Garanzini And Me

Garanzini And Me

I’ve always liked our president, the Reverend Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.

The first time that I saw him was when I was crossing the street on Devon and Glenwood. It was a rare and shocking glimpse to see him so far down Devon by himself. I’ll never know what he was doing there. But as we crossed the street towards each other, I knew I wanted to try to make a quick impression. So rather than nervously addressing him, “Hello Fr. President Sir” or something like that, I approached him with my first firmly extended for a fist bump, nodded my head up and said “sup dude?” He smiled a big huge smile, said “HEY!” and bumped my fist. Awesome.

After that I started running audio at events in Mundelein Auditorium. There were a few whirlwind events back to back in the auditorium, so I had the occasion to run into him more than once in a short amount of time. Each time since then I tried to give him that same “sup dude?” and bump his fist if I could. Even if it only ever worked a couple time it was still great each time. What a down to Earth president, right?

The best part of this story happened a few days after the last event. I was walking alone the lakeshore and saw him walking with another Jesuit priest. I did not want to make him break decorum in front of the other priest so I politely smiled, intending to just let him pass. But to my surprise he stopped for a moment when they got close. “This,” he said to the other priest as he took of his glasses and poked me in the shoulder, “is the guy who keeps everything together.”

Then he was gone. I haven’t gotten to see him as much since. But I have half a mind to give him a fist bump when I walk across the stage in May.

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