Sunday, June 26, 2005

Friend from the Past

Earlier this year I rediscovered my friend Chuck, whom I hadn’t seen since the day I moved to DC – that would have been September 12, 1971, when he was leaving town just as I was arriving. This all happened because when I visited Freddie Lee in March, we went to visit our friend Tricia Kelly, who just happened to have dated Chuck for a while at FSU. I agreed to go home and see if I could find him, which wasn’t all that difficult using the Internet. I didn’t hear from Chuck for a while, because he spends 4 months of the year in his condo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, so he didn’t get my phone message which I left in Denver immediately. Since April we have been exchanging e-mail messages and catching up on each other’s lives.

When Chuck said he was coming east in the summer, I started to get excited about seeing this old friend again. The trip finally materialized and today he rolled into DC. You have to know that Chuck’s claim to fame when I knew him at FSU was a SHINY navy blue corvette, his pride and joy. Today’s car was also blue and was also a collector’s item, but this time a Porche. Chuck always did go for the best!

When the little blue Porche pulled up, I was so curious to see what a difference 30 years would make. The person who got out was a lot grayer and a little heavier, but still very recognizably Chuck.

I haven’t introduced a lot of men from my past to David. In this case, Chuck and I had probably never as much as hugged each other before, so it wasn’t like this was an old boyfriend. He was just a friend who also happened to be a boy.

David and Chuck immediately hit it off. They were both from Michigan, both Tigers fans, both probably attended many of the same baseball games growing up, and both have advanced math degrees that they put aside to do computer science. It made me realize that it was too bad I had never dated Chuck, because with all their similarities we would probably have hit it off well. They have both amassed huge collections of tunes on small players that they do techie things with. No shortage of things to talk about.

We learned all about Chuck’s life in Mexico, where he basically lies on the beach every afternoon and enjoys the life of Riley the rest of the time. He said you would be hard pressed to pay $15 for dinner in PV. When he extended an invitation to us to visit next winter, we jumped at the chance. Sounds like a week or two in paradise.

Unfortunately this was a short visit, as Chuck had other stops later today. Maybe next year if he comes east, he will stay a little longer. It is always so reassuring to pick up with old friends, even after 30+ years, as though there had never been a break. That’s what proves that friends are real!

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