Many years ago, a mentor of mine gave me a wonderful piece of advice that has never left me.
Frank Tate said, “Don, don’t trade in one friend for another. Accumulate them like rare gems. The more you have, the greater the glow.”
I’ve been lucky. I’m blessed with many friends – a few dating back over 50 years, and others who I discovered more recently.
Each friend brings me a special gift. I bumped into Gary in first grade. We were altar boys together. My mother taught us how to bake an angel food cake when we were eight years old.
I met Larry before my freshman year in high school. We have stayed close buddies ever since. Larry knows most of the people who are important in my life. He is aware when I embellish the facts surrounding a past adventure. Yet, he says nothing. Now that’s a friend.
I met Paul in college. When I travel east, we have lunch together and laugh about the untamed escapades of our youth. We agree, neither of us should have survived. We’re probably right.
Then there are four more Larrys, William, Susan, two Scotts, Randy, Mike, Jake, Chris, three Jims, Adam, Billy, Judy, Mark and on and on.
Each friend provides a unique reflection of who I am deep inside. And I hope to accumulate a few new gems that glow brightly in 2020.