Sunday, April 5, 2009

Friends

I sat here and thought and thought of how to start off today's post and couldn't think of anything that sounded right so I'm just going to use the direct route:

Today (Saturday) after forty years, I had lunch with two of my best friends from junior high. Today was all grins!

Michael, Alan and John Jones were my three best friends in junior high. Today I got to see Michael and Alan. I've known Michael since elementary school, where he was my best buddy. Then we met Alan at Foshay, a school where my boss says they sent all the "bad" kids from the school he attended (John Burroughs junior high).

Seeing them today was great; we just scratched the surface catching up on things so I hope we can get together again soon.

Michael told me that over the years he's been wondering whatever happened to me. Last Easter, he said he was at the Albertson's at Rodeo and La Brea when he had a feeling that someone he saw there was me. This guy didn't look like me; he said he had a full head of gray hair in a Beatles-style cut but Mike had a sneaking suspicion it was me; he stood there wondering what did I do to myself.

But he didn't have the nerve to go up to the guy and ask if it was me.

I told him, "nope, that wasn't me."

He laughed and said now that he was looking at me, he recognized the real me, but back a year ago for some reason he kept thinking the person he was eyeing in the store was his old buddy.

Then he pulled out a piece of paper from an envelope and handed it to me. He had written a poem shortly after that about his experience - about him wondering if that person was really me and how I had changed so much over the years from the days when he'd come over and my mom would give us Carnation ice cream sandwiches. And he wrote about how we were now older than our parents were at that time.

That's something I've often thought about - that we are now at an age older than our parents when we used to go to each other's houses.

It was a really nice poem. I handed it back to him but you know, I should have asked him if it was a copy I could keep.

As I drove home I thought about how Michael had wondered about me all these years. From my point of view, I have trouble believing that the people I knew from the past still have such a curiosity about me, even though I have a big curiosity about them. Me, I wonder if anyone even remembers me. It's just like I think back on all the girls I had a crush on, but it is difficult for me to entertain the idea that there may have been girls who had a crush on me. Well, maybe there weren't any. But if there were, it's hard for me to fathom that.

One funny thing - the first person that Mike asked if I had seen or heard from was Hironobu Mori. I told him no, I hadn't seen him since junior high but I keep in touch with someone whose brother is married to his sister, Masayo.

Then Mike smiled and said "I remember her. She was really good looking." I laughed and told him about my recent lunch with JT, who also held the same opinion about her back in those days, and who still remembered her (and declared her as being "fine"). As we walked inside to the buffet tables, I told Mike, "there were lots of fine girls at Foshay, weren't there."

Mike smiled and nodded. "Yup, there sure were."

Saturday was good. Here's a picture of us old folks (click on it to enlarge). That's Alan in the middle (he's 6' 4"). We all agreed we were blessed to be healthy, happy and employed. I hope to see them both again soon.


We ended up going to different high schools and I drifted apart and lost contact with them up until just recently when I got in touch with Alan. In high school I had a different set of best buddies. In both cases, I've been really blessed to have such good friends in junior high and high school - you couldn't ask for better ones.

Here's something from 40 years ago..






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