Maybe Jake will even answer my question this year.