I spoke to Alan Resnick almost every day for the last five years, usually while each of us were driving to Hofstra in our separate cars. And the call would always start like this: I would say “ALAAAN,” and he would respond “ERIIIC.” Then, he would provide a traffic report to me because he was always ahead of me driving out here, and we would launch into a discussion of the state of the Law School and whatever problems I was facing as its Dean.
On these calls, we would never speak about politics, sports, personal things like finances, family, or even fantasies. These topics we saved for our regular lunches at our Long Island haunt—the Coliseum Diner on Hempstead Turnpike. He would always look at the extensive menu of many items, consider some of them, but end up with eggs over easy or medium, sometimes with bacon. Then, an hour or so of wonderful conversation would ensue. Like Stuart Rabinowitz, Alan and I were friends for over forty years. We started at Hofstra Law School just after it was established, and our friendship was built around, at least at first, the many struggles we shared in trying to make Hofstra Law School the best that we could make it. Those were wonderful days filled with hard work, a go-for-it spirit, some inevitable anguish, and a lot of fun. We lunched together, played poker together, roasted each other, and retreated together for such important events as gambling in Puerto Rico, and as Stuart really described earlier, our famous Hofstra Law dance-off. Picture it—there he is: long hair, sideburns, bell bottom pants, in his best. And he had a really cool disco outfit, I can still remember it. Facing off against Professor John Gregory—bald—and looking ever so cool in his best jazz wear. Actually, Stuart declared Alan the winner, but I declared it a tie. I already had these decanal qualities within me.