As you can probably tell, I stumbled on a shoebox full of old photos in my basement.

That’s Rick Kane and me at one of the cabins my parents rented during the summers. This one was on one of the Crow Wing chain of lakes. We did crazy things in boats. And caught lots of fish. Rick and I were great pals through junior high when for some reason we drifted apart. I think I might have thought I was too cool for him, since he was a real straight arrow.
All Rick ever wanted to do in life was be an airline pilot. He ended up going to the Air Force Acadamy and getting a gig flying cargo planes. He was back in Colorado Springs with his wife and another couple for homecoming, flying a private plane. Cyd Mataala, my other pal who went to the Acadamy was at the airport when they took off to go home. Cyd watched as they flew into a mountainside and were all killed.
Cyd had been a hundred and forty pound all-state football player in high school. At the acadamy they redesigned their defense around him as a monster back. I’ve never seen anyone with such a nose for the ball. And pound for pound he was the hardest hitter I’ve ever seen. Utterly mild mannered when not on the football field, the nicest guy ever. He became an architect after his Air Force service, that’s what he always wanted to be. He found out early that he had the same congenital heart problem that killed his father at a young age. It got him a couple of years ago.
I suppose at my age I better get used to my pals dying. Better than the alternative though.

13 thoughts on “

  1. memory is an interesting thing, there’s something of a totally lost time in that photograph. but I don’t know, still not used to people dying.

  2. I have the highest respect for people like Cyd, those who have the gifts of strength and power, but don’t abuse it in the slightest.

  3. i haven’t lost any friends yet.  couple kids we went to school with, a kid across the street, people our age have died, but none of us.  i’m not looking forward to finding out how it feels.

  4. I know when I lost my parents and my sister how very mortal I felt.  Like a stomach punch.

  5. Over the past few years, we’ve begun to lose many friends of my parents — people they went to school with, that I’ve known all my life.  People the same age as my parents.  For me, that’s scary.

  6. Damn, I have nothing to say to this. I never read the paper or watch the news because it’s all depressing, but I know some of my former classmates are no longer alive. I didn’t go to the last 2 class reunions, and I’m afraid to go the the 3rd in 10 years. I don’t want it to be a ‘who’s still with us’ thing.

  7. Yeah, I don’t know what that feels like, really.  And I really don’t mean to rib you about age when I say that it probably makes one especially cognizant about one’s own mortality.  As for now, my biggest shocks come from seeing old friends becoming fat and bald.

  8. I’ve buried more than my fair share of friends, courtesy, largely, of AIDS. I won’t be getting used to it anytime soon, I don’t imagine.

  9. Old memories can be bring out interesting facts, some sad and some happy.

    It takes quite a bit to retell some of these stories to people.  Thanks

  10. I think old photos can spark many a memory and sometimes even interesting stories. But sadly, they do remind you of the loss of time but makes you cherish the time left and to use it more wisely.

  11. What a beautiful, sad post.

    My parents have lost quite a few friends these last couple of years. On a purely egotistical note, I feel strange for losing these people, who knew me as a child and who, whenever they’d meet me, a thirty something year old woman, smile fondly and say : You peed on my lap, once.

    🙂 (Apparenly, I did that a lot.)

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