Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Retro K: A treasure trove of golden memories friendship has forged

Thirty years ago a young man befriended me by the name of Robin Christopher Day. We were in the 7th grade at the time and in Mr. Franks "hot hockey stick" history class together. I say hot hockey stick because Mr. Franks had a sawed-off hockey stick he used to rattle the young minds of his class. And rattle he did. If you were out of line in class – slam – right on the desk in front of you. If you didn't do your homework – slam. He made us all wet our pants from time to time, that's for sure. Can't get away with that crap anymore.

Robby made me a cassette tape of two Cheap Trick albums and our rock and roll friendship was born that year. Over the years we grew as friends, becoming the best of. In fact, our circle of friends since high school has remained more or less intact, becoming the equivalent of a straight small town all-male review Sex in the City. Oh, the stories I could tell.

But I won't. So don't ask.

High school was a particularly poignant time for Robby and me. Not just because of the standard coming of age high school antics most of us experience, but because of two events: I went a little crazy and Robby broke his neck.

These are mutually exclusive, and although my mental instability was exacerbated by Robby's accident, they were still independent of one another with their own stories.

This post isn't about my end of days anxiety or about Robby's paralysis; it's about our friendship that has stood the test of sometimes volatile and dark times.

Spring break of our senior year, a group of the "guys" went to the coast for a day. The coast being Morro Bay, since growing up in Visalia nestled deep in the southeast corner of the Central Valley under the watchful Sierra Nevada meant the ocean was almost three hours away.

We wanted Robby to come with us, but he had a swim meet that he refused to miss (Robby was a swimmer and water polo player). Nobody blamed him; I wouldn't have missed a football game for anything.

When we returned that night from Morro Bay, we learned that Robby had an accident in the pool and broke his neck.

Paralyzed from the sternum down with limited mobility in his arms and hands, Robby adapted and has lived a full life in Chico since he moved there in 1989, which is where I've been for the weekend visiting (I miss Mama A and Baby B, though!).

Every year the guys and I come to Chico at least one or two times to visit. To relive the glory days and share the treasure trove of golden memories friendship has forged since. (No, I can't tell you a thing.)

And through all the falling outs and falling downs and triumphs and laughter and tears and darkness and light – Robby and I remain the best of friends unconditionally.

I hope that Baby B will have a friend like Robby someday, and that is why I'm proud to say Robby will be the Godfather of Baby B.

Time stand still

I'm not looking back

But I want to look around me now

Time stand still

See more of the people and the places that surround me now

Freeze this moment a little bit longer

Make each sensation a little bit stronger

Experience slips away...

--Neil Peart

1 comment:

  1. That's neat, Kev. It is always amazing when two people are able to maintain that kind of friendship. I have a dear friend from high school and our friendship has deepened and grown in, I suspect, a similar way. It's wonderful when you can walk through life with a friend like that.