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Cross Country With My Brother


I was finally on a train to visit Anderson in NYC and I knew that it would be a great time. I always had slight issues hanging out with Anderson and his friends because I always felt they saw themselves as “superior.” I know now that this is just me being overly sensitive and that as much as they went to the IVY league, I’m still right there with them and I know that I’ll be alright. I guess part of this stems from the classic younger brother situation of making everything competitive and even still I force myself not to view things in a competitive manner. It is always good to see my brother and we usually have good times, although he has an amazing sense for knowing the right buttons to push to irritate me- I’m sure that is true in almost every sibling relationship. On the train I decided to start to read a book that I had been putting off until I had some free time. CN got me a great book about an underground Blackjack card counting team from MIT. It was a birthday gift that she got for me. We were in a bookstore just down the main line at school when I mentioned to her that I wanted to read this book about MIT Card Counters. That’s really all I said and next thing I know it’s what she got me for my birthday, she’s so sweet.

In the few hours from Philly to NYC on the train I finished the majority of the book. It had been a long time since I had read purely for pleasure and this was one of the books that made me forget about time. I am always amazed at how a book can do that to me. It got to the point after I had finished the book that I missed the characters and wanted to know what they were doing. A long time ago my grandmother P. had told me about this same feeling with her connection to good books and I remember thinking to myself, as a young boy, that what she said was a little weird and would probably not ever happen to me.

After getting to Anderson’s apartment and unpacking a bit, I finally settled down and finished the book. It was such a good read that I told my brother that he had to read it and that he would really enjoy it. He said that he’d get to in on the ride home. I can’t recall if I went out that night. We did end up going out a few times that weekend and it was always fun. Saturday the 28th of June I did end up meeting a bunch of my fraternity brothers out in Manhattan for a fun adventure. We met up at Union Square in the City and hit up a few bars for Christopher P’s Birthday. It was a good time and I was very pleased to see MattyK, The Cuche, MikeD, Chaz, and a bunch of other nova people. Cuccia was telling me how great temporary work was and how I really needed to do the same; “you know, just to get your foot in the door”. I was unsure about the idea of that and I still don’t think that is the route for me.


That night I joined Anderson and one of his fraternity brothers out for dinner at a very quant place in southern Manhattan. We sat outside and Reljea spoke for nearly 40 consecutive minutes about the Atkins diet. Although I was interested in the topic, I found it quite amazing that someone could talk for such a long time about the same thing.

After dinner we all went to a “Dartmouth” party. I guess the alumni association had arranged for this outing and negotiated some Dartmouth drink specials. I felt a little out of place having to explain to people, who I really had little interest to talk to, that I was Anderson’s little brother and that I just graduated from Villanova. I decided to go back a little early to the apartment as I was not willing to deal with the club scene and loud music any longer. After I spoke with Anderson the next day I wished I had stayed with him for the evening. Apparently the post party was at some high end ritzy club at the W or something similar. It would have been nice to see what the scene there was like, but the best part of the nightly recap was Anderson’s trip to late night McDonalds. The way he told it was that Anderson and his friend from work were the last two people served before they shut down the 24-hour establishment for cleaning and to swap over to the breakfast menu. Once the doors were locked a drunk guy came by and started pounding on the doors for some “F*(&ing Chicken McNuggets!!!” Anderson and his friend said to him, “The 24 hour McD’s is CLOSED! ?” The way the story goes is that this guy started pulling on the door so hard that it shattered the glass. The lush walked right into the McD’s and started yelling about his Nuggets! Eventually the cops came and arrested the guy. Anderson said that it was hilarious and I was fortunate enough to overhear the story told numerous times on his cell phone on our drive home.


The next night we decided to all go out again as a group and I got to meet some more of the people Anderson worked with. The last night on the town for Anderson and I could tell that as much as he wanted to leave Manhattan, it was still stressful to up and move. We went bar hopping for a while. We went to this other packed club and everything was great. We were dancing and talking to girls when all of a sudden I hear my brother getting into an argument with one of his best friends from work. I don’t know the whole situation and as much as I was temped to ask what was going on, I just stood there knowing that Anderson could take care of himself.



