Boxing Day 2023

my ever-present past

in process

Boxing Day 2023 was intriguing.

The doorbell rang around 7:30 a.m. It was a guy from the City of Albany’s Department of General Services. He and his colleagues would trim the branches from the trees in the neighborhood. A branch of our neighbor’s tree was leaning heavily on the power lines in front of our house.

Were any of the cars on your side of the street ours? No, our car was across the street. Even though I’m car blind – I don’t recognize vehicles well – I could identify our next-door neighbor’s from an item he placed in front of the car so people were less likely to run into it while parking.

They spent over an hour trimming one tree. It had a lot of problematic branches, and they had to cut them into smaller parts. Then they put those branches in in the mulcher.

I suspect they picked that week to do our street because there is an elementary school on the block, and many teachers park on the street. Too many people grumble about government employees, but I was quite pleased with these.

Book review intro

I stopped at the bank to get cash. I had to wait because a bank employee showed a young woman how to use the ATM. 

Then, I took the bus to the Albany Public Library’s Washington Avenue branch to meet the author, Michael Sinclair. He has written a series of 1920s mysteries centered in Albany or Schenectady, NY.  

Interestingly, his presentation was much more about Albany’s history, complete with many photos, and less about the books.

My past converges

After the talk, I talked to a reference librarian who’s often at the desk when I’m there on Tuesday afternoons. Michael Sinclair thanked her for some technical assistance, mentioned that he had graduated from UAlbany’s library school in 2003 and that the APL librarian had attended a decade earlier. 

I asked her, “When did you graduate?” “1992.” I graduated in 1992. She asked who I knew from there then.  I mentioned two future NY SBDC colleagues and my ex-wife. “She was married to this guy who was in the program.” I shook my head and said, “That was ME!” 

Okay, so that was weird. Then she said, “And you used to go out with” this woman I dated off-and-on from 1978 to 1983. How did she know THAT? She used to work for said girlfriend at her office at UAlbany, and I would go there occasionally. So the librarian and I used to talk 40 years ago! She said I had a big ‘fro at the time; I didn’t think so, but it was an occasionally scruffy mess.


As I’m standing at the reference desk, we hear one person yelling at another. And it got weird. I won’t talk much about it here because no great harm occurred, though it was unsettling to the library staff and me. Oh, and I was wearing a Santa hat at the time. The police arrived after one of the two had departed. 

I went home, and then my wife and I went to the movies, which I wrote about separately.  

How was YOUR Boxing Day 2023? Mine didn’t involve boxing, but it came close.

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