A Friend By Any Other Name

Most people I know have a "best friend" from high school. Sometimes these friends go by-the-by after you graduate, but if that's the case, maybe they weren't a best friend in the first place. Graduation tends to move kids to the four winds, so they sometimes lose touch without even trying.

County Stadium for a Brewers Game

My friend Pat and I hung out a lot in high school. We'd played on the same middle school football team and were fairly compatible personality types, so just sort of gravitated toward each other in high school and later in college at the U of Minnesota. We had a lot of fun in our college years, both of us lacking focus on our academics in the name of pursuing the finer things in life. 

We even managed to wreck a couple of his Volkswagen Beetles on spontaneous trips to St. Cloud. One caught fire, the other we tore up the front axle after driving through a road closed sign and then up an unannounced curb at a high rate of speed. If these sound exciting and dangerous, well, I guess they were. As time passes, we tend to forget the carelessness of our youth. 

Tall boys at Big Boy circa 1989.

But Pat was always fun to be around. We had similar senses of humor and wit, and shared a deep faith too. That faith eventually took him to Tulsa Oklahoma to attend Bible college. That changed a lot of things with regards to how frequently we communicated. Distance does that. 

However we did not lose touch altogether. We still stood up in each others' weddings and maintained contact via the US mail. After several years away, he moved his family back to Minnesota where he resides today. He's given me publishing advice, as he runs a small Christian publishing house. We even got together for Bob Seger's farewell tour a few years ago and had a great stroll back down Main Street. 

But perhaps the best part about a longtime friend like Pat is that when you get together, you just pick up where you left off. There's a comfort level there and it only comes with having been through so much together. He just texted me and our friend Pete the other day wishing us a Happy Valentine's day. I appreciate his constancy.

I'm grateful to have all of those memories and extremely lucky to still call him friend.

Todays music comes from Bob Seger.


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