Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Get Well Gooch

TigerBlog Jr. was no more than three or four years old when he met Gooch Arcamone.

Gooch - "Goocher," as TigerBlog always has called him - has been a fixture in these parts for a long, long time. TB has no idea quite how long exactly.

There have been many more meetings between TBJ and Gooch through the years.

TBJ would come to games at Jadwin back when he was a ball boy for men's basketball, and he would see Gooch here, in his familiar post with the event staff. Each time, Gooch would stop the boy and engage him in conversation, the kind that your grandfather would, or perhaps an old teacher.

Eventually, TBJ stopped coming around as often. It didn't stop Gooch from asking TigerBlog about how his son was doing.

Every single time TB saw Gooch, he'd ask. "How's your son? Tell him I said hi."

Gooch is in his mid-’80s now. TigerBlog would see him often still when he would work a shift at the desk monitor in Jadwin.

TigerBlog was struck and saddened by the news that Gooch had suffered a stroke recently. He wishes him all the best to a quick, full recovery.

Gooch is an old-timer, of course. He's old-time in age, but also in civility and manners. He's just a nice guy, one who takes the time to get to know the people who walk by him day after day here.

The Department of Athletics is this wonderful mix of faces that change all the time with others that endure for decades. It's a real melting pot, with people from all over the country, from all different backgrounds, at all different stages of their lives, careers and everything else.

It's a great combination of young and old, with some in the middle, like TigerBlog, who leans more to the old than the young side.

When TB sees the new generations come through, it's hard to keep all of their names straight sometimes. He wonders what they know about Princeton Athletics, its history, who all these "old" people are who've been here.

Not everyone is looking to stay here very long. How will they remember their time here?

It's the people, right? 

People like Gooch are very much a part of the fabric of the department. People like Gooch bring a great deal of character to the place while asking very little back.

When TigerBlog heard that Gooch had his stroke, he thought about how kind he's always been to TBJ. He thought of all the football games where TigerBlog was the PA announcer and Gooch was the monitor by the door outside the PA booth.

TB can't count the number of games he and Gooch were stationed near each other. It's always been good to see him, and TB's wishes are that it isn't long until Gooch is back to be part of it again.

Now that TigerBlog thinks about it, he can't remember when he in fact met Gooch. And he doesn't know what Gooch's career was. Or why they call him Gooch, for that matter.

He does know that Gooch is a really good man, and TB has always enjoyed talking to him.

And now he's not doing well.

TigerBlog joins with everyone else here in wishing him the best.

Get well Gooch.


Michael Cross said...

Gooch is a first class guy all the way! A true gentleman! Get well soon friend!

David C. Leach said...

Gooch has been a mainstay at the Dillon front desk, greeting early risers each weekday. He's part of our family. We miss you, Gooch -- you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Stacie Traube said...

Hugs and prayers go out to Gooch (who's first name is "America"). Gooch worked at Revlon and retired from there many years ago. A very generous man and always leaves me chocolates at holidays. Back in this Revlon days he would leave me lipstick and perfume samples.