The Benda, aka Ben Ladner, was not a Cubs fan. He was a true a sports fan and talking sports with Ben was always fun. He was there for games six and seven in 2003. Not to rub it in about some damn curse, but rather with a nice bourbon to help drink away the bad memories. Ben understood what it meant to be a fan and why I can never forgive Alex Gonzalez.
I had many adventures with him over the years. From Boston to Miami and all over the Southeast we found ways to enjoy losing or get in trouble. He wrecked my parents’ car and never let it show he was worried. For the record, I thought the world was ending, but it did not.
There were epic battles on playstation that went on for years. Year after year new games were bought and new rivalries were born. Whether it be in the SEC or the Sun Belt, each game always was for bragging rights.
Then there were college classes together. I took Music Appreciation and Chemistry with him because he had not been a student for quite some time. In the end he helped my grades in Chemistry. He forced me to study, because he wanted to make sure he was ready for the tests. He even outscored on one test and I was never more proud of him. Even though he did not like school he still worked hard.
Our labs were always done before everybody else. That was because he let me just do it and get the answer. Later we would go over the reasoning, but the quicker we got done the faster we could fire up the playstation and leave school.
In our music class we were supposed to attend concerts and review them, but because of my music background I found stuff I could review without attending. Then I passed on some points to Ben, so he could write his review. Of course allowing more time for drinking or playing playstation.
I will miss my friend Ben. He always brought a smile to my face or a drink to my hand. He knew how to live life and I thank him for that.
Until that time I will let my problems go and drink my bourbon nice and slow.
Thanks for the memories Ben.