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Answer for question 4160.

Who was your first best friend? Are you still in contact with them? If not, what would you say to them if you could talk to them today?
My first thought was that my first and only "best" friend is my second wife to whom i have been married 53 years. But as i thought about it, yes, i have had friends, good friends, and even best friends, especially in high school.

After moving at least once per year for the previous seven years we moved to the small town where i would spend the eight years from age 10 to age 18. This was a very friendly town and in spite of my preference for being alone, my strangeness, and my undiagnosed autism, the other kids reached out and encircled me and drew me in to their friends groups, My friends were mostly marginalized kids, Indians, Pilipinos, others who did not fit well with the prevailing preteen and teen cultures. At 14 i even had a girl friend (later a fiance but never a wife). After five years i was still "the new kid in town; then at age 15 there was an influx of new families.

One was the new Coast Guard commandant who had a son my age. He was brilliant, athletic, socially apt, good looking, a potential star, and for some reason he took a liking to me and some of my friends, We double dated. He drew me into competitive writing, athletics, and stand up comedy, at all of which i turned out to be surprisingly good. We became, i think, best friends.

Two years later his father was transferred and he was gone. We did not stay in touch. I learned years later that he became an attorney specializing in maritime law. What would i say to him? Maybe that he almost changed my life. For those two years i was part of the "mainstream." I came out of my shell a little, I had genuine fun. Thank you, i would say, I wish we had stayed in touch


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2014 01:38 am (UTC)
Sad that you didn't keep in touch. Why not drop him a note?
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:21 am (UTC)
That is a good question and i don't know the answer. I cam't remember our last talk. whether we wanted to keep in touch. My girl friend left town at the same time and we exchanged two or three letters per week for several years, so its not that i couldn't or wouldn't write. I guess we each just decided to go our own ways and were o.k. with that. He wrote to me fifty years later (a form letter about a class reunion which contained no hint of our former relationship). I did not respond. Had there been anything personal about his letter, i would have made contact.
Dec. 24th, 2014 11:37 am (UTC)
That sounds like a good friend.

What is competitive writing?
Dec. 24th, 2014 07:50 pm (UTC)
Well it is a strange concept, like competitive swimming.
In particular, the American Legion (?) sponsored an essay contest (What is Democracy?) with a monetary prize. Henry suggested that we collaborate on a tongue in cheek, off center, project. I recall that we were among the semi-finalists nationally (?)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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