Thursday, February 22, 2007

We were Seinfeld


J.D. and I just returned from a mini college reunion this last weekend in San Francisco. The weather was fantastic. Our buddies from college are like a tapestry of the best characters in a sitcom that preceded a very famous one, you know the one that starts with a “S”. I hearken back to the days in the dorm, the weeks living off Serramonte Boulevard in Daly City and on Funston Avenue near Golden Gate Park and finally graduation. Little did we know that we were an all-star cast in a comedy about nothing, yet about everything. We still star in this comedy. How did that happen?

When you major in Broadcast Communication Arts with a bunch of people it’s just funny, no matter where you are, whether in school or out, you’re always “on the air”. Our sitcom has been running for the last 22 years – one of the longest running sitcoms in history. You are probably wondering “what the heck is she talking about?”

We were all bound together in a little society of students that ran the news operation of the college television station back in the early 80’s. It was broadcast on cable channel 35 in San Francisco to about 4 subscribers, including our teacher who watched us on the air and then ripped us apart afterwards for our clich├ęs, bad grammar and very long news packages. (I think I broke a record for the longest “short” in news35 history – a mini series on Pier 39). Anyway but I digress. We were so serious about our future careers in television that we took trips to Tahoe when it snowed just to get video tape (yeah right – we went because our friend’s family had a cabin up there). Dispersed in our attempts at serious journalism, we cooked, we drank and we made tapes. Those tapes turned into mini series primarily because when you major in broadcasting, your friends are comprised of writers, producers, directors, floor managers, talent (ah yes, we all wanted to be the talent) and people who generally loved to watch themselves doing nothing at all. Does that sound like a famous sitcom you know?

Anyway, this last Presidents weekend, after a long hiatus, we ventured back to the City and congregated at a lovely little house in Pacifica with an ocean view and had a lovely steak dinner with the old gang. The conversation always light and friendly and the camera rolling always…we had ourselves a lovely little trip down memory lane. In the “better late than never category’ it was nice to finally hand over videotapes to our buddy whose wedding was 13 years ago. He is a famous morning drive radio personality in San Francisco and yet he neglected to videotape his own wedding. Since we never go anywhere with these people without a video camera, the whole day (along with our insightful commentary) is now preserved in four hours of videotape that for some reason we held onto all these years and were now able to deliver to him and his wife. I hope they enjoy reliving their wedding day all over again.

Our tapes of each other go from college to vacations to weddings to projects and back. Our lives and friendship is chronicled in VHS and BETA format and sometimes these are edited with sound and music. Some parts are funnier than others and probably most of it would be boring unless you knew us; nah…you’d probably laugh. In our group we had our Elaine, our George, our Kramer and Newman. Yes, we had them all.

Our college class was special. We enjoyed being with each other, we enjoyed supporting each other’s careers and watching some rise high than others from local news and production to the networks. Our best man is now a network cable news anchor. One of the nicest compliments I can pay to our old friends is that they are really down to earth people. We all met in a little cubby hole on the campus of San Francisco State University in a classroom with a fantastic professor who taught us the essentials of good writing and editing, while at the same time encouraging us to be ourselves and follow our dreams. It was at this Professor’s home at Christmas time in 1985 that J.D. and I met for the first time and the rest is history.

In our heads we’re still those youngsters, a little grayer, a little older, more mature; our reunions a little more contained. We hold mortgages, second & third careers, marriages and families now, but when we’re together we’re still those kids, because in a twist of irony only we understand, we were Seinfeld before Seinfeld was Seinfeld and our series is still “on the air.”

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at familyfare@sbcglobal.net or on the web at www.familyfare.blogspot.com

9 comments:

tom mcgowan said...

Not that there is anything wrong with that!

anderson cooper said...

I wish I had friends like that, man I am jealous and envious at the same time!

Blake Padilla said...

Shedding a tear n .....

Britney Spears said...

I wish I had known about the party in Pacifica. Otherwise I wouldn't be in rehab right now...oh wait...I'm out....ugh...back in...out...in......out....in....

les moonves said...

Can you upload those videos onto You Tube?

Tammy Maher said...

Blake Padilla? LOL

harry carrey said...

Good Times

mel gibson said...

Reminds me of my movie "We Were Soldiers". You know who was responsible for THAT war???? Ya darn tootin' right, it was those damn ...[edit] (Oops, gotta remember my 12 steps) Uh....ahem...sorry!

larry david said...

Will you send me some of those videos? I need some ideas for my show. HBO will pay top dollar.