Monday, February 6, 2012

Hello Again, Darryl! Lunch With My Very First Friend From 44 Years Ago

It was awesome seeing you again today after how many years - 44????

Darryl was the first kid ever to befriend me following my family's emigration to Georgia in 1960. Specifically a small town named Villa Rica - not really the friendliest place for a kid of 11, who barely spoke any English.

So there we sat today at noon: two old guys with similar afflictions (he with Parkinson's added in), throwing memories at each other, correcting them and, at times, guffawing so loud it caused the Longhorn's clientele to turn and smile as they caught little wisps of our conversation.

We couldn't have looked more different had we been born on separate planets. Me with my brown hair shaggy with bangs in my eyes, Beatles' style, and he with his snow-white hair and flowing beard, making him look like a pirate (his favorite historical character), his once flame-red locks now having given way to the "salt" of the ages.

"I still remember your phone number", I said, and repeated it to him.

"And I remember yours", and, with a wink told me exactly what it was.

"As kids, were we magicians with refrigerator or washing machine boxes, or what?", I asked, and then recounted that said boxes served as spaceships, castles, bunkers and tanks. For what seemed like days (our days - as long or as short as we wanted), we role-played our way through the space age, medieval times and chivalry and World War II. I was kinda glad we were on the same side (The Allies) during that last time period, because I was having enough trouble in real time being a "soldier in the German Army".

Intrepid hunters we were! Yes, indeed!

Many a night would find us camped out in my back yard using the two shelter halves (somewhat larger than a pup tent when buttoned together) our Dads had kept from their days in the service.

We played Army until dusk and built ourselves a small fire to cook our K-Rations on. Dessert were PB&J's from a CARE package sent from way back in the "States" by our Moms.

Yes? You have a question?

'Why was there an extension cord snaking out the back of our tent?'

Well see, we were ordered by our commanding officer(s), "General Mom" to always have a source of light in case we needed to escape in a hurry from the squirrels....errrr, enemy. We couldn't very well try to grab our weapons and other gear in the dark, could we?

We also needed the lamp in order to read the  comics (Batman, Superman and Sgt. Rock) we needed in order to enjoy some mini R&R.

Yes. There were 6 cords hooked together.

There is much more "history" to be written from both our memories, but today was a very good start.

Thanks, Darryl,  for what I know is only number one of our historical series


Sitting across from my friend and listening to his words, I was glad I'd brought a pen and notebook, because the memories flew across the table faster than the speed of light.


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