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IT SNEAKS UP ON YOU
1 June 2006
I can remember, oh, 15 years or so ago...maybe longer. Some folks we knew had moved out of town and were coming back to Davis to visit some friends. Walt and I talked about that and realized that, though we knew a lot of folks in town casually, through activities that our kids were involved with, if we were to move Davis, there wasn't one person, not one family to whom we felt close enough that we would want to make a special return visit. If we were to move out of Davis, we probably wouldn't have any reason to return, we felt. We had lived here at least 15 years by that time, had raised our kids, had been involved in all sorts of activities.
I thought about that this afternoon as we attended the 40th birthday party of our friend, Craig. (Walt points out that some of our good friends now are younger than some of our children!)
It was another of those "feel good" parties, where there is no sense of feeling uncomfortable (for me) because the people that I know, I know well and have known for decades.
It's a group of folks from the Davis Comic Opera Company, the place where we have made all of our close friends in this town.
As we visited with this and that person, I realized that if we were to move out of Davis, these are the people who would make it worth coming back for a visit. These are our good friends. These are the people who have made our 30-plus years in Davis valuable.
To start with, there was the guest of honor, Craig and his partner, Roy. They moved out of Davis a few months ago so Roy could take a position as choir master to one of the most famous historic churches in California. I told them that I'd like to come to a Mass to hear the (professional) choir perform. Craig, who reads my journal, did a double-take at that and joked, "Bev Sykes at a Catholic Mass???" I promised him I'd only be there for the music, not that I had a change of heart about my anger at the Catholic church for so many reasons. And besides, going to Mass there would be the only way to get in without having to pay admission.
Several of us sat around discussing a show ("Oy Vey! Broadway!" a musical revue honoring Jewish songwriters of the Broadway stage) that some others in the group were doing in Sacramento, and agreed we all wanted to go. I said I'd even go to a show I didn't have to review.
We also deplored the decline in vocabulary and English capabilities of the newer generations, who don't read as much and whose vocabulary is shaped by what they see on television and by a president who assures the American public that "I'm occasionally reading, I want you to know, in the second term." and states that "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"
There was nothing particularly unusual about the afternoon, or about the gathering of friends to celebrate a birthday, but we both went home feeling all warm and fuzzy from having spent the day in the company of good friends...and realizing that if we were to leave Davis (unlikely), these are the people we would return to visit.
Craig and Roy are friends we would seek out when traveling, because we miss having them around here.
It was just kind of nice. It's not that we didn't already know that, but it was just kind of nice realizing it and realizing that this whole "good friends" thing had just kind of snuck up on us when we weren't paying attention.
Thanks to everybody who signed in with condolences about Peanut. Amazing how such a little guy, who lived for such a short time, could have such an effect on people.
10 Years Ago. Anybody who wants to know what it was like before
AIDS medications began to actually help, needs to read this,
and to try to catch the PBS Frontline special on "The Age of AIDS" (which will
also be available to watch on line).
PHOTO OF THE DAY