Friday, September 27, 2013

Rant #1,051: Old Friends

I am 56 years old, so I am approaching a milestone in just a few years.

When I was a kid, I thought that 60 was old.

Heck, I thought 40 was old, too, and even 30.

Anybody older than me was old, so friends who had older siblings, well those older sisters and brothers were old in my eyes.

But you see the world through different eyes when you are a kid, and as you mature, you also see things differently.

I have said many times, I am very happy that my parents had me when they did.

I am a true card-carrying Baby Boomer, a member of the transitional generation who was born when the old guard was in power, so to speak, but big changes were around the corner.

I was around when the Kennedys were assassinated, when Martin Luther King lost his life, and when we put a man on the moon.

I am part of the generation that not only wondered and dreamed, but was able to see those wonders and dreams carried out to the fullest.

A week and a day from today, I will be part of probably the last Reunion that my growing up group will ever have, or at least the last large scale one.

As you know, I grew up in Rochdale Village, South Jamaica, Queens, and I was involved in putting together what should be a pretty great evening.

And the reason that it will be a great evening is the seeing of old friends again, many who I have not seen in decades.

Sure, you may not have grown up in the same neighborhood as I did, but we all have old friends, friends that we grew up with back when we were kids.

There is just that special connection with these people, and even if you haven't seen them for years, it's like they never left.

This week, I spoke to one on the phone, and again, it's like we have been seeing each other regularly for decades. I have only seen him once in the past 40-plus years, spoken to him on the phone maybe a few times, but that is it.

It is like we never went away.

The first thing he said was that he gave me condolences on the Yankees' season.

Yes, he remembered that I am a die-hard Yankees fan, win or lose.

Then we got into the gist of the conversation, and it was as smooth as silk.

Tomorrow, I am going to see another old friend for breakfast, another person I had completely lost touch with but who I have now seen a few times during the past couple of years.

Again, our lives went in different directions, but that shared growing up experience basically linked us for life.

Sure, we are adults now, but we truly aren't much different than when we were kids.

The photo above comes from my bar mitzvah, way back in May 1970, and yes, some of the kids you see in that photo will be coming to my Reunion.

It will be great to see them, and I am sure we will pick up where we left off more than 40 years ago.

And it will be fun, because again, our lives may have gone in different directions, but our childhoods were so strongly linked that it's like we never left each other.

I am lucky that I have the opportunity to see these people once again, I really am.

Reflecting back, I really, truly, had a great childhood. There have been some bumps along the road as an adult, but clearly, I really can't complain.

I am truly a very, very lucky guy.

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