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Two tales of reconnection

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by hockeybeat, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Allow me to try to dull the Great SportsJournalists.com Flame War of '07 with two tales of relationships renewed.

    Story one:

    Last week, I talked to a friend that I hadn't spoken with for awhile. This person has always wanted me to be happy and to be well, and to be completely honest, has been a better friend to me than I deserved.
    We talked for awhile and we are cool now. I hope my friend is happy that we're talking again; I know that I am as that person is important to me.

    Story two:

    On Saturday, after I got home from covering the shut-in convention that is the NFL Draft, I received a call on my cell.

    "Hi, XXXXXX, this is Cindy!"


    "You know, Cindy!"

    I don't know a Cindy.

    "Who is this?"

    This is HB.

    "Oh, I'm sorry." As she hangs up the phone, I hear her say, "I called someone named HB."

    Thirty seconds later, the phone rings again. It's the same number. I answer it.

    "Hey dude, it's Billy! How ya doin', bruddah?"

    It was my cousin Bill. We hadn't talked in a long time. A couple years. The last time I saw him was after my grandmother passed away.

    A little history, if you'll let me: Billy was my favorite cousin growing up. We're the same age. We're share the same lack-of-maturity. I lived with him, his mother (my father's older sister) and his father. We were running buddies who terrorized my extended family.

    Once, after a snowstorm, my uptight aunt asked us to shovel the driveway. We said, "Woman, make us grilled cheese sandwiches. Two each. And then, maybe, we'll think about shoveling the driveway." She looked at us and mumbled in amazement, "One asshole graduated from college and the other is going to college."

    Another time, Billy and I were quoting lines from South Park at the dinner table to my aunt and uncle's great annoyance. She screeched that "If one more word is uttered, I'm gonna throw these mashed potatoes at someone." It took about ten seconds before we yelled, "Respect my authority!" in the Eric Cartman voice. Yes, she threw the potatoes. Yes, she had a bastard of a mess to clean up. He and I went out and got pizza, laughing.

    She was not alone in absorbing good-natured abuse from yours truly and Billy. My uncle suffered a stroke in 1990, forcing him to stay at home. He forgets and can't write. A man who was born-and-raised running in the streets of NYC is pretty much locked down in a Long Island home.

    He's happy as he can be about it. He cleans the house. He plants flowers. He flirts with the mothers. He plays with my his grandchildren. He's sort of like the retired Don Corlone, minus Italian blood and a criminal history.

    He also has a police scanner. We bought it for him years ago to keep him occupied. And he listens to that thing every day. One August day, Billy and I came back from the city; he was working at his job and I was doing something. We had been out since 6 A.M. and were exhausted. We trudged through the door and my uncle said, "Youse guys look like shit." It was his way of empathizing.

    We mumbled something back. My uncle looked at us and declared, "I had a long day, too."

    Something snapped inside of Billy and I. We started running our mouths. "You had a hard day? What the fuck did you do all day? You sat here, read Newsday, ate a ham-and-cheese-and-quarter-of-a-jar-of-mayonaisse sandwich and half-a-bag-of BBQ potato chips. Oh yeah, you also listened to fuckin' Fred."

    Billy and I named the voice over the scanner Fred. For some reason, it caused everyone to laugh hysterically and it stuck. To this day, whenever he talks about that goddamn scanner, someone says, "Oh yeah, what did Fred say?"

    Billy and I talked for a long time, reminisced about the past and talked about how we're doing. I think we're getting dinner soon and that makes me happy. Yeah, he's married but I'm getting my partner-in-crime back.

    After I hung up the phone, I thought about my friend and my cousin and realized something. I don't do a real good job of telling people what they mean to me. So, let me start here: There are a great many of you here who take time to swap e-mails and IMs and PMs. A lot of you took time when I was depressed to offer advice and a sympathetic ear or a joke. I cannot thank you enough and I love you.

  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Back at you, HB. Great story.
  3. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    Hockeybeat, you're a shithead, but we love you, too. No really.. that post made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. You are awesome.
  4. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Good stories, HB.

    You have me paging through my cellphone...
  5. 21

    21 Well-Known Member


    Very beautiful, what you wrote...I hope you always know how many people here care about you as well.
  6. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    Then lets make this thread be about calling an old friend who you haven't talked to in awhile.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I hope this story inspires me to stop being aloof from those bastards with whom I used make trouble.
  8. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    You ain't kiddin'. I feel like Ari, like I've lost my edge. In this case, though, it's a real good thing.
  9. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    I'll add mine to the list.

    When I was a junior in college, I met a guy at a rush party who emphatically told me that he was going to join my fraternity. We ended up going out and getting rip-roaring drunk that night and he eventually joined and became my little brother.

    We were best of friends during the fall semester, but he had to leave school in the spring because his mother got sick and he had to go home to take care of her and his little brother. He lived in a city near mine -- which was nowhere close to school -- and I helped him get a job at the restaurant I worked at during the summer.

    When I got home for the summer, I was out drinking with him after work a lot. One weekend just before school started, I went back to school to get ready for the fall semester and on my way home, I took the longer way home to stop by his house. When I got there, his dog was loose and running the street so I caught him and put him in the house. Nobody else was home so I was leaving him a note when the phone range. It was my friend, who was at the hospital where his mom had just died.

    To this day, I don't know why I stopped at his house or why he called an empty house, but it started one of the longest weeks of my life.

    Hos brother went to live with his older brother across the country and I made my friend come back to school -- actually he came back to town and worked to get back into school -- and he lived in a two-man apartment with my roommate and a dog (it was a long year).

    We remained best of friends until I graduated and moved across the country. He fell in love and I missed his wedding because of circumstances beyond my control. I then lost track of him. . .until last year when my periodic internet searches for him showed that he was living about 2 hours away. I called him and we talked for a couple of hours. We haven't talked since.

    In honor of this thread, I am going to call him and set up golf for this weekend (or next if he isn't free). I will let you know how things go.
  10. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    I became friends with a guy towards the end of HS when we were working together, and we stayed friends in college, and actually got pretty close with him since he'd come and get rip roaring drunk and party all night, and then have a free place to crash in a college town, instead of the redneck trashy place he grew up in. But after he got a couple of DUI's over the course of time, he eventually gave up drinking. And then having gotten really involved in AA, he stopped hanging out with any of his friends who drink at all. Can't say I blamed him, you want whats best for your friends, but still, he is a friend.

    Well last fall after a few years of not hanging out or even talking much, on a whim, I gave him a call one night and ended up just shooting some pool for a couple of hours. It was at a pool hall we used to go before we were 21 and could party hearty. Roughly six months after that me and him teed off for 9 today, which was just like we always used to back in the day.

    Incidentally he's getting married this fall, to a girl he met after he had given up drinking but before he gave up even hanging out with everyone while we were partying. She was friends with one of my friends, who we had driven out of state to party with for a night. Funny how everything works out, but great that me and him are hitting the golf course again.
  11. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    Great stories, everyone. Thanks for starting this thread, HB.
  12. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    A few days ago I e-mailed a college roommate after more than a year of contact and was rewarded with pictures of her one-month-old daughter. :)

    Good thread, HB.
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