Four college roommates gathered for a guys’ weekend pictured outside Cook Hall at Trinity College.
Four college roommates gathered for a guys’ weekend near Trinity College, our university home for those formative years in Hartford, Connecticut. Thirty-plus years later, this occasional reunion provides opportunities to look back, assess and reassess our lives, and readjust for a healthful, love-filled, meaningful future.
Outside Cook C22: Jerome Kapelus ’86, Benjamin Rhodes ’86, Erik Smith ’86, and Paul Kipnes ’85

Four college buddies
Returned to the scene
To the college we all once called home
For a guys’ weekend away
To reflect, come what may
On the lives, on the journeys we roam

We fell into old patterns
Using nicknames long forgotten
Stalking old friends and eating great food
Laughing about the old times
Over top-shelf drinks and good wine
Telling stories, some heartfelt, some rude

We walked back to the dorms
Where we set our life’s norms
Where we dreamed dreams ’bout what the future might be
We shared whatever came into our heads
We left nothing unsaid
It felt so normal, so comfortable, so free

We talked of family and marriage
Nothing was judged or disparaged
We just listened as each told his tale
Of the successes that energized
Of the times that surprised
Of the moments when each of us failed

Upon shoulders long trusted
We unburdened our burdens
About all we have seen and all that we did
No excuses, just to explain
Straight talk was the refrain
About love, finances, jobs, and our kids

With us four . . .
There’s no battles to win
We just retreat to check in
Analyzing our lives and our worries from afar
Because these history-holding friends
As we intentionally intend
Remind us of who we once were and now are

They say you can’t go back
To the past, You can’t retract
You can only embrace what you have and what’s in store
So to the present I return
Embracing it with passion that now burns
With clarity and support of us four.

That weekend away
With the guys, let me say
Reinvigorating, it helped me relax
There was nothing so insane
I reflected on the airplane
Just a weekend to get back on track