Thursday, March 04, 2010

Friends


The extra bonus for me in visiting the Philadelphia Flower Show is to reunite with my old friend and co-worker Don.




Don and I worked at two banks in Philadelphia during the turbulent 80’s. Our history goes back a long way. Don retired and now lives in Philadelphia. I miss his friendship.



Along the way during our Life’s Journey some of us are very fortunate to acquire good friends like Don. I am one of those fortunate few.



Because of the Internet, I am able to stay in touch with my other close friends. One of those is Bill P. He is retired and lives near Pittsburgh with his wife and two sheltie “children.” I worked with and for Bill for many years at the bank. For many years we went to lunch every day.



Another good friend is one from my high school days. His name is also Bill. We were in the high school marching band. He played the bass drum; I played the Sousaphone (sometimes misidentified as a tuba.) We renewed our closed friendship at a class reunion about thirty years ago and have been in close contact since. His still lives in my hometown of Downingtown, PA.



Yet another close friend is Larry M. I met Larry in third grade. We were best friends until 9th grade. His parents moved and Larry was in a different school district. We maintained our friendship during our school years but it wasn’t as close probably because we weren’t going to school together everyday. After school we lost touch for many years. We renewed our friendship after his mother wrote me in 2001 urging me to contact Larry and offer him support because he had lost his job at the bank where he worked. Larry lives in Claymont Delaware and we’re in almost daily contact by e-mail.



One of the reasons I chose to retire to Delaware was because of the close proximity of my good friend Big Bob. I met Big Bob in the Army in 1960 and we remained good friends over the years. Unfortunately, my friend Big Bob is in the early stages of dementia. It is so sad. Watching my friend slowly deteriorate is like watching someone slowly dying.



Two of my other good friends have passed on. I met Ron H. and Sal D. when I was stationed at Ft. Meade, Maryland in the 60’s. Both Ron and Sal died shortly before I moved to Delaware. I had renewed my friendship with both of them after many years of separation.



Since moving to Delaware I have made new friends. One of those new friends accompanied me to the Philadelphia Flower Show.



Yesterday I read an article about suicide. The article was prompted by two recently suicides of children of celebrities. The article attempted to explain one of the causes of suicide was loneliness caused by our new cyber age and the lack of good friends. I have to disagree. I’ve renewed many of my old friendships because of the Internet.

Maybe I’ll never see some of my old friends in person again during my lifetime but Tuesday was an exception. It was good to see my old friend Don again.

10 comments:

  1. Ron,

    Well, we were hardly strangers after 9th grade, especially once I got my driver's license. We double dated, hung out, looked for jobs together, hung out. Remember I had wanted you to be my best man when I married (except you were in the Army and couldn't come home for it). We really didn't kind of separate until you went in the Army, and even during your hitch we wrote each other regularily. I have a large box downstairs of your letters.

    Even after 9th Grade, I still considered you my best friend.

    Lar

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  2. Anonymous10:28 PM

    Hi Ron,

    Now that's a foursome of good looking guys! You do look a little underfed though! jk baby! I can't get over how you all had blue on. Was that planned?

    It was great seeing the pics of the flower show. I'll never forget my trip there. We drove & it was so easy to find. No, back then there were no GPS systems only a good map reader & that would be ME...pat on the back to self!

    Aren't you looking forward to the weather this weekend? I know I am. I hope your work week was pleasant.

    Take care,
    Fran

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  3. Fran,
    Thank you for your very generous comments! I had not notice that we were all wearing blue. No, we didn't plan it. Must be our personalities.
    Yes, I am so looking forward to nice weather so I can get out in my back yard and start the spring cleanup. It is so overdue.

    Have a great day!

    Ron

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  4. Lar,
    You are right. We were hardly strangers after ninth grade. My memory kind of fogs up sometimes.

    What I do remember so clearly is how disappointed I was when I first heard that you were moving. I even remember where you told me, it was in gym class as we were changing for showers. Strange that I would remember that isn't it?

    I had to reconfigure my friendship life after you left. Bill Brookover took over that role. A boy needs a best friend in high school. I had two of them. I was very lucky. Some go through those difficult years and have no best friends. I valued your friendship back then and I still do now. Even though youre a Bush lover, but I forgive you for that transgression. After all, that's what a real friend is. They accept you just as you are, warts and all.

    Ron

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  5. Ron,

    Oh, I agree, when you lived 15 miles apart and in different school districts, especially back then, it was a distance. You did need some friends in the school and around the block. I met Richard Wilson when i moved in there and he only lived a quarter mile away. We were the same age. He'd been held back a couple years in school, though, so we weren't in the same class. Ray Ayres and Richard Raymond Miller became my best friends in the high school. (How is that for an oddity of names, Richard, Richard Ray and Ray?)

    I palled about with Ayres and Miller in school and we did some activities together. We all wrote and acted together in school entertainments and Ayres and I had our DJ gig together at dances as Gravely and Hearse, but we seldom got together socially outside of school and those activities.

    Outside of school, Wilson and I spent a lot of time together. But I was still sent to my grandparents on weekends and got together with you and Stuart. My grandfather died the year I turned 16 and I got his car and then you and I spend a fair amount of time cruising about.

    Yeah, those last half dozen years were split among different friends, but growning up you were the one friend I was most comfortible sharing anything with.

    Lar

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  6. Lar,

    Did you notice that all of your good friends (except Stuart) last names began with an "R"? Richard, Ray, and Ron?

    Your grandfather leaving you his car also changed my life. I remember well all those excursions we used to take on Saturday nights. I don't think I ever paid you for gas either. I OWE YOU!

    Good times Lar. You are a very important part of my adolescent life. I would have been very lonely without you. I thank you for your friendship.

    Ron

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  7. Ron,

    And Stuart's middle name was Rayfield. My friend of the last 25 or so years here on the street is my neighbor, Ron Reid. The guy I get along best with at my church is named Randy. And the person at Chico's I was closest to is Ronda.

    My closest friend through most of the sixties and early seventies, the one who name his fist child after me, was named joe, but his last name was Rubio. My closest friend at Lincoln bank was Richard Mason.

    Lar

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  8. Lar,

    When I was stationed at Ft. Meade, Maryland a group of us guys used to car pool to go home to Pennsylvania on some weekends. There were five of us:
    Ron Tipton
    Ron Hampton
    Ron Palmer
    Ron Nessen
    Ron Miller

    Yes, you read it right. FIVE RONS!

    Ron, Ron, Ron, Ron, and Ron

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  9. Five Rons!

    Sounds like a doo-wop group or a hamburger joint.

    I see a lot of misspellings in my last comment. I wrote it in a hurry. I mean, "name his fist child"? It should be named his first child after me.

    lar

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  10. Lar,

    And we all went by "Ron" too! Converstations in the car during the 2 1/2 drive were something. Someone would say "Ron" and the other four of us would say "Yeah?" What a mess.

    When my brother Isaac came back from Germany (during his Army days) there were THREE "Isaac Not two but THREE!

    Ron

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