The other day I received an e-mail from an ex wife of one of my boyhood friends. I hadn't seen or heard from him in quite a few years.
The last time we saw each other was at our 50th high school reunion. When he first entered the room I didn't recognize him. He was, those many years ago a strapping handsome jock that almost every girl in school wanted to date.
I couldn't believe my eyes, he had gotten considerably shorter, much heavier and his face was pudgy, he almost looked like a botox injection that went extremely bad, and he was still smoking Lucky Strikes. I could go on and on trying to describe him but that's really not the point of this blog.
I'm sorry that he's gone but our Division St. bunch is dwindling. I can count on one hand those of us that are still around. Sure we've all had health problems of one kind or another but we're still kicking. In fact one of our guys, living in Chicago is still playing basketball, on two replacement knees. I think he goes to sleep with a ball in his bed as a safety blanket.
I think it's great that he still plays, he'll probably outlive us all. I don't know if any of the others are still working as I am, but I feel fortunate that I can and still enjoy going in 5 days a week.
A few times a year I'll take out a group photo of my friends and see how many are gone. It's sad, we should have all had that one last reunion back in Chicago while we could still manuever. It might be fun to just take a ride down Division St., drive through Humboldt Park, go by Roosevelt High, maybe even go inside, drive by the Pizza joint on Lawrence Ave. where we went after the movies on Friday nights, if it's still there, probably not, it's almost 60 years.
I try not to think about death but at our age we face it every day. All of my aunts and uncles are gone except for a few. I've outlived both my parents. I've had a wonderful life, but I wonder, where did it go. "It seems like only yesterday", a statement I often repeat.
The people I work with play a game with me, wanting to hear my stories which I always seem to have ready at a moments notice. Since I have such a long past the stories are easier to come up with but don't ask me what happened this morning.
Boy, we are old farts, why don't I feel like one?
To Fred, Harry, the two Jerrys, Jack, Bobby, Les and anyone else from the neighborhood I don't remember, stay upright and keep smiling.
Facebook is great for keeping in touch.