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.