The only other times that I have spoken in front of an audience this large, I always had Andrew by my side as we addressed the entire Hotchkiss Community -reporting on our paddle tennis matches, introducing our Taft Day video or making our campaign speech in our bid to become Hotchkiss Co-Presidents. And by the way, Andrew and I were always convinced that we won that election even though the Hotchkiss administration claimed otherwise. I always felt confident during those speeches with Andrew, even though I am not the most gifted public speaker. Dogg’s presence gave me a special confidence and made me far more able and humorous. Our speeches were always intended to be well done and funny, and I think we were successful. I know that Dogg is at my side today, and I stand here before you confident about what I will say to all of you about Dogg.
I knew about Andrew before I ever even met him. In my first couple of weeks as a Hotchkiss lower-mid, I was very perplexed by the countless numbers of faculty members and students who called me, “Andrew.” When I would correct them, they would say, “Well, you look just like Andrew Dwyer.”
The confusion never stopped throughout our time at Hotchkiss, and to this day people still call me “Andrew” or “Dogg” I don’t even correct them anymore. Neither Dogg nor I ever thought the resemblance was that incredible even though my own mother could not tell us apart on the lacrosse field, without our different jersey numbers.
It just seemed inevitable that we would become friends and when we finally got to know each other, we found out that we had plenty more in common besides our striking good looks. Dogg and I did just about everything together at Hotchkiss. We singlehandedly resurrected a dormant paddle tennis team that consisted of three people when we started and under our leadership, defeated Salisbury for the first time in school history. We were always partners and remained unbeaten. We beat them so badly that that rivalry no longer exists. The team continues to thrive today even after our graduation.
We also were fervent Hotchkiss hockey fans and would go to games with a bunch of our friends, dressed all in blue, with painted faces and signs and trash cans in support of our team. We were so loud that Taft put a picture of us on their website, commending 6s for our spirit. We played the same position on the lacrosse team, wrote top-ten lists for the school newspaper and as we often took many of the same classes, we frequently studied together. We did so much together that the names “Dogg” and “Hylando” became synonymous with each other. Outside of school, we did plenty of other activities together, too. We spent a summer living together in Martha’s Vineyard and often attended Yankee games together, always cheering hard for our Bronx Bombers.
If you have not been able to tell already, our lives pretty much revolved around sports. And no matter what the sport or game, we were almost always on the same team, whether it be golf, pool or even drinking games, and we almost always won. Our friends would accept their defeats by mockingly calling us “backyard athletes”, even though we both played varsity sports. But we took that to mean that our athletic talents covered a wide range of areas. Individually, we were very competitive with one another. We would have tubing battles off the back of the Dwyer’s boat to see who could knock the other off the tube first while Mr. Dwyer drove the boat at high speeds and often into sharp turns. Unfortunately, Dogg’s recent weight gain made our last battles fairly one-sided, and I was soundly defeated. Pick-up basketball games were very intense, especially when we were on opposite sides, and we eventually decided that we should always be on the same team just as we were in all other sports and activities. But our fiercest competition was to see who could reach 200 pounds first. And anyone who knows Andrew, could tell you that we did not attempt to achieve this goal by lifting weights.
Just about the only activity that we didn’t share was playing football. While I played, Dogg did not, yet he attended as many games as he possibly could. He was always our number one fan – he led the cheers on the sidelines, often with his face painted Hotchkiss blue and frequently perched on his Miller Lite blow-up sofa, which he would position alongside the playing field. He was always every bit as excited as we were when we won, and was so happy for me when I received some post-season accolades. I will never forget that famous smile, that he would greet me with, after games. But this was Andrew-a true friend, incredibly selfless and loyal. His friendship, which meant so much to all of us, will be a memory of Dogg that will remain with me forever. It is unbelievable to me that I only knew Dogg for 4 1/2 years because I feel that I have known him for my entire life and God knows we have enough stories to last a lifetime. I always felt that Dogg and I were destined to become friends because I don’t think that there is another
person that I could be more alike or compatible with. I will never have another friend like Dogg but I nevertheless feel truly blessed for my short time with him.
In closing, I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Dwyer, Nancy, Elly and the extended Dwyer family for always making me feel so much a part of your family over the past 4 and 1/2 years. This affection only heightened the strength of the special friendship that I shared with Andrew. I want the Dwyers and Andrew to know that I intend to maintain this relationship for the rest of my life.