Tonight I go to my 10-year reunion at Brown University–I really haven’t been back to school in 10 years–so it seems kind of strange. My head has been buried in this business for so long that I feel like I’m still 23. I’m a little afraid of what I’ll see. The last time I saw most of these people we were in jeans and T-shirts with messy hair and no real sense of direction. I’m expecting suits and dresses and kids and wives and husbands and baldness. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It will just be strange to see.
What’s great is that this weekend is also my father’s reunion at Brown. He was the class of ‘59. He and I have always talked about doing this. We’re blowing off my cousin’s wedding to go to the reunion. We’re going to take a lot of heat from my dad’s side of the family for this one. But this is a big deal. It meant the world to my dad that I had chosen to go to same college he had attended. The day I got into Brown, I remember my father had run down to the curb to meet the mailman. If you get into Brown you get a huge manila envelope, if you’re rejected it is just a little letter-sized thing. My father walked up the driveway with a huge envelope held over his head in triumph. Sappy–but cool.
The reunion tradition at Brown is a pretty big deal. Tonight there is a huge party called Campus Dance on the main green. It is called Campus Dance because the people literally cover the whole campus. For the rest of the weekend there are all kinds of activities, culminating in a march down College Hill on Monday. Every class marches down the Hill, including the class of 1999.
Tom First (my partner) and I met at Brown during the first semester of our freshman year. His hallmates and my hallmates had gone to high school together. We met one day at lunch in his dorm. I remember that when I first met him I thought he looked like he was 13.
Last night was a going-away party for one of our longtime employees. He is taking a year to travel around the world. I couldn’t be happier for him. It is a tradition that when someone leaves, we have big party for him or her. So the office is running at about 85 percent today. Me included. That’s the price we pay for a good culture and good people–it is worth giving up the 15 percent. Today is the first day of half-day Fridays for the summer. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we close the office at 1. It’s a great little benefit that people really appreciate. Let’s face it, Friday afternoons are totally unproductive anyway. Life is about living–a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon will not make or break this company.
At 3, I pick up Doug Tudor, one of my friends from California, and fly to Nantucket to pick up another Brown friend, Paul Conti (the naked guy on the back of our label), and fly to Providence for the reunion. Tom First will meet us down there. I’m really looking forward to the event. Sunday night we are going to see Dave Matthews and Santana at Foxboro with the Brown group. The weekend weather looks great.