Happy Valentine’s Day.
Chet looked into Tessa’s eyes. He saw the city reflected in her clear blue eyes. Her smile filled him with joy.
Tessa looked into Chet’s eyes. She saw the countryside. His smile filled her with joy.
Tessa wore city. Chet was clothed in country. Tessa spoke city. Chet spoke countryese. Chet was progressive. Tessa a conservative. Chet was into cats. Tessa had a German shepherd. It wasn’t an argument they had. It was a conversation.
It had been a blind date when they met. They had resisted. They had had blind dates before. Neither was up for another one. But their best friends insisted. They saw something of the other in each one. And they felt that Tessa and Chet would make a great pair.
They met on neutral territory. A crowded restaurant. Immediately they liked each other. Though they had nothing in common, they had everything in common. They both were gentle, kind souls. They were both creative. Though Chet was an optimist, Tessa was a pessimist. They balanced each other out, and their glass as a couple always held a half glass of wine.
As 2017 closes, I’ve been thinking of all those who stopped along their way and reached out to me. Those outside of family who made an impact of me.
Of those teachers who gave me a little extra. My fourth-grade-speech teacher, Mrs. Hennis, who saw potential in me when no one else did. Mrs. Duke who sold me on the Greeks. The conservative Mr. Norton who believed that democracy required honest debate and that no one side had all the answers. Mr. Hickman, who gave me a chance to read books that stretched my imagination.
Of my high school friends, David Ruhlman, Dave Dupuy, Bobbie Ann Ward, Warren Walter, who came to my rescue when I needed it most. Of Kay Hines who taught me what it meant to be gay. Of Wendell and Ruth Rieck who were the very image of hospitality. Of Ray Armstrong and Mary Ellen Barret whose lives were examples of faith and wisdom. And of George Rieck, the best of friends.
These are folks that cared for me enough to touch my life in a special way. I’m sure each of you have someones who stopped for you. For just a few moments, close your eyes and remember them as you listen to Greg Lake’s “Footprints in the Snow”:
Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. In honor of All Hallow’s Eve, this week’s Spotlight Creator is the celebration of friendship between the great horror actors, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price:
Vincent Price was to Boris Karloff as Gene Kelly was to Fred Astaire. Peter Cushing was the Abbott to Christopher Lee’s Costello in the Hammer Horror films.
And here’s Vincent Price honoring his good friend, Christopher Lee:
And here’s Peter Cushing:
And one final time for Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing:
It does seem an odd time to celebrate friendship, and yet why not? These three were such wonderful entertainers. Not only that. They were gentlemen (in the old fashion term) as well.
It is rare to find a friend with whom you can be your complete self. With whom you can let down your mask and let them whole heartedly into your heart. Maybe their gift was friendship. I would like to think so.
So, remember them for all the joy they brought us. And remember them for the role models of friendship they were.