July 5, 1995: The Gang Driving to Flint, Michigan

This was a pretty epic day. Today Nate, Joe, Josh, Jeff, Rich, and I loaded up in a car and Nate’s minivan and did a road trip from back home in New York out to get me moved into my new apartment in Flint, Michigan so that I could start my new semester at GMI Engineering & Management Institute this coming week. The last two semesters I had been living in the dorms, as was required. This semester some school chums and I have rented a big six bedroom house just off campus where we will be living – Jamie Quaderer, Aaron Teedee, Russell Sarquis were my primary roommates, and a guy that went by “Lurch” who was an older student and lived in our basement.

The drive from NY to MI went surprisingly quick, it took us only five hours to make the entire trip which including crossing into and back out of Canada. Most of the drive was across the Ontario Peninsula on Canadian highways. We had an awesome time, both on the drive and when we got out to Flint and moved me in.

The house that we rented was, of course, a complete dump. Very run down, terrible condition, definitely used as temporary student housing. I had a room in the back with a view onto the drive way on the first floor. Jamie and Russ lived upstairs. Aaron was on the main floor, but the opposite side of the house from me. It was a surprisingly private arrangement even with five of us living in the house.

The gang all crashed at the house for the weekend. Since almost all of Sonic Brass was there, we played some out on the street, too. The past couple of months had been a busy Sonic Brass touring line up so we were in shape and wanting to play. But this was really the last of Sonic Brass in any real sense, things would be so busy during and after this semester that we’d never really get back to touring as a group again.

I really only had this house for three months, this was the start of what would end up being my final semester at GMI. My first two semesters had not been great, I was pretty disappointed in the program overall and this semester really drove it home with far less competent professors and more university bungling. My time here really taught me about the sad state of the American education system.

This would be not only my last stint at GMI, but my last time seeing Michigan for nearly a quarter century! So weird to have studied and lived here at such a critical time in my life and then not to return for so long and then only for a few hours when, more than twenty years later, I bring my wife and kids here to drive around campus and to track down this house to show them where I lived so long before.

This memory was recorded in the fall of 2020.