Jake Grand

I am going to begin my talk today with something, that I believe, describes and encompasses Andrew’s personality for many different reasons. Many of you may not have known this, but Andrew and I liked to sit up at night by the fire-with hot chocolate and whipped cream, and philosophize about life. Sometimes we read poetry, and when things would get really crazy, sometimes we would act out the poems through interpretive dance. I would like to read one poem today that describes Andrew so very well. It’s called, “I love,” and it is from, the Coors Light Brewing company.

I love playing two hand touch,
Eatin’ way too much,
Watchin’ (the Yankees) my team win… and twins,
I love quarterbacks eatin’ dirt,
Pom-poms, and short skirts,
Fans who won’t quit,
And- those twins,
And I love you too.

For those of you who do not know me, I was Andrew’s best friend growing up, and despite what the Dwyers might say, our relationship was entirely heterosexual. Over the years I began to know Andrew, not by his name Andrew, but more by the weird nick-names me and my friends, and his friends called him, and each other. Just to name a few, Stanker, Stankie, Stank-head, Stankleberry, Stank-in-a-box, Stanky-D-Stankerwawa, Stank-D, Drew, Dwyer, Dogg, squirt, swedge, that-guy, younger-guy, older-guy, too cool-guy, awkward-guy … and if you ever called the Dwyer’s house and had Mrs. Dwyer pick-up the phone, you would of course know him as, AAAANNNNDDDRRREEEWWW!!

Andrew had the most amazing sense of humor ever since I can remember, and only looking back on things now do I realize just how hilarious he was. I remember one Halloween when we were pretty young, and we didn’t have costumes for some party, so we had the great idea of going as twins. As we arrived at the party, we suddenly realized that maybe wearing the exact same shirt, pants, shoes, and belt wasn’t as cool as we thought, it was even a little weird, but Andrew had the solution. He told people that he dressed up as a boy, and any time someone would mention that I was dressed the exact same, he would simply reply, “Jake came as a boy too? No way? What are the chances of us both dressing up as a boy?” or, he would say, “Jake wants to be like me.”

I remember another time when we were really young, skiing in Bromley with the Dwyers. Andrew and I were convinced, positive, that one of us had skinny enough arms that were just long enough to reach up a candy machine and steal a snickers bar or something. Well, after endless attempts, I think he reached something, but he also managed to get his entire arm,from shoulder to hand, stuck in the machine. I remember hearing some hotel staff guy call the front desk and say, “Aaah, yeah, we have a problem, some kid has his whole arm stuck in the vending machine.” It turned out after minutes of trying to figure out how to get the arm out, Mr. Dwyer got the brilliant idea to tell Andrew to release whatever he was clenching so tightly, and of course his arm popped right out.

Andrew and I could really never do anything too serious together, I think because we would always be making each other laugh and we would completely lose our focus. In tennis, we would play doubles together all the time. We would be the better team on the court by far, but even if we were playing 9-years olds, we would lose. All it took was one comment about the other team -one joke, and we were finished. Once it started, it would never end. How could I focus on hitting the ball when the shot before was hit by Andrew and he would moan like Monica Seles, fall down, or just try to peg the other team right in the nuts. It didn’t matter who was winning, we only cared about having fun.

I think maybe the most fun we ever had was the summer after our senior year, living on Martha’s Vineyard. We had a great feeling about the summer from the start when we tried our luck with the delivery services. We orderd all the essentials, American cheese, meat, sausage, thirty packs of beer, and milk, because we didn’t want be suspicious. We were a little nervous about the law, and the whole having to be 21 to buy beer thing, but our feelings were soon laid to rest when we heard Delivery, followed by…”WHAT’S UUUUUPPPPPP, YYYEEAAHH”, of our best friend Sam Goodhue, who had recently acquired a job as a delivery man. I was also pleased to find that Andrew’s anonymous friend who was living with us, Hylando, was extremly nice and funny. But I knew he was a good dude from the start because I had never met anyone who looked like he was seperated at birth from Andrew, and I knew, that was another good sign. That summer, I think Andrew broke several different records. Cheese Dogs – 200, Cheese Burgers – 175, new creations involving meat and American cheese – 100, most hours of trashy TV in one summer – 80, most time spent being pissed off (he was in Massachusetts and he couldn’t stand the Red Sox) – 60 hours, most consecutive hours on the beach – 20, shortest career in the Ice Cream Scooping business – 3 hours, and the most impressive record of them all, keeping a job for 6 weeks of the summer at the mobile station-but only actually working 5 days.

The single most amazing aspect about Andrew had to be his heart. His crazy and wacky personality was never driven by attention, but I think he just really loved to make people laugh. In a way, I was always jealous of all the guys who went to Hotchkiss because I knew you were having so much fun with Andrew. Looking back on it now, I’m glad you guys appreciated him as much as I did, I’m glad he had friends like you guys here today. You guys meant the world to Andrew, and now you mean the same to me, I love you guys.

Mr. and Mrs. Dwyer, Elly and Nance, we sure have had a lot of fun together. Thank you for letting me be a part of your family for so long, I love you guys with all my heart. And Andrew-he once told me that he wanted me to be the best man at his wedding.

Well, Andrew, you always have been my best man, and you always will be. You were the best friend in the entire world to me, till we meet again. Stank D-I miss you, and I love you.