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Letter From Home “Time” 9/16/18

September 16, 2018

It finally happened this weekend.

After working out our schedules over the past months, and making additions to our calendars, fate stepped in time and again forcing our event to be up-ended. There was a bike accident that made for weeks of soreness, and then later a potential for flooding on the Madison isthmus that could have slowed traffic and caused just over-all mayhem.  The gathering of the Trans-American Broadcasting Buddies was delayed and delayed.

But then a sunny and glorious weekend took hold and time seemed to stop as old memories came to life and new memories were made.

The matter of time caught my attention as we sat round the dinner table and then later a fire pit.  James made what was simply a divine dinner Saturday evening following a nice walk downtown and looking out from the Monona Terrace.  Then as the sun dipped below the trees at our home we headed outside.  James and I made the fire pit blaze.

It was in 2015 that we all were last together. Yet it seemed that these guys had just walked back into a room after getting a snack in the kitchen.  The conversations just resumed from where they last ended, and the ease of camaraderie blended with laughter and countless commonalities.

George, Bruce, and I had all met in those formative years right after high school while attending broadcasting school.  Like professional broadcasters behind the microphone there was never ‘dead air’ Saturday night as the voices wafted out over the trees and bushes.  As midnight was closing in and the lights in the homes of neighbors dimmed our last embers glowed and became more gray than orange.  And plans were made for the gathering back at our home later Sunday morning–where it was expected the coffee pot would be ready!

The role each of these guys played in my life was profoundly important in my path as a young man.  I was struggling at the age of 19 to get my head above water and make sense of life.  George was from Fargo and seemed worldly by contrast to my country upbringing.  He was 17 when we first met.  After I had landed a job at WDOR (Sturgeon Bay) he was the one who showed me the way Chicago was to be explored for a week.  And I was able to show him the way state politics was played as we stopped at a fundraiser for ‘the next Ted Kennedy’, Matt Flynn, in Milwaukee.

Flynn’s political career did not arc in the way I had predicted but the friendship of George proved to be a much more true path.

Bruce was the stable and mature force that came to school in a tie from his morning job.  He was one year older than me but able to convey that being a young man could be undertaken in an orderly and thoughtful manner. Though he too had life lessons to learn he always seemed the more seasoned–and wise one–in a crowd.  Over the following years as we met almost weekly for movies and conversations I dare say we covered most of the world’s problems–and solved them among ourselves.  We also talked about our share of problems, too.  I was most honored to be his best man.

Time has moved us all in varying directions.  Bruce plays and sings in a local band along with being a part of the musical group at his church.  George is Senior V.P. within Wells Fargo in the Twin Cities.  But come sunshine or rain at the end of the day the values, foundations, and personalities that made them unique 37 years ago are still very much a part of the circle they create when we gather.

This year we talked about being grateful for the ability to live each day and not take anything for granted.   And with that it was agreed that the 3rd weekend of each September will, henceforth, be the Radio Reunion Weekend at this home on the Madison isthmus.

Life is a great journey that comes with moments of elation and also the pits of misery.   That goes without saying.  But it also comes with lifetime friends.  And it is most remarkable when the conversations never end.  They just get placed aside for a time until the table is set again and dry wood is struck by the match of friendship.

Life is good.  Very good, indeed.

Bruce, my James, Me, George

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One Comment
  1. September 16, 2018 7:19 PM

    Beautiful. You are truly blessed.

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