A Williamstown Tradition Observed for 26 Years

The World Series is on and that always reminds me of my decades-long tradition of the Williamstown trip with my father. He would come up on Friday, and usually we’d go out to dinner somewhere. Then he and I would replicate the same trip, year after year. Right down to having the same waiter at the restaurant, the same restaurant, for nearly 10 years!¬† We would usually take in the football game, and walk through the museums and the coffee shops of this little village. We did this together every year between 1980 and 2006. Wow, that’s 26 years.

We would walk around the village, stop into stores, browse bookstores for long periods, visit a record store and talk about jazz, and then retire to our little motel on the outskirts of Williamstown around 4 and take a nap. We would awaken refreshed several hours later and he’d put on a tie. Often, a bowtie.

And then we’d go to the Mill On the Floss, a restaurant¬† just outside of Williamstown that’s a throwback to the dark, fireside dining rooms of several decades ago. And our waiter would be Jeff. We got to know him and he expected to see us each year. And then we’d go over to the Williams Inn and watch Jeff’s dad play the bass, in a jazz quartet that plays standards there every Saturday night.

But it’s no longer our tradition. Though I lament not having that annual tradition any more, I do realize that every tradition has a lifespan..and you can’t exceed it, do it forever. Things change, new traditions may be upon us. I’ll watch for those and not lament the passing of eras.