Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Comfort of Old Friends

I remember a kid back in high school who was an amazing basketball player and a sometimes hellion.

The kid and I went to
high school here.
I remember a kid back in high school who, with a couple of other instigators, set fire to some papers in his desk in Spanish class and who also quarterbacked our hardscrabble football team with grace, strength, and humor against teams from much larger schools and with players much bigger and faster than most of our guys.

I remember a kid who scored more than 1,000 points in his four years of basketball, and I remember his quiet humility the night he hit #1,000. The gym exploded in applause. The coach was off his feet, his hands waving in the air, as happy and proud as we had ever seen him, and he was a very happy guy.

I remember a kid back in college who, like me, majored in pool and ping pong and, what do you know, flunked out the same semester I did, and who, like me, later returned to college and graduated with honors.

I hadn't seen this kid since our first class reunion many years ago, too many years ago, far too long ago. But a funny thing happened. After missing each other for decades at school reunions -- he would go but I wouldn't, then I would go but he wouldn't, that kind of thing -- we finally met up at our 45th reunion. And it was good.

Then, on a recent visit to Florida, my wife and I had lunch with this kid and his lovely wife, and life, to me, had come full circle. 

And it was good. Very good, indeed.