A few months before the holidays, I made plans to meet-up with a few old friends for dinner. For many people the holiday season is usually too busy with family and sometimes work related celebrations, so we set the date for early in the new year.
My old childhood pal, Quinn, with whom I share a long history of ….sometimes tragedy narrowly averted, occasionally falling slightly afoul of the law in ways never intended to do harm, but most often outlandishly funny episodes together. We grew up in the same community, lived together in Colorado and briefly in California. We have stayed in contact all these years. He has been my information source for news of old friends from the town in which we were raised. Most notable news last year had been death notices. Sadly, he has for about 6 months, been engaged in his own battle with “the big C”.
Another old friend, Walker, knew my family – siblings and progeny, worked for my dad, has also kept contact for many years. We also share many a memory of laughs ’til you cry.
O’Shea, my old teenage crush and life-long friend with whom I can talk about anything, even after I’ve pissed her off, has lived in the NYC Metro area all of her life, with the exception of her years in Colorado at the same time Quinn and I lived there.
We all went to high school together and through the years and the miles we have shared many a fun and memorable time. For their kindness, generosity and well grounded senses of humor throughout the decades I am deeply grateful. Having the opportunity to revisit one’s past with friends who were there is always an enjoyable form of reflection.
So, one evening this week, I drove into Jersey City to have wine and dinner with, Quinn, Walker and O’Shea. It was a lot of fun to learn of what everyone was involved in doing now. Due to his ongoing treatment, Quinn wasn’t quite up to eating, , but in spite of that fact, dinner was very good and we all enjoyed that the restaurant owners were accommodating of my request for Clams Casino. It’s a dish I really love and don’t get much of in PA. Between the three of us we easily finished 2 dozen clams, in a matter of a few minutes. Unfortunately, no one snapped a pic of the clams.
The main items arrived and we consumed them over warm conversation catching up on the years. It was actually more relaxing than the original idea of dining in Manhattan, just across the river. Had we done dinner on the other side the cost would have been higher and we would’t have this picture, thanks to Walker’s keen photographic eye.