The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Column: Old Friends


October 11, 2017

A few weeks ago, I was able to reconnect with one of my best friends from high school. It had been years since I had talked to him and it was a great feeling to chat with him and relive some crazy stories from the past, some I had forgotten, and probably for a good reason.

One of the stories he reminded me of was when we were taking a CPR class and the teacher had left the room. I thought it was a good idea to jump off my desk like a pro wrestler onto the mannequin. I landed with enough force to knock the head off the dummy and it rolled to the hallway as the teacher walked back in. I chuckled as I remembered, and there were certainly a lot more stories silly in nature that we shared. I scolded him firmly for the time I told him to invite a couple people to a get together while my parents were out of town -- and he invited about 100.

While I certainly looked back fondly on some of the shenanigans we caused, it also made me a little sad. We were thick as thieves for years, but had not spoken to each other in probably about 10 years. Unfortunately, it is one of those things about growing up. People move or lose touch with each other and what was once an amazing friendship, can often seem like faded memories of fake heads rolling through classrooms. It's often times not intentional, but life goes on and people head in different directions because of family, work, and other obligations.

What I was thankful for when reconnecting with my friend is that no matter how many years or miles between people who had such a tight bond, there will always be those memories and it only takes a few minutes to seem like you had seen each other yesterday. The same can be said with a lot of friends I grew up with. I don't get to see them often, but when I do it's like we've never been apart. It's probably best we don't see each other too often, but it is such a nice feeling when we do get together.

One of the greatest things about the Internet is how easy it is to reconnect or stay in touch with friends and family members. I do always try and find old friends and see what they are up to and welcome them back into my life.

Throughout the workday, I will leave my Facebook open so I can chat every once in awhile with a friend. I can't say that the conversations are deep and meaningful, but they side more on the absurd and ridiculous and I wouldn't have it any other way. I recently had an hour-long conversation with a friend in Arizona about the benefits of using a facemask. I could have been writing a story, but I was more interested in him talking about how he and his wife (who is an esthetician) bond over doing masks together. I had never thought of using one, but am now intrigued. There can't be anything wrong with having nice skin, right?


I also spend time playing a game with former coworkers called "Would you?". The asinine game involves giving them a horrendous task and asking if they would do it for a certain dollar amount. This can get really out of control, but it makes me feel like I'm still working in the same office with them. Thinking back on working at that office, I'm not sure how we ever got a paper published, ever. I've worked at newspapers where people in the office would not talk to each other and thought, what is the point of working somewhere where you can't have a little fun. It may be true that acquaintances come and go, but there are always those close friendships that will always be there, even if there is some time in between.


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