The next day I slept in while Anderson got up early to rent the van we were going to drive across the country. He came back much later than we expected, but it all worked out in the end. I was the one who got to watch the stuff outside of the van while Anderson brought down more loads of it. I ended up just holding a hammer for a while just waiting for someone to come and try to grab something. I had heard horror stories from Jamie O. having one of his duffel bags stolen on the streets of Manhattan as he guarded others. You just can’t go chasing off after the thief because then the rest of your stuff is left there for other people to snag. It never happened and I am happy for that.


Anderson had a very legitimate concern that we were going to be unable to fit all of his belongings into the van. He left the light boxes out just in case we had to ship some of them. I ended up working very hard at packing the van and when it was all finished we were both amazed at how much we had crammed into the small burgundy van. Anderson gave me a hug after it was packed and told me that I made his life much easier for the move. Although I know it was a small compliment, it was something that felt really good to hear from my big bro. The ride home was long and boring. We left Manhattan around 7pm and by 2am we were in West Virginia’s 20 mile spoke that separates Pennsylvania from Ohio. We stopped at some hotel and drove the rest of the way to meet up with my Mom in KC. It was good to be home in Kansas and excellent to see the grandparents. The following day, the first of 2nd of July we drove out to Colorado. Anderson had 6 of his fraternity brothers fly into Denver for the 4th. It was an interesting bunch and I hope Anderson had fun for his moving “Vacation” from work.


The 4th of July was very pleasant. The group decided they wanted to drink beer down at the Ritz’s pool. We loaded up some beers in a nice red metal bin that my mother had, probably from Longaburger or something. After lugging the beer and ice down the trail to the pool there was a nice big sign that said “No Alcohol Brought onto Property.” Everyone just stood there on the soft green grass looking at this sign dumbfounded. Two ideas were brought up, 1.) Steal the Sign. 2.) Sit on the grass, just outside of the boundary and drink all the beer! We were just kidding about #1, of course…


Taking our seats on the soft grass, I wondered just how long it would take management to come out and kick the 8 of us out and keep us from our cheep bush light beer. The other problem that I saw was that some of the 8 weren’t really in the drinking mood and that left a lot of beer to be consumed by the rest of the crowd before we could go swimming.


The huge pile of empty beer cans was a hilarious sight as the posh older women looked on with evil eyes. The group cleaned the grounds and entered the pool. Quickly everyone was chased out by our 5 on 5 game of touch football with the help of 13 year old Bobby and his friend. Everyone who was old enough to realize what was going on just stared at us and I quickly got the feeling that we weren’t exactly welcome. The couple beers that I had weren’t sitting very well after the intense game of football and I retreated to the hot tub for a bit.


The guys visit was an excellent time and Anderson did a great job of including me in the action. What I found most interesting was the tendency for the group to just sit down and read a book, often in a circle in the living room with each member of the reading party engulfed by his own story. CN’s MIT card counting book was a huge hit with my brother and after telling of the greatness of the story to his friends and a visit to the bookstore 2 new copies were floating around the house. One of his friends actually read it in nearly one sitting. It is truly a great book.


After all of the 4th of July guests flew back to their respective locations my family took a trip to Colorado Springs to see our relatives there. Dad, however, had to fly home for some business. The remanding three of us had an excellent visit with Jayme and Mike, Julie and the girls, but Uncle Glenn was busy with work. The girls are getting big and are loving the Harry Potter series. I convinced the girls to walk on my back while I was lying on their living room floor. The girls would giggle as I did push ups with them on my back. They would always request that Anderson and I pick them up and swing them around. It was a great visit and a day and half was the perfect time period. After returning to the Gulch, Dad flew back in the next day and the three of them were off to California. I decided that I was going to stay at the house and try and look for a job. Currently, I have an interview tomorrow, July 14, with Remax and I interviewed with the ritz last week. I have been going to the gym everyday now for a few weeks and I’m trying to get buff. It is my continuous battle to get health and feel good about my body. I also think the new focus on my situation is because I lack control in so many other areas of my life that this is something that I can control and can influence. In any case I hope the trend continues and that I do get my health in order. I know I am not to young to worry about these things and that if I make small changes now, it will be beneficial later on in life. Easier said than done though! 😉


Alright, I’ve got a big day ahead of me tomorrow. Mom and Dad are driving back from Las Vegas and I’m going to continue my job hunt.


Kendall Schoenrock’s business background includes experience in tech startups, real estate development, and angel investing. Currently he runs Schoenrock Investments, a family real estate investing office that is an umbrella to multiple other entities focused on residential, commercial, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

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