Of course this was long before the Internet, so I would have to stay up late and watch Henry (I can call him Henry, right?) on some obscure cable television network or pick up the New York Times and dig through the agate section of the Sports pages. The small Connecticut newspapers never carried international track and field.
One summer night, however, my obsession with Henry went to a new level. He was running in some race someplace overseas where people actually pay attention to track and field when it's not an Olympic year and my father found the steeplechase was running at 1 a.m.
We stayed up and watched the race. True to form, Henry took his spot at the back of the pack and the runners worked their way around the track, hurdling with precision each barrier and water jump they came upon.
Then it was the last lap and things became interesting...on the track and in my home.
Henry started to make his move on the first corner.
"Okay, there he goes," I said. "There he goes. He's going. He's gonna be fine. Right, Dad, he'll get everyone. Don't you think?"
My father is a quiet man so he didn't give me an answer. This just stressed me out.
Down the back stretch Henry did what he always did as he reeled in the runners one at a time. Then at the 200- meter mark he was off and cranking.
No one could finish a race like Henry. Arms pumping, head wobbling, teeth gritting as he went over that last water jump and into the final 100 meters.
By this time my father and I were on our feet screaming and jumping up and down, willing the Stormin' Mormon to pass that last guy in front of him, which he did with about 40 meters to go. And as was customary, Henry won.
My father and I jumped up and down like we had been given a winning lottery ticket.
Then my mother, blurry eyed and very unhappy, entered the living room.
"What is going on that is so important that you have to jump around and scream at 1 in the morning?" I tried to explain, but I was too excited and out of breath from the excitement.
After I calmed down I went upstairs and got into bed. I stared at the ceiling, which was also covered with pictures of my hero Henry.
I just stared at those photos playing over and over in my mind that great race I'd just watched...until I finally drifted off to sleep.