Three Southern Civil War veterans got together after one of the most devastating military conflicts ever imagined in history. They mutually bore a monumental vision of reuniting men once formerly locked in mortal combat, men with roots from both the North and South. Formally stated, "to bind men together in a Brotherhood based upon eternal and immutable principles, with a bond as strong as right itself and as lasting as Humanity. To know no North, or South, or East, or West, but to know man as man. To teach that true men the world over should stand together and contend for the supremacy of good over evil". That brotherhood established so many years ago was the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. This organization and it's 200,000 present and former members was and is the group of "friends" that I committed to on pledge day my freshman year in college.
That's wonderful Dr. S! A little history lesson should round out the topic offerings begun here in your blog. I'll just skim over this one but really can't wait until your next blog when you may have something that might be of interest to me.
Unable to ride my motorcycle this last weekend because of threatening rain storms, I put the top down on my car, had my iTunes playing through my headphones and drove through the Piney Woods of east Texas to Nacogdoches, Texas. Clouds everywhere. No rain! I was in route to the 43rd reunion of my fraternity band of brothers, a destination made by men known and unknown to me from as far away as New York, and as close as right there.
My friend Roger from Houston and I were scheduled to be overnight roomates once again, and as soon as we threw our stuff into the hotel room, a quick phone call to our Brother Brian set our immediate agenda of meeting others who had arrived earlier on Friday. We met them in the courtyard of another local hotel, and as soon as we arrived my 6' however-many-inches tall Brother Scott from Tyler almost chest-bumped me into the pool. I made a quick recovery though as he grasped my hand in our familiar ATO handshake and saved me from a watery hail-fellow-well-met! Brian was there, with his beautiful wife Terri. Paul and Bruce were there with us. Thus began our Reunion weekend!
Without going into more detail here than is required, apparently Roger and I looked somewhat dehydrated and sickly to them at the moment of our arrival because as soon as we sat down, Scott ordered us something to drink to help us through the next few minutes. They thought something called Shock Top would be an appropriate remedy, and after a few minutes under their care both Roger and I really did start to feel better after our journeys.
As do we all, I have "friends" on many branches of my friend tree, from different life stages past and present. These friends are mostly all alike, as is expected. We draw those to us who are like us. But no one told me in the Life Instruction Manual that all these friends of mine would make life so rich in these days of ARP magazines (hotel discounts!) and snap, crackle, pop, associated with bones and movement, not cereal!
Some of my loves:
I love my wife! Period.
I love my children and in-law children. Period.
I love my dogs and in-law dog. Period.
I love my motorcycle. Period.
I love my motorcycle. Period.
I love practically every waitress that I have ever met, especially those that bring you coffee and punctuate their conversation with "Sweety" and "Darlin". This last group most always have a rebound quip for any comment that you think they have never heard before.
I love my present cholesterol and blood pressure numbers compliments of medications 1X/day, po by mouth.
My motorcycle is a Honda VTX 1300. Bagger. Cruising bike. Windshield. Custom seat. "Loud pipes, save lives." Period.
AND I LOVE MY FRIENDS EVERYONE!
You who are my friends, thank you for including me in your phone contact list! Thank you for greeting me on sight without looking around to see who's watching. Thank you for memories dear, and for opportunities to make more future memories with you and yours. Fodder for future blogs I consider. We are friends by choice and the richness that you bring to my life is Life itself.
And there is One who is closer than a friend! And if you had ever walked as I have, blindfolded, led by a "friend", the symbolic and literal outline of the 200,000, you know exactly what I have said!