I’m taking off today to spend it with my oldest friend. We met in June 1957. My family had just moved into our new home in Perrysburg and he and his sister knocked on our front door and asked if there were any kids his age the he could play with.
We grew up together, going to school together, going through good times and tragedies, and nine years later, after he had moved to Florida, I was invited to come down to visit over spring break. It was my first time in Florida, and as his mom said, once you get sand in your shoes, you have to come back.
How right she was. In 1971 I moved to Miami to go to college. But my friend had gone off to join the Navy, and we lost touch. It would be another fifteen years or so before we met up again, and then only briefly. It would be 2003 before we connected and arranged to meet as I changed planes in Chicago on my way to Toledo.
As it always is with old friends, it was like no time had passed at all as we shared a sandwich in the food court at Midway. When I left, we promised to keep in touch, and we have, thanks to social media and the bond that was formed more than fifty years ago.
We got together two years ago (see below) at his place up the coast and we’ll do it again tomorrow down here. And I hope when he knocks on the door in the morning, he’ll ask if there are any kids his age to play with.