You know, you never know where you mind will travel on any given day. Today was one of those days. I am not sure why, maybe it was talking to my oldest son (now in College himself)  as he was heading out for work, but my mind went back to the college days. Yep, the years at Washington State University.

The “Guys” and I always talk fondly of this time. But today it hit me. I was there for 4.5 years. Some people have the 5 or even 6 year plan, but before you know it, it is over. In my case, it represents less than 10% of my life. So why is it such a BIG part of my life and memories?

I came to a conclusion finally. It’s not the amount of time, it’s the people you spent it with. This is the time I met up with “the guys”. Scott, Dave and Jim the three people I have known continuously since the 1980s.

Left to right:  Dave, Scott and I
Left to right: Dave, Scott and I
Jim on left, Dave on right
Jim on left, Dave on right

These are the 3 that almost every story that starts with, “One night in Pullman…” “We were having a beer or two when… ”  It may not contain all of us together, but very few stories do not include at least two of us.

And these are NOT people I lost and then found again because of Facebook! (I was lucky enough to find Jenna that way, and Kristina. Dave found Stacy without Facebook, and Terry, the Yakima Vet, found me using the phone book. So I love the fact there are ways of finding people now) We three kept in touch the old fashion way. In person, work phones and the US mail for the longest time. Then Email later on.  Now, with Facebook and Twitter.

We go MONTHS, or in Jim’s case, since he lives on the east coast, YEARS, without seeing each other in person. However, as soon as we are in the same bar, house or car together, its like old times. We pick up right where we were before.

I started thinking of all the people I have known in the meantime. How many work friends have I had, and lost touch of in the last 30 years. How many people did we see every day back in college, yet haven’t seen since. Girlfriends, and even wives have come and gone, yet we are still close. (My wife and her bestie point out often that they have survived each others relationships since college and are still going strong, so it’s not just us.)

I guess, when you are lucky, sometime during the college years, the karma and stars are just right. You somehow run into those people you will stick with no matter what happens. Maybe it’s because at that age you learn to do stupid things together.

Dave demonstrating how to drink a beer while standing on your head.
Dave demonstrating how to drink a beer while standing on your head.

Maybe it’s because they were all there when you did those stupid things, kissed the wrong girls, made the wrong decisions or just said what the hell and went for it!

Dave and I have gone skydiving and dirt biking together. Scott and I have, more than once, traveled 600 miles in a day to watch our Cougs play football (horrible losses and epic wins) Jim held every New Year’s Day mud football game, and helped carry me off the field almost every year.It could be years again before I see Jim again in person. Scott and Dave? It might not be until we gather for a Seahawk game later this year.

We’re good with that! Why? Because after 30 years, we don’t need to see each other all the time. One of these days, one of us will finally decide its been long enough, and we will put together a night to drink beer and throw darts (Did I mention the 3 of us live within about 15 square miles of each other?  It’s not like we have to travel hours to get to each other’s places)

We have an reason to gather though, Our buddy Rob has just come home from China after 10 years. We picked Rob up after college, and he is the only one, aside from our wives (damn we were lucky to find them) who has lasted with us! Funny part is, he was at WSU with us, we just never knew it.

So I am not sure if it was karma, dumb luck, or simply 4 guys who liked Strohs beer being in the right place at the right time. Regardless, I am just damn lucky to have met these guys.  Maybe one day I will tell the stories of how I met them. I only hope that college son will (or has already met) meet  the people he will still know in 2043.

And just to show we are all still together

Left to right:  Dave, Jim, Scott and Yours truly
Left to right: Dave, Jim, Scott and Yours truly

Here we all are, about 8 years ago, at Jim’s wedding. Not so skinny anymore, a bit (a lot? less hair) and a lot grayer. But still going strong! Stroh a Beer gentlemen! Go COUGS! (and no guys, I was not drunk while writing this!)

2 thoughts on “Friends

  1. Great post, Tony. It is a special relationship, that’s for sure. It’s interesting to hear Michelle’s point about her bestie, and kudo’s to that, however, I think it’s rare when a group of 4 stay together for so long and so strong. I miss you guys a ton and think about the gang all the time.

    Your son would be the luckiest kid in the world to meet friends like we have become. Has it really been eight years since the wedding???? Whew. Time is flying.

    1. Jim I agree, its kid of what got me thinking about it. Its also why I wanted my kid to go AWAY to school. The same thing MIGHT happen, but it would be much harder if he lived at home….

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