Friday, October 19, 2007

Where are my Friends

Ever wonder what happened to people from your past? I for some reason was thinking about a friend I had in 1st grade named Tommy C. He was someone that would have been a best friend for life. He was one of those kids that had a large cranium, butch haircut and wore glasses. He had a weird voice but was really cool. Everyone liked him. I remember one day walking home from school, we were sent home early because of a tornado watch, and me, being a little paranoid, told him I was a little scared because my mom wouldn't be home. Normally she would have been, she was a stay at home mom, but for some reason I knew she wouldn't be there that day. Anyway, we were walking home and I told him why I was scared and I didn't know where to go. He saw how scared I was and calmly told me not to worry. He said he would stay with me until my mom got home or we could go to his house. I was no longer scared but more importantly, that was when I had my first lesson in what friendship was all about. He was a good kid and I wanted to hang around him. Unfortunatley, he moved away the following year and I never saw him again.

In 6th grade, I had a friend named Ruben A. He was part of one of the first hispanic families in our town. He didn't speak english very well but seemed to get by. While some kids would make fun of him, I found him to be very interesting. He would have me over for real mexican food, which I never got at home, and taught me a little about his culture. He was also very athletic and we both competed in the Presidential Campaign for Fitness. I don't know if they still have that or not, but we competted in the 50 yard dash and the broad jump. He was always the fastest kid in school. I think he had to be just to get away from the bullys. I almost beat him once tho, we were at the track meet, in the finals and I was fairly nervous. The gun went off and I got a late start. I was thinking in my head, there's no way I'm going to catch up but tried anyway. I think I ran faster than I ever had before and saw myself almost catching Ruben. I had passed 3 other people and was almost there when we hit the finish line. Ruben took 1st some guy from another school took second and I placed 3rd. I saw Ruben shortly after that arguing with one of the score keepers telling them that he was positive I was in third. He made sure I recieved my 3rd place ribbon. I told him that I appreciated him sticking up for me and he just smiled and said, "ya know, if you would've started with the rest of us, you would've won", then he laughingly called me and idiot and walked away. After that day, I never even got close to beating him but I had a lot of fun trying. He also moved from the neighborhood the following year. Seems to be a trend here.

In high school, I had a friend J.D. He was one of the first guys that had a car. Actually he had a Ford truck with 4 wheel drive. J.D. was one of those guys with a care free attitude and would do anything as long as having fun was involved. We would go 4 wheeling in the cornfields in the fall after a rain and purposely try to get stuck in the mud. It wasn't a good day unless we got stuck at one point or another. One year at Christmas, he rigged a christmas tree in the back of his truck, somehow wired it to where there were blinking lights on the tree. He concocted a mixture of gin and mountain dew, which he called the Christmas Tree drink, it tasted like drinking a pine tree, and made sure there was plenty to share anyone questioning the tree. Yes, sad to say, we were drinking and driving, but it was in the 70's so I think statute of limitations has long passed. We even got pulled over that night but the cop was too impressed with the tree and J.D.'s innocent smile that he let us go without checking for alcohol. I met up with J.D. a couple years later in S Carolina. We were both in the Navy. He hadn't changed but he was married, and honestly, she wasn't right for him. She tried to change him, complained about him all the time, always telling him to grow up and they eventually split up. I think he's found someone who lets him be who he is. Last I heard he lives in the wilderness in northern Michigan, trapping and hunting for food. He was a guy who would do anything for you without questioning one bit. I haven't seen him in probably 25 years but if I did, I'm sure we'd pick up right where we left off.

These are just 3 of the people I wouldn't mind having back in my life. I often wonder what has become of them. Are they still alive, what are they doing? I have no doubt that Tommy C was successful, Ruben, I imagine him coaching a bunch of kids in some sport or another. J.D. I picture siting on the porch of his log cabin in the middle of nowhere, widdling on a piece of wood and telling his kids about life in the 70's with this big sh@# eating grin on his face. Although there are many more people I'd like back in my life, these 3 taught me many life lessons on what a friend should be.
I hope you have friends like that.

1 Comments:

Blogger T said...

It's Tommy C. LOL... too funny, after four years, I found this and am able to respond. We've found each other on Facebook, thankfully. May the future be strong and happy for both of us. :)

And, what's this about a strange voice and a large cranium??? LOL... and, I didn't start wearing glasses until I was 26 years old! Your memory is a bit faded, but the sentiments are appreciated. :)

Tom (Tommy) C.

4:49 PM  

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