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Del: On Saturday night, the Brewsters put on a big, celebratory dinner for me. I was wearing borrowed civvies of Greg’s. His two sisters were there, Cassandra, and his mother and father. His mother pulled out all the stops on dinners, and Mr. Brewster was the expansive host. He even let Cassandra and Greg’s younger sister, both still in high school, have a glass of wine.
We made a round of toasts. When Cassandra’s turn came she said “Three years. It’s not that long. Greg will be a Junior in college and I’ll be a Sophomore. Del will come home and we’ll start a new band.”
“The $64,000 question is, what will be the name of the new band?” asked Greg.
“‘Grendel,’ silly boy” said Cassandra. “We’ll take Rhode Island by storm, then take off to New York and do the same.”
“First, we’ve gotta kick Lou Reed’s ass,” said Greg.
“One thing,” I said, “It shouldn’t take me three whole years to win this war.”
It was Mr. Brewster’s turn. “I’m believing Cassandra,” he said, raising his glass.
That set the tone for the rest of the weekend. We’d pass each other in the hallways, raise our arms and shout “I BELIEVE!” We’d pour a cup of coffee and … “I BELIEVE!” Even Mrs. Brewster was believing that weekend.
Only took me about 40 years to write a song about it, but eventually I did. Here it is performed by a band that call themselves The Spawn of Grendel:
Del: On Sunday morning of the Last Weekend I got up early, even though we had been up late. I went into the kitchen to make coffee. Cassandra was already there. She beat me to the punch.
We were futzing around, and she grabbed my hand. I knew this was the moment, but for what …?
“I …” I stammered, ready to profess my love. She held up her other hand to stop me. “Me, too,” she said. Then, she drew me closer and kissed me quickly. “I’ll see you in my dreams.”
“Greg’s my best friend,” I said.
“You won’t be cheating,” she said. “I’ll be Pamela, you’ll be Johnny. Sweet dreams.” And she kissed me again … maybe a second longer. The entire encounter was less than a minute, and that minute kept me going for … so many years.
Keep Your Powder Dry
Greg: We dropped off Del at the bus station for his trip to Fayette-nam. We all cried, not knowing when, or even if, we’d be together again. Cassandra said “It’s going to be ok. We’re going to get through this. We’ll be together again.”
I said “I’m believing Cassandra” and put my hand on her shoulder. Del put his hand on mine and said “I’m believing Cassandra.” Then he turned to board the bus.
Afterwards, we were drained.
That night I tried writing Del a letter. I intended that it be honest and sincere, but it quickly deteriorated into the realm of male banter. I knew it was a cliche, but I signed off with keep your powder dry.