My blog has been in a funk since my return from vacation. Perhaps it was the hectic return to work, end of year doldrums or some combination of both. No matter the cause my blog suffered. Then near the very end of the year (December 26 to be exact) an old friend visited. His visit gave me a spark of inspiration for this blog and a goal to reach.
His visit was scheduled and greatly anticipated. I first met Don C in October 1964 at Fort Monmouth Signal School. We were assigned to the same class and barracks; we became inseparable for the remainder of our military service. We were nothing alike. But that didn’t matter, army life created many improbable friendships.
He was from a small town in Montana and I was from a large city in New Jersey. He enlisted in the army straight out of high school and I had some college and work experience before joining the army. He was a high achiever and I was talented but not motivated (hence my short college attendance). He was far from home and I lived relatively close. I went home on weekends and he remained on base. We started training together and for the next two years and nine months we remained together through various overseas and stateside assignments.
|Warren, Joe B and Don C (L to R, 1965)|
We were discharged from the military at a time of great descent in the country and went our separate ways. We almost instantly lost track of each other. Both of us pursued careers, got married and started families; our friendship went into hibernation. We both tried unsuccessfully to reconnect for many years; our efforts to find each other were hindered by the fact that we both moved away from our home towns and states. I tried several times to locate him through the Internet and had made several calls to other Don Cs without success.
Then my friend Google came to the rescue. Around 2006 I Googled his name and original home town and got a “hit.” Minutes later I made a call and got his wife on the phone. Her response to me when she heard my name was, “Don has been looking for you for years.” He had returned to his hometown a few years earlier just before his medical retirement and my efforts were rewarded with a “hit.”
Don is now retired and travels during the winter to get out of Montana. We email regularly, speak a few times during the year and he visits us in late December every year during his escape from the harsh Montana winters. Our friendship picked up instantly, now we both have partners and the fact that they enjoy each other’s company is a bonus to our friendship.
|Warren and Don - (L to R Now)|
The only sadness is that we missed forty years of experiences. What is important is that we searched and reconnected.
So I dedicate this blog to friendship. Make them, keep them and if you lose them reconnect, make amends because there will be a hole in your life. Joe B expect my call soon.