Passing of lifelong friend stirs up old memories
In 1953, when I was 7, I was sitting on my porch steps during a warm summer day.
A boy was walking past my house and I called out, “Hey, my name’s Jonny, what’s yours?”
He said “Billy.” I replied, “Would you like to be my friend?” Billy said “OK!” So we spent the rest of our lives as friends.
We climbed trees together. We played marbles together. We played baseball, football, basketball, Army together. We shot at each other with BB guns. Don’t tell our parents!
We walked to grammar school together. We were in the Boy Scouts together. We went to my girlfriend’s prom together because I asked him to escort my sister, who was my girl’s best friend but dateless, and he was a gentleman to do it. We went to parties together, home visits together.
As Billy said to me when I told him it must be cool to affect people’s lives as an architect, he told me that I too did the same as a school teacher. Quite philosophical, my old friend Billy.
So now Billy has passed away after a tough battle with bone cancer. I weep for my old friend.
I’ll never forget our 64 years together as old friends.