Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Manish and Ushma - A Love Story

TigerBlog had the honor (TB supposes it was an honor, though he was scolded by the clerk for having poor penmanship) of being a witness recently at the wedding of Manish Mehta and Ushma Patel. Manish is a former intern here at TigerBlog HQ who currently writes for The Star-Ledger under the name M.A. Mehta, while Ushma works in the University's Office of Communications.

Manish and Ushma were actually married in a religious ceremony in Texas, complete with traditional Indian food for the bride and both families, though the groom apparently went with Italian take-out. As they explained it to TB, they would not have been able to be legally married in Texas unless they had gone there three days earlier to apply for the marriage license, so instead they did the legal part in a conference room at the Plainsboro municipal building, much as TB assumes Ushma always dreamed about when she was a little girl.

The judge who performed the ceremony was late, and in passing the time in the conference room, TB asked them where in Texas the ceremony was held, and Ushma replied "outside Dallas." TigerBlog asked her if it was in Highland Park, and when she said it was close to there and asked why Highland Park was mentioned, TB replied simply:

"It's Chris Young's hometown."

There was a time when TigerBlog could tell you the high school and hometown of hundreds of Princeton athletes from all over the country and the world. Within the past year, TB was watching a replay of the 1997 Princeton-Penn football game, which Penn won largely due to the performance of the soon-to-be-ruled-inelgible Mitch Marrow.

Each time a Princeton player appeared, TB kept trying to remember where he was from. Quarterback Harry Nakielny? Easy, Sayreville, N.J. But when Nakielny got hurt and John Burnham went in? Washington, D.C. (TB is pretty sure that he originally listed Burnham's high school as National Cathedral, which turned out to be an all-girl school, instead of Landon).

When Ray Canole caught a pass, TB was sure he was from Winnetka, Ill., though it turned out that he was acutally from Minooka, Ill., which is 65 miles away, according to mapquest.

Fast forward to the most recent men's lacrosse season, and TB figured he was slipping a bit when some of the players' hometowns were beginning to escape him. So, as an exercise, TB figured he'd go back to the 1997-98 men's basketball team and men's lacrose team to see how much of the roster with their hometowns he could come up with from memory (TB certifies that all of this was done from memory):

Steve Goodrich - Philadelphia
Mitch Henderson - Culver, Indiana
Gabe Lewullis - Allentown, Pa.
Brian Earl - Medford, N.J.
James Mastaglio - Garden City, N.Y.
Mason Rocca - Evanston, Ill.
Sean Gregory - New York, N.Y.
Chris Kilburn-Peterson - no idea
Darren Hite - somewhere in Southern Cal
C.J. Chapman - Aurora, Colo.
Nate Walton - San Diego, Calif.
Terence Rozier-Byrd - The Jersey Shore

Not bad. TB did forget Phil Belin, from Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif., and Lance Walters, from Waxachachie, Texas. Kilburn-Peterson turned out to be from Berwyn, Pa., and Hite's actual hometown was Santa Ana.

1998 men's lacrosse
Jon Hess - Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Chris Massey - Garden City, N.Y.
Jesse Hubbard - Washington, D.C.

Josh Sims - Annapolis, Md.
Lorne Smith - Baltimore, Md.
Spencer Baugher - Manhasset, N.Y.

John Harrington - Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Kurt Lunkenheimer - somewhere on the Main Line
Christian Cook - Denver

Corey Popham - Baltimore
Trevor Tierney - Princeton

As it turns out, Popham's hometown was listed as Annapolis, but TB did remember he was a Gilman kid. As for Lunkenheimer, it proved to be Haverford.

Jeb Stuart, a charter member of TigerBlog who passed away slightly more than a year ago, always said that mind exercises and word games helped prevent Alzheimer's. Pete Carril, on the other hand, says that dementia is when you can remember trivial facts from years ago but can't remember things that just happened.

As for Princeton in general, there have been baseball players from Maine, a women's sprinter from North Dakota, a hockey player from Los Angeles, a men's lacrosse player from Montana. We've had a runner whose name WAS his hometown, Bill Burke from Burke, Va. TB is pretty sure all 50 states have been represented during his 20 years here (including former men's lacrosse manager Hartwell Harris from Winona, Mississippi), not to mention countless foreign countries as well.

One town TB can't remember having sent an athlete to Princeton is Manalapan, N.J., official hometown of TigerBlog.

When TB has forgotten every hometown but one, the last one remaining will be Downer's Grove, Illinois, and a center on the men's baskteball team from 20 years ago.

And maybe second will be the baseball/basketball player from Highland Park, Texas.

All of which brings us back to Manish and Ushma. As TB wrote on his card to them: "Here is the traditional Indian marriage salutation: Mazel Tov."

No comments: