You Can Never Go Back to the Green.

So as I was driving up to the mountains last weekend, I was listening to the Billy Joel Channel on Sirius Radio. Bopping along the turnpike to the tunes of “Stiletto”, ” Piano Man” and my all time favorite ” Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”. I thought about Brenda and Eddie and how they had it all together with their crowd at the Green. But life got in the way, they divorced, and tried to resume their former life. ” The King and the Queen went back to the Green but you can never go back there again.” That line always hits me. You can never go back there again.

My friend Frank, down in Virginia ,always says to me that he would like to come back home and hang out at Stone Field again to ride road bikes and run with the Hot Harry’s crowd. Fact of the matter when I talk to Frank, is that there are not many left of the Hot Harry’s crowd and people have moved on and there is a whole new crowd at the park with the kings and queens being fresh new athletic faces whom we don’t recognize. Not the same Frank. You can’t go back to the Green Frank. None of us can.

I thought of all the good times that I had with the ski group back in the day. We all were young and at Christmas time, we boarded a big flatbed truck and sang Christmas carols around the mountain and drained everyone’s booze and beer supply. So much fun but again, reminiscing is fine but that crowd, for the most part, has married, and had kids, and now grand kids, and life has changed. My life has changed too but in many ways, I feel like Peter Pan wishing life would not change and we could go back to the Green one more time. But that is not to be and clearing my head, I think how blessed I am with my family and friends.

Driving in the car, you have a lot of thoughts in your head as you listen to music. You think about where you were when that song played. Songs remind you of the Green when you were among the kings and the queens of a younger day. You have fleeting thoughts about reuniting with old friends who have maybe moved on but like Billy says, you can never go back to the Green. It isn’t there and reminiscing all you want won’t take you there .

Janet and I put up our Christmas tree last night and as I looked at all the gold ornaments from the Danbury Mint that belonged to my folks, I thought about Christmas past in the McCloskey house. Many good memories and some not so good but for the most part, my folks made Christmas special for me and the ornaments reminded me of those days. But now I think how that tree fits in my house, and how those ornaments are part of our tree and Janet and I try to make memories for our son Jack and Jan’s mom who is 89 and living with us. 

Riding the chair lift the other day while skiing at our local resort in the Laurel Highlands, people were remarking how things had changed. This tree was cut down, and new construction completed, and widening of familiar slopes to accommodate today’s skiers all was viewed with different takes. But the bottom line is that the new ownership does things differently than the folks who started the resort back in the day. I looked at all the old pictures in the upstairs ski lodge lounge and thought about how good it was back in the “old days” and how much fun it was when we were the kings and queens of the mountain. But you can never go back.

As I get older, I start to realize that I can’t be like Brenda and Eddie. Or as the New Yorkers say, ” Brender and Eddie”. You have to embrace change. You have to look to the future. You cherish your old friends and make new ones. Life moves on folks and it is nice to have memories but now is the time to make new ones. Thanks for reading.

Be a follower- enter your email to the left of the page or scoll down to the end on your smartphone. Thanks.

13 thoughts on “You Can Never Go Back to the Green.

  1. Dan Ros says:

    Tough read on a Monday, Pat!

  2. David says:

    I loved this Pat, thank you! It was a very timely reminder for me. You can never go back. Remember, cherish, and grow.

  3. skimeister says:

    Good one, Pat. I love to reminisce the “good ole days” too! Remembering those past times is I believe good therapy.

  4. Jim Sota says:

    I would not trade anything for the time I have spent with old friends and family. They have made me the person I am today and I often think back and smile. I was riding my gravel bike on Pritts Distillery Road a few weeks ago and I remembered riding my Ross mountain bike on this road over 30 years ago. The top of the mountain has completely changed but this area still looked the same. I could not go as fast but I did still make the hills and enjoyed the riding every bit as I did years ago. New memories can be just as good and satisfying and now I take more pictures and share them. Thanks Pat for sharing yours.

  5. Paul K. Vey says:


    I love this piece and also the last one about starting a new ski season. Sorry I didn’t have time to write earlier.

    I recall very fondly the Christmas parties at your parents house and how you always made all of us laugh when you recall your sticky fingers on the piano keys. 🙂

    I enjoy your work and the reminiscences. Thanks for writing! I will keep reading.!

    Hopefully we will cross paths in the near future, but if not, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and hope, as well, that we all have deep snow.


    Paul K. Vey , Esquire Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP One Oxford Centre, 38th Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Office: (412) 263-1823 | Fax: (412) 263-4248| BIO|vCard Connect with me on LinkedIn:

    This electronic mail message, and any attachments transmitted with it, contain confidential information, intended only for the named addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering this e-mail to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, distribution, copying or disclosure of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP by reply e-mail, and delete all copies of this communication from your computer and network. Thank you. ________________________________

  6. Chatton, Julie says:

    Wonderful Pat!! Thanks for the reminder that reminiscing is great, but the future is at hand and should be embraced!
    I hope your Thanksgiving was all you had hoped and that the rest of the Holiday season is filled with blessings!

    BIG {{{ Hug }}}

  7. Mark A Hutchinson says:

    You can look back in your mind! But never “go” back! As Satchel Page said, “Never look back something may be gaining on you!” Looking forward to a great christmas and ski season. I think you were good this year Patt!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s