My friend Joe called me last night. I can honestly say he is my oldest friend. Here is our first picture together:
I am 4 months old and he is 3 months old. Our sisters are holding us. Joe and his family lived 2 doors down from us. In fact, when I moved up to Spokane, Joe's mom was still 2 doors down. Growing up, I spent as much time over there as I did at my own house. Joe had cool boy toys that my mom wouldn't get for me, like Hot Wheels, Creepy Crawlers, and a train set. I remember when we left the train set plugged in and almost started a fire in their living room, we got in big trouble for that.
The neighbor that lived in the house between our two was this older lady named Angela. She put up with us for our whole growing up. I don't know how she did it. She was kind of snooty and liked her house and yard to be perfect. She probably did not like the fact that we had worn a path into her lawn from cutting across her yard all those years. I mean, why go down my driveway, along the sidewalk and up Joe's driveway when I could just walk through Angela's yard? She was always complaining to our parents about us, but the worst time was when we pushed over the top tier of her retaining wall so we could use the mortar in between the bricks for chalk rock, which we used to write our names all over said wall. Our parents were pretty mad because they had to pay to have her wall rebuilt. I say that if a couple of six year olds could push over a wall, then it wasn't a very good wall to begin with!
We were cute but we were stinkers!
Around the time this picture was taken, it was my moms birthday so to celebrate Joe and I got into the liquor cabinet and drank a bunch of Bacardi 151. We were about as drunk as two 15 year olds could be and we decided that since we knew each other our whole lives, that we should be married. (Man, I am laughing so hard right now.) But my best friend Tami would not marry us that day, so that was that. There are so many other memories I have of Joe during those years: riding his mini bike back and forth between our houses for hours, cruising (at unsafe speeds) in his awesome 67 Camaro that he fixed up, the list goes on and on.
Now we are grownups! Last night on the phone we agreed that while we may look old on the outside and have aches and pains now and then, on the inside we are still young and immature. We talked about our last trips to Disneyland and reminisced about how when we were in our early 20's we would just get in the car on a Friday after work with Steve and Dana and just drive down to LA for the weekend. We were young and spontaneous back then, now it takes an act of Congress and a second mortgage to take our families on vacation.
Anyway, Joe is happily married for many years to Mary, they have 2 kids and he makes his living as a fisherman. We talk every few months and it is always great to hear his voice.
This is my favorite picture, it sits framed in my bedroom:
Left to Right: Joe, Karla, Mike and Steve
This photo was taken about 3 or 4 years ago, in Steve's mom's driveway. I have known Joe forever, Mike since kindergarten and Steve since 2nd grade. They are still my closest friends. I am so blessed!