Sunday, April 27, 2008


Buddies!! Little League Baseball T Ball Johns Island, SC

When we were small, we had lots of friends.

Remember when you'd just go out and play? I remember growing up in east Baltimore, summer days spent playing any kind of baseball we could (it WAS a major league town!). I never went anywhere without a mitt and a ball on the handle bars of my bicycle with the purple banana seat and the playing cards in the spokes. If there was a group, we'd play a game. If there was only two, we'd have a catch....for hours....

As we got older, we lost touch with many of those friends. We moved away, "grew up," college, the Army, the dreaded "responsibility." If we knew then what we know now...

Yesterday, I was reminded of the value of friendship. I have a Jeep Wrangler with the ever problematic exhaust system. I was told by a dealership it would take $1500 to get it to pass inspection. Fretting over the enormous cost, I have let it sit parked for many months until I can pay cash for the repairs. When I spoke to my friend about it, he said "that's bulls$%t! I can have that thing squared away in no time."

What a Godsend! He gave me his code reader to use and then we zeroed in on the O2 sensor (also classically problematic on a Jeep Wrangler) as the problem. When I couldn't remove the rusted-in-place sensor, my friend said "bring it over and I'll get that thing off in 2 minutes!" Famous last words...

3 hours, a trip to 4 different auto parts stores, cutting, welding, fabrication, extremely strong magnets, and an 18mm inside-thread nut still somewhere in the exhaust system...that's what "2 minutes" turned into. And through it all, at the end of a long day already, we chatted and joked and worked without complaint...well...actually he worked and I handed tools....but all without complaint.

It was on the drive home around midnight, after the repair and an hour-long conference call with our business partner, that I realized how much it all meant to me. I number very few people in my circle of friends...real friends. I realized that I had added one more a while ago, but hadn't even noticed until that moment.

Remember the value of friendship. Recognize those who you can really count on and make sure they know you will always try to return the favor.

Thanks, buddy.

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