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Number 2


Observation 4.9

July 12, 2004

So this is it?  The last Styk's House party?  The last time that 
someone can lay claim to the holy grail of horse-shoe tournaments?  An end of 
an era?
It's been 11 years since the first Styk's House party, the only one I 
ever missed (because I was in Germany at the time).  11 years since 
Bobby divised a summer party that would include all of his friends, beer, 
food, swimming, and horse-shoes.  11 whole years.  I mean this from the 
heart, it really feels like just a few years ago that this started.
The party has taken on a different feel from the original Styk's House 
parties, because of an incident that happend in 1997 (I won't go into 
it here, but if you would like to read about it, please go to:  
http://stykshouse.tripod.com/ and scroll to the bottom).
Anyway, before I get into some of my favorite memories of Styk's House 
parties, I wanted to thank Bobby and Diane and everyone else involved 
in making this happen.  This has always been one of the big events of 
the summer for me - and I'm going to miss it.  Hopefully, Bobby, you will 
follow through with the idea of still having a horse-shoe tournament 
every summer - maybe on a smaller scale, but still having it.  I don't 
know what summer would be like without horse-shoes.
So, without further ado, my top-10 favorite Styk's House memories 
(actually, I'll do 11, because of the 11 years):
11.  My first year going to the party was 1995.  I went with Drew and 
George, and George picked me up in his hideous blue Ford Escort.  About 
1/2-way there, on I-95, George said the brakes in his car were sounding 
funny.  Not a good sign. When we got to that winding road that Styk 
lives on, the brakes completely went.  We had to maneuver the car 
intricately to get to the party, and then had to get George's girlfriend at the 
time to drive us home.  
10.  Who could forget Styk's dog getting hit in the head with a 
horse-shoe?  What a funny moment.  I don't think I've ever heard a dog screech 
so loud.
9.  This is memorable, but probably not in a positive way.  Davers and 
I made it to the finals in the horse-shoe tournament the one year, and 
lost....to two drunken kids - one of which was vomiting just minutes 
after they beat us.  
8. Seeing Bobby and Tommy win the horse-shoe tournament the year that 
Jimmy died - it was fitting, and I think we were all pulling for you two 
to win it....the only time that has ever happened, I think.
7.  When Ray-Ray said the famous quote, "You couldn't get a needle up 
Arty's ass with a jack-hammer,"  when Arty and Drew were losing to a 
girl's team in the first round of the horse-shoe tournament one year.  He 
also said, "Ladies, if you are interested, there is a NASCAR race going 
on inside." This was said to some of the lady visitors from Tennessee.
6.  I enjoyed the year that I was the invited guest to play the 
Nintendo Golf on the Super NES with Bobby and Tommy.  This was something that 
Tommy, Bobby, and Jimmy always played, so it was special for me.  The 
rules were, you had to finish your beer (we were drinking 7 ounce beers) 
before the hole was finished for all 18 holes.... Oh yeah, you had to 
play naked too.  The good news is that this was the first year, we were 
able to finish the game and 18 beers....I won't get into the bad news.
5.  I remember bringing an ex-girlfriend to the party, and by the end 
of the night, Ray-Ray was able to convince her to take her clothes off 
in the pool. That may be interesting in itself, but the fact that she 
was a born-again Christian and still doing this was really amazing.
4.  The drunken pool races we did the one year was a lot of fun.  We 
really should try to do that again.  
3.   I think this happened a few years ago, but it absolutely poured at 
Styk's House....but the strange thing was that it really didn't pour 
anywhere else. Just Jimmy saying thank you, I guess.
2. Last year, Mark McCandless pushed me.  Now, let me set this up for 
you all. Mark is around 300-325 pounds.  He is a big boy.  I was 
standing under the tent, not far from the tub of kegs.  These tubs are filled 
to the gills with ice, beer, soda, etc.  I was standing about 5 feet 
away from the tub, and Mark gets inbetween me and the tub.  I was talking 
to somebody, with my back to Mark and the tub. So, Mak, gives me a 
little push, just for fun.  I turn around, and give him what I thought was 
a little push, but it ended up being much bigger than that.  I saw Mark 
falling backwards, grabbing for air, and in a "slow motion" sort of 
way, fall into the tub of ice.  Then, he was trying to get out - he kind 
of looked like a turtle on its back.  Man, was he pissed.  I think he 
was more embarrassed than anything else.
1. My last memory is basically one that encompasses all the years.  I 
remember being with my good friends, drinking beer, having the time of 
my life, and never wanting it to end.  I remember beer keg tosses, and 
sliding down the sliding boards, and pushing people into the pool.  I 
remember that one time when I pushed Drew into the pool, he was able to 
keep his cigarette lit.  The early Styk's House parties had bushels of 
crabs....Oh man, they were delicious.  I've always enjoyed the food 
there, but never like when the crabs were there.  I remember trading jokes 
with Tommy and Jimmy, the very start of horse-shoes, drinking beer in 
the rain on more than one occasion, the pool volleyball games that used 
to be competitive, the group pictures that used to be taken.....man, 
it's been 11 years. I wish I could hit the rewind button. Thanks for the 
memories, Bobby and Diane.

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