An ill wind

I learned today that an old friend has cancer.

We worked together back in the ’70s and ’80s and had a ton of fun doing our respective jobs – his specialty was air attack, mine was in aerial delivery. In the mid-’80s we went our respective ways but we always stayed in touch, either by phone, or in person when I went on one of my gypsy motorcycle treks across North America.

When we got together we always had plenty of stories to tell one another and the peals of laughter would cause his wife to wonder what in hell it was that we could be so carefree about. It was that devil-may-care attitude we both had that comes with each of us being competent and proficient at our jobs – to the exclusion of all else – when it was required. That, and an ability to see through the pretentious phoniness of those who attempted to interlope and ride to glory on our backs, so to speak. Eventually his wife would catch on, but she had to be re-trained a time or two before it became permanent.

Ted has two daughters, and the last time I saw them they both looked like trouble — in a good way, of course. One is now 16 and driving. Now there’s justice for him. I can’t wait to remind him about the beer in the back seat and the girls in the trunk – just in case he doesn’t have enough on his mind right now.

He’ll be thrilled when I hit him with that one just after he comes out of surgery.

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