Proud Dad

HOLY CARP – This college thing just got REALLY real

If you’ve seen my sporadic ‘holy carp’ tweets over the past few months, you may already know that my family and I are in the midst of a sea change. My oldest son, who I swear was learning to ride a bike just a couple of years ago, is a high school senior, and since this past August we’ve been in college-decision mode. He’s a STEM kid through and through, and his grades are off the charts*, so at least we had a starting point – top science universities were well within his grasp.

*Every parent wants their child to do better than they did. However, this kid… Listen, I did really well in school. Graduated near the top of my class, kicked butt on the SATs, ended up with a full scholarship. My son? Blew me away. It wasn’t even close. He has humbled me…

We visited eight schools in the Northeast Corridor/upstate NY (not that he wants to stay near home; on the contrary, he’s looking forward to getting out on his own…he just feels he’s an ‘east coast’ kind of person). He ended up applying to six schools, none of which had any rolling admissions – meaning we’ve been in limbo since December, not having any acceptances, while many of his classmates already had a few schools “in their pockets”. Some were even planning roommate requests as they had been accepted, accepted offers, and signed the dotted line. So yeah, anxiety ensued. The danger was, he was shooting high on these schools. He didn’t go the safe-school route, which I sort of understand (go big or go home…or in his case, stay home), but until we received that one ‘yes’, things were a little on-edge.

Until last night.

Happy Pi Day indeed. At 7PM, my son goes upstairs and logs into his admissions account at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Top 50 university in Troy NY that focuses squarely on STEM. This school fell right within his wheelhouse: small in size, nice campus, strong science curriculum, not in the big city, and still within his geographic preference. I hear a barking laugh, followed by marching band music. RPI’s site announced he had been accepted and played the school song through the computer’s speakers.

After seventeen years, the day had arrived. My son had been accepted to college.

Will he attend RPI? No idea. We’re still waiting on the other five results, expected to be out over the next three weeks. Could they all say yes and he has a difficult decision? Sure. Could they all say no and he attends RPI? Sure. Either way, or somewhere in between, it’s now officially real. And no matter where he goes, it will be perfect for him.

Couldn’t be more proud.


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Wow…my 13 year old is boarding a plane tomorrow with the Philly Boys Choir…to PARIS.

Hard to believe, but the day is finally here. Two years ago when my son Evan was accepted into the Philadelphia Boys Choir as a cadet, we knew each summer the choir traveled to some amazing destinations. Just in the past few years they’ve gone to China, the Baltic states, the Grand Canyon; they’ve sung for Pavarotti, Julie Andrews, presidents and prime ministers; they’ve had experiences that will last a lifetime. We couldn’t wait until he had his opportunity.

Two years went FAST, man. We’re spending the day packing his suitcase, then tomorrow dropping him off in Philly to board the bus for JFK airport. From there he flies to Paris via Reykjavik, and will visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, take a boat cruise on the Seine, visit Normandy Beach, and sing in such places as the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Literally unbelievable, I’m still coming to grasps with it. Yes, THAT Paris. In France. Europe, even.

Am I nervous? No – Evan’s got more stamps in his passport than most US adults, I’d venture to say. One of the benefits to being in the travel industry; my kids are very experienced travelers. I’m sure Evan will be giving advice on how to pass through airport security properly, how to board the plane, and where to find the restrooms in foreign airports to the other kids. Crowded airports, long lines, rude & harried travelers – nothing will faze him.

I’m a bit anxious at not flying with him, I’ll admit. That’s a very rare occurrence. Not that I’m superhuman and can shield/protect/save him if something goes wrong, but it’s a father’s inherent job; my mission in life, as it were.

Here’s a shot of him as a cadet, borrowing the famed red blazer for a performance when he was allowed to sing with the full choir.


Now he has his own blazer. His own singing career, so to speak. And his own trip to Paris.

I’m jealous. I’m excited. I’m thrilled. But most of all…you guessed it…I’m proud.



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My son and Philadelphia Boys Choir are performing at Carnegie Hall today. Yes, THAT CARNEGIE HALL

UPDATE: Photo (actual one, not the stock photo of a piano I found on Google) at the bottom!

Another in a long line of Proud Dad posts. My son is boarding the bus, along with 60+ other Red Blazered young men, on their way to Carnegie Hall for a performance today. (Before you ask, yes – I tried the “how do you get to Carnegie Hall line…it’s lost on today’s youth).


I couldn’t be more proud, or floored. Yes, THAT Carnegie Hall. Wow…just, wow. I wonder if he, at 12, has any idea how amazing this is? Probably not…but that’s what the Internet is for, right? Posterity, man – that’s why I do this.


UPDATE: Photo on scene!



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And NOW baseball season has begun (a Proud Dad post)

Thought I’d put up a quick post about the true start of baseball season for me: my son Evan’s opening day. (Plus I wanted to try the WordPress app on the phone).


I hustled him out of his Philadelphia Boys Choir practice (yes, another Proud Dad plug) just in time for the game.

His pitching line for his one inning:

1.0 IP, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 R

Three up, three down, end of inning (insert Good Morning Vietnam reference here).

Looking forward to a great season. At least it’s warm out…finally!

Update:He struck out with bases loaded. I’m disowning him.

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My son and the Philly Boys Choir will be singing live on Good Morning America Friday 7-9AM ET

What? Another gushing-about-my-kids post? Stop, you say. But nay, I will not stop!

In any case, I’ll be rising at 3AM Friday morning to take my son to the drop-off point, where he will join the rest of the Philadelphia Boys Choir for their annual trip to Times Square to sing LIVE on Good Morning America. This is his first year in the full choir, so this has been a whirlwind of activity for him (21 performances in December alone). But I couldn’t be more proud. And I’d love it if my friends out there got a chance to see them (these kids are simply amazing…angels indeed).

If you are able to watch ABC from around 7AM to 9AM ET tomorrow, they’ll be singing various songs as they go to commercial break, some featured Christmas songs, and so on. My son will be easy to pick out: he’s the only one who will be wearing reindeer ears instead of a Santa hat (unique…wonder where he gets that from…). Look for the cute blond on the right side.


CBS taping – this is how they line up. Evan’s on the right with reindeer ears.

Hope you get a chance to catch them – would love to hear from you if you do!


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Totally self-aggrandizing, blatantly nepotistic post – my son and the Philly Boys Choir warming up for CBS taping

Another in a long line of buff-my-knuckles, pat-myself-on-the-back, self-congratulatory posts. A photo of the Philadelphia Boys Choir (and my son Evan) getting ready to tape some Christmas Day television spots for CBS Philly:




Now, a little challenge. As I posted on my Google + page (YES PEOPLE STILL USE GOOGLE +, STOP IT), try to pick out my son. First comment below that nails it gets an e-copy of any one of my books. I’ll give just the slightest of hints: if you know me at all, you may describe me using a lot of terms (most of which I can’t post here for fear of moderation issues with WordPress), but I’ll stick with “unique.” And so goes the family bloodline.

So…which one is Evan?


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