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To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Getting to know me....
22 March 2004
We all have friends in our lives who are long-time friends, and we have friends in our lives who are old (in terms of years). If you wait long enough, your long-time friends eventually also become "old" friends!
Dave called us a couple of weeks ago to invite us to join his family and a few friends on The Delta King, a river boat in Sacramento, to celebrate his 70th birthday. 70? Dave is 70? Somehow it didnt seem possible. He was only 40 yesterday. Or maybe it was the day before yesterday. (Of course Walt is 64, but that's not 70!)
I know his kids cant possibly be married people with children of their own. Theyre only in their teens.. Im sure of it. Or maybe that was yesterday.
We hadnt seen him in awhile. He lives up in Oregon and I cant remember the last time we were there. I cant even remember the last time I saw any of his kids, who live closer to here. They used to babysit for us. Our kids adored them and always pretended to be upset when the girls were coming to take care of them. "The yucky babysitters," they called them.
Dave was Walts boss when Walt first moved out here to California and they quickly became friends. He was "Old Timer" and Walt was "Young Walter." They shared the same offbeat sense of humor and enjoyed doing the same things. They bought loud ties from Harry's--6 for $5--and became famous for the garish ties they wore. They smoked cigars together. They spent long hours talking about what they would do "when they were rich."
We both bought fancy 8 mm movie cameras at the same time and had a wonderful time playing with our new toys and making movies together. And talking about the better movies we could make when we became rich.
We drove into Old Sacramento last night. gave our car to the valet at the dock by the riverboat, and started trying to find our way to the party room. As we entered, someone called out "Does anybody need a yucky babysitter?" It was his oldest daughter. I dont know how she looked so grown up. Im sure shes only 16. And who were all those kids with her? Babysitting charges, Im sure.
We saw all the other kids too. Looking frighteningly grown up.
What was "Dickie" (he hasnt been known as "Dickie" in decades) doing carrying that little girl with the curly hair that reminded me of his own childhood blonde locks--only hers were dark, like her mothers.
Dickie wasnt supposed to be married. He was supposed to marry Jeri. It was all decided years ago, when the two of them were toddlers.
There was the guest of honor, looking a little older than the last time wed seen him. (We, of course, havent aged at all.)
Instantly it was like old times again. The years fell away as we sat there reminiscing about the fun things we did, the movies we made. Im thinking ahead to when Ned and Jeri are in their 70s and meet up with some of their old cronies and imagine it will be pretty much the same.
Dinner was lovely and we were seated at a table with delightful people. There were funny cards, a lovely cake, some loving words spoken, and then time for photos. Watching Dave surrounded by his grandchildren reminded me of the old days when he would be a magnet for all of our kids as well.
It was over too quickly and hell be headed back to Oregon. We came home feeling really good at having the chance to take a step back in time and remember the fun times...and to see what good places all the "yucky babysitters" are in now. And to talk about all the things we're going to do together when we're rich.
Its lovely to spend time with old friends.
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