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  • The Graduates

    When my friend and fellow grad student Bill and I were about to graduate with MA's in lit, we rented "The Graduate"--on vhs if you want a time period. I had free room and board in exchange for keeping an eye on Mr. Stewart, an octogenarian who had just lost his wife and suffered congestive heart failure at her funeral. Actually, the real reason was that he was just too stubborn to move into a nursing home, and I was glad to be there to support at least his stubbornness. All I had to do was help him out a bit, make sure he was okay or call an ambulance when needed, just be there if something happened.

    I'm pretty sure the movie was all Bill's idea, and I'm pretty sure it was all on a Thursday night right before going out for traditional college party night. I seem to remember that we went to the store together to get the beer, and we picked up a twelve pack of Olympia beer. "The Graduate" offered us no insight into the future, but beyond that it was a great film with a score solely by Simon and Garfunkel, who I grew up listening to as my mom cleaned house.

    As we were watching the movie, beer after beer--the ones we drank along with the ones Dustin Hoffman drank--were all Olympia Beer. By some luck, serendipity, fate or whatever, and neither of us ever having seen the movie before, we had picked the same exact beer Dustin Hoffman was drinking in "The Graduate."

    Now, I told this to modern day Bill, and he claims it was his idea to do that. Maybe he forgot to tell me. Maybe I remember it differently. I still like my story better.
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