I read with some interest the announcements of the passing of my high school classmates in a news letter I have been getting now for a few years. Having left Louisiana in ’59 and never having returned to live, has left me more or less bereft of any meaningful contact with but a few of my former classmates. Of course, I always wondered, as we all do, what ever happened to …. you know, what’s his or her name. It wasn’t until my friend Bill “found” me one night 5 or 6 years ago that I ever considered that anyone would even remember who I was. I had after all left the home ground for my own dreams. There’s an old saying – “He who leaves gets left”. Actually I just made that up, but it rings true. The real meaning is, time + distance = “I wonder whatever happened to…”

Sadly, I do not remember some of the faces as their names are called for the last time. I had a small circle of intimates and though I knew of many I was, as I recall, really known by few. I browse the photos in the news letter and see faces that I did not watch grow old. it would be fun to show up at one of those reunion functions, but alas, that does not seem to be in the plan. 2000 miles is quite the deterrent. And I am not sure about the fun part.

All this brings me to Freddy Kennon, the latest name on the growing list. We grew up together. Across the street from each other. We had 9 fights a day and made up 10 times. I suppose you could say were friends but not intimate friends. His father was a fisherman and he took us fishing and that was more about pleasing his father than fishing. He was my friend and then one day he moved away. I never saw him again. That’s the way those things happened. That was a lifetime ago. Possibly more. I had heard that he was in the army or one of the other branches of military. I think my mother told me that long before she died.

After so much time passes, the knowledge we have of each other is more academic than anything else. Friendship takes some work. This is as it should be. The times I have tried to contact someone from back then, it fell on indifferent ears. Kind, but indifferent. What, after all, is there after over 50 years of silence?

We all have lives and we all get on with them. That’s what it’s all about. High School for me seemed to be a long wait. Constantly focused on the future. The good students could focus on the present. I can remember sitting there thinking how in the hell can I hold out for however many years there were ahead of me at the time. Little did I imagine college and two grad schools. There are too many fast balls in life that are in the mitt before you even swing. Fifty years was the fastest. I guess you could say I held out.

Well, I do ramble on. It’s funny how reading of the passing of one after another of my old classmates causes little deviation in my life and then Freddy comes along and the whole epoch cascades down upon my head in a rush of memories and emotion. Very strange indeed.

I had often wanted to just say hello and yet did not. See what I mean?

1 Comment

  1. Sorry for your loss, on many levels. Just my 2c’s but a true friend stays in your heart for life. Time melts away ever so easy as we take a peek into that chamber of our heart in which we hold our dear ones. In most cases, I believe these to be the most special of special memories. Its a gift to have them and in the same breathe it’s that gift which can bring w/ it sadness. Reunions can be interesting, somehow. I’ve made it to Michael’s only, most of our friends were in his class, not mine. Through my children’s eyes the yrs since HS are lengthly but in various ways, when watching the boys through their HS yrs it does seem like yesterday. Thanks for sharing, again sorry for your loss of a childhood friend.-Michelle

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