It’s such a neat honor to get to be the best man at a wedding. I’ve done it several times. Most recently I’ve been thinking about the wedding of Don and Gloria Survant. It was 1955, just before Christmas. I was home from IU, and Don was home from the Air Force. He asked me to “stand up with” him, as we said in those days.
Don and his parents moved to the country outside Oakland City about the time he started to high school. He was a city boy, from St. Louis, but his father was a country boy, and had Oakland City connections, and so they decided to move, for reasons kids don’t understand, in part because we don’t inquire about them. A new kid appeared on our school bus. He was shy and sat by himself. I remembered what that had been like for me, five years before, so I sat with him. We became such close friends.
That was before, long before, the days of email and cell phones and Facebook. We wrote letters for a while after high school, but we both got busy with other things, lives we no longer had in common, and those letters stopped after a while.
I always regret a good relationship that just sort of limps off stage, like an actor who has forgotten his lines. I feel that somehow I’m supposed to keep the play going, that such is my role. Maybe that’s why I have those dreams where I myself am about to go on stage and realize I have not learned my lines.
I thought about Don a lot over the years, and then, a couple of years before he died, we stumbled onto each other again. He had not gone to church when we were kids, but he had become an active layman in the church of my denomination in a little town outside St. Louis, where he was retired, and he wrote a column for his church’s monthly newsletter. He had not been much into academics in high school, but he wrote well. Then the columns stopped. I looked him up on the Google machine. There was his obit. Including a picture. After all those years he looked like my twin brother.
I tweet as yooper1721.
Katie Kennedy is the rising star in YA lit. [She is also our daughter.] She is published by Bloomsbury, which also publishes lesser authors, like JK Rowling. Her latest book is, What Goes Up. It’s published in hardback, paperback, audio, and electronic, from B&N, Amazon, etc.
Speaking of writing, my most recent book, VETS, about four homeless and handicapped Iraqistan veterans, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BOKO, Powell’s, etc. It’s published by Black Opal Books.
My book, NOW THAT I HAVE CANCER I AM WHOLE: Reflections on Life and Healing for Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them is published by AndrewsMcmeel. It is available in paperback, ebook, audio, Czech, and Japanese.