The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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 by Laramie Boyd
Old Friends
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        Old friends. What memories those two words conjure up. They mean something so different to each of us. It could be recalling High School pals, or Army buddies, maybe someone we worked with for several years. The sad part about those memories is that we drift away from our old friends, each of us going our own way, doing our own thing, either one of us, or both, moving out of town or out of state. We get married, have kids, and before long we get wrapped up in our small world and lose track or forget about our friends and they disappear from our minds and lives. But if we're lucky, one day we get a reminder, maybe a phone call, or a picture in the paper, a letter, an e-mail, something that takes us back and jolts us out of the present and returns us to our past. And it's a pleasant past, because what we remember are the good times with our old friends. Times we'll never have again, but we relive them in our mind and they seem almost as fresh and real as when they were taking place.
We begin to remember things, like our first date, or the double date in our dad's car. Our first dance, holding someone so close, or first kiss, these things come to mind. We can almost feel the embrace, the thrill of such exciting, intimate contact. Sometimes, the memories hurt, like when we broke up with our steady girl. How it shattered us, made us feel that our world had ended. And when we made up, how good life was again. Streams of events and people flash by, out of any sequence or order, just thoughts of those years far away and surreal.
        And in these moments, often we begin to take a good look at where we are in life, what we've accomplished, who has been instrumental in helping us get to where we are, and we think of our present friends. We begin to ask ourselves if we are appreciating the friends we have today. Will we look back in later years and say "What great times those were?" Are we taking advantage of the good times we can have now enjoying the people around us, friends that may also drift away from us, and go separate ways, and be just memories, disappearing from our minds and lives until some other event makes us stop and recollect?
        Words from a song come to mind. "Old friends. Pitching pennies in the park, playing croquet til' it's dark. Looking up to find a bird, arm in arm to climb a curb. Swapping lives and loves, tossing popcorn to some doves. Old friends." These kinds of simple things are what make good memories. Maybe the best friends we have are old friends. Let's be grateful if we have even one old friend, and let's cherish the memories