I am privileged to have a few friends who go all the way back. I am visiting one such friend now down in Pennsylvania. He and his wife have this place in the woods that includes a 13 acre lake where they spend their summers from their home in Arizona.

Bill and I were buddies in high school and from there our ways diverged. He put in 20 years driving bombers during the Cold War through Vietnam and then went into business and I sought to help people through various means. Next time around I’ll try bombers, I think.

Seven or eight years ago I got this call late one night and it was Bill. I knew who it was the moment I heard his voice. It was like 65 years just evaporated in seconds and we took up where we had left off so long ago. We manage to see each other most summers either like now In Pennsylvania, or back in Maine.

Sunset

I have few contacts from that early period. There is little in common anymore after so many years of life building that is mostly un-shared experiences. You talk about the intervening period and seek to bring each other up to date and that works to some degree. Then, if you discover that you still like each other, you go from there into a new friendship that has roots in the beginning. There is something special about that.

Morning light

The four of us have been married 7 or 8 times and therefore qualify for veteran status. We all know that we know about life – not that we are experts – and can not be fooled. There’s a certain pleasure in that. Sometimes we let actuarial thinking creep into our conversation – you know, how long we have lived. How long we might live. Sometimes politics come up: he on the far right and me on the sensible left, of course. I mean, what the hell – I’m writing this, after all.

It helps that none of us are really religious. That would bust us up for sure if we were really serious: two Baptists, a Catholic and a Mennonite. We just laugh and are thankful for what those years gave to us and for the time we now have.

Bill is making a fresh pot of coffee. What a guy!