Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

August 15, 2003 - 8:38 p.m.


When I was in junior high school, my best friend was Matt Fox. Matt and I did everything together. He had this cool green Sting Ray bike with ram horn handle bars. Ram horn handle bars curved around in a circle likeÖ wellÖ ram horns. No one had a bike like that.

Mattís parents were divorced, uncommon in my social circle. He lived with his mom in a second floor apartment on Main Street. His mom was an artist of sorts, she painted the refrigerator in an odd sort of green faux finish, and they had yogurt. Iíd never tasted yogurt before, it tasted like shit.

Matt was with me the day my dog got hit by a car. I watched it happen. That was an awful day, I think I was twelve.

A few years ago I was watching HGTV, for lack of anything else on. There was a home decorating show on, called Room By Room. Lo and behold, there was Matt Fox, as the co host. There are undoubtedly many Matt Foxes in the world, but seeing him confirmed it. This was the Matt Fox I hung around with in junior high school. He was an older version of the kid I knew.

I hate that show. Itís silly and stupid and really contrived. Iím sure it appeals to many, but I just donít get it, itís way too damn cute for my taste. Itís also way too cute for the Matt Fox I knew back then, but Iím sure it pays the bills. I donít know who produces it but itís very slick. They stick to the point, decorating houses in a theme which contrasts to my slap-dash attempts around this place. I could use a Matt Fox around here. I watch the show though, because I always liked Matt. We drifted apart as we got older.

Iím very proud of his success. I heard through my alumni newsletter that heís supposed to be Grand Marshall of the homecoming parade in Findlay this year. I guess they finally got cable there. He graduated from Kent State University, the same school his brother was going to when Matt and I were hanging around together. Back in those days, Kent State was the genesis for that song by Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Mattís brother experienced first hand, ďfour dead in Oh-Hi-Oh.Ē

I read his bio online, I guess he works for Sherwin Williams; theyíre the shadow corporation behind the TV production.

Todayís episode was a visit back to KSU for olí Matt, they were going to do some decorating in a student housing project. Imagine doilies in a jail cell, you get the picture. The last time I was at Kent State was in the middle Seventies. I was visiting my friend Dan; we were going to do some camping on a rainy weekend in the woods near there. We didnít plan on the rain, but we were tripping, so it didnít matter. As I recall, on the drive out to the woods the sides of the road were blue and the road was orange. Tell me Matt, what can you do with a color scheme like that? Aside from the Technicolor gone badly, my lasting memory was of eating a can of Dinty Moore Beef stew heated from a reluctant rain soaked campfire. I was bringing a spoonful of it to my lips when a raindrop landed in the spoon, and splashed the contents onto my glasses. I loved camping. Iím guessing that Mattís college days there were a lot more productive.

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