To all loyal sons of Barthe-- Below is a spontaneous essay I penned back around Easter and sent to my fellow class of 73 classmate Bob Meyer (who lives in Los Angeles.)   Last Easter Bob and a friend of ours from St. Martin's, Melissa Perrett, had reached out to me on the 1st anniversary of my teenage son Zack's death.  I offer it as a symbol of how we remain, after all these years, Loyal Sons of Barthe:
  " Bob-- you recall the tragic death of our classmate Beauregard "B.H."  Miller during our senior year, circa May 1973.   B.H. died at his Gretna home (the circumstances of which remain unclear, although evidently  it was by handgun, accidental or otherwise) while a bunch of us were sequestered up in the outer reaches of society, i.e., Ruston, La., to support the Sam Barthe basketball team as they played in the LISA state finals.  (We lost.  Sorry, Bob, I don't remember what Donna Kay Berger was wearing, but I'm sure it was tasteful and dignified, if predictible). The morning of the championship game I received a call in the Holiday Inn room I was sharing with about 17 other guys (Bob, I don't think you were there-- were you?) from the Barthe basketball coach who also happened to be our senior English teacher, Peter Michell, who plays a distinct and unique role in Bob and my life narrative...    Peter called to tell me to get everyone together, that he and Sam were coming to talk to us.   Well, inasmuch as Dubby Harris and I had the night before stolen the Cedar Creek Academy "spirit stick" from their team bus, we figured Sam and Peter were coming over to announce which juvenile detention facility we would soon be forwarding all our mail to. Of course, what Peter and Sam had to tell us was that B.H. had shot himself.   And I'll never forget what Peter said, and I reminded him just last month that after 37 years it still resonated-- that his own high school coach, a legendary sports figure named Kevin Trower, had once shared his philosophy of life with the Jesuit team-- that "life is a bucket of shit." Peter, of course, has always been an indefatigable optimist, and he shared with us that day in Ruston that he felt then (as he does now) that life is NOT a bucket of shit.    So when I met with Peter a couple of months ago to seek legal advice on pursuing medical malpractice claims on behalf of Zack, I  reminded him of his sanguine demeanor that day in north Louisiana, and confessed that in the wake of Zack's horrible death, I was more inclined to side with Coach Trower. But--at the risk of having my curmudgeon bona fides rescinded-- I recognize that having friends like Bob and Melissa makes it a bit easier for me to inch just a bit closer to embracing the idea of the bucket being shit-less.    (Or is the bucket half full or half empty?) Whatever.   Having the two of you in my life, however geographically distant, is the very definition of Grace. Happy EasterLove,ST"