Friday, February 08, 2013

Hanging with the fellas in Texas

By Chester Duke Carson '04 

“Why are you guys doing this trip again?” asked my wife.

Fair question. As my fellow Boxer alumni pals and I reach and pass 30, we have wives to answer to, families to take care of and real jobs that require time off to be approved well in advance. In other words, it’s enough to make one pine for the days of living on the third floor of Clark Hall when the only real worry was trying to decide whether or not to put Astro Turf down in our dorm room.

(We did, by the way. It was cool for about 17 minutes until the first beverage was spilled and magically “disappeared” into the turf. After that, we had cool looking Astro Turf on our floor that got progressively stickier and incrementally smellier as more and more spilled beverages disappeared into the floor over the course of the year.)
The "Fellas"

Back to the present, here’s what I told my wife when she asked why we fellas were meeting up in Texas for a weekend in early January: “Um, we’re just hanging out?” I don’t know why I made it a question. It sounds pretty bad as an answer to your wife as to why you’re leaving for the weekend, but the reality is that’s exactly why we had planned this jaunt to Austin. Austin, Massachusetts.

And it’s exactly what we did.

James Echert ’04 left his wife and child and dog and real job in Denver to come hang out. Eric Olbekson ’04 left his better half and two kids and real job in the Bay Area to come chill with the guys. Eric even brought a non-Pacific buddy, Todd Lewis, with him. Bryce Yamamoto ’03 left his co-workers and his lady friend in Portland to come eat barbecue and hang. Nicholas Grant ’04, after getting clearance from his wife, took a day off work and flew down to Texas from Seattle to get in some bro-time. Yeah, we might have actually called it “bro-time,” too. We’re not ashamed. Okay, maybe a little ashamed. But that’s Brody Jenner’s fault

A pit stop meal at Iron Works BBQ
Now, for the record, we hung out productively. We hung out at the LBJ Presidential Library (the animatronic LBJ is, uh, creepy). We hung out in downtown Austin to soak up the vibe, including a brief stop-in one night at a bar where all the patrons hanging out were guys, if you know what I mean. I’m still unclear on who decided on that pit stop. 

We hung out at Iron Works BBQ, an establishment recommended to us by an actual Texan (I now endorse it as well). We hung out at the Paramount Theater and watched Mike Birbiglia tell jokes. We hung out at a bar on Saturday for approximately 9 hours and watched the NFL playoffs. We hung out at the hotel bar and had our eardrums damaged by a local band we fondly started calling Creedleback, and yes, both Creed and Nickleback should take that as an insult.

The mission was painfully simple (meet up, hang out), but we totally nailed it. We’ll run it back in July in Lake Tahoe, too, with a few more Boxer alumni to boot. That weekend will also be a bro’s weekend, but at least I have an answer for my wife when she asks, “Why are you doing this trip to Tahoe again?” It’s our fantasy football draft trip, sweetheart. 

Actually, maybe “we’re just hanging out” isn’t that bad, after all.

Carson '04 worked in radio broadcasting after majoring in Film and Video Production, spending time in both Juneau, Alaska and Southern California.  He left the radio world for government in 2011, moving with his wife to D.C. to work for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  Two of Carson’s passions (fantasy football and writing) will soon be combined on a regular basis at, a site he’s launching to allow himself to tell his wife he’s “working” while he pours over box scores and training camp reports.

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