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Next Sunday I will get together with my second oldest friend from fourth grade

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My earliest classmate friend was a third grader who is now an attorney.  I was in class with him in first, second, and third grade, and then moved from the area.  In my new school I met John on my first day of fourth grade.  He was a talkative kid who sat right behind me and announced on the first day of school that his dad had died when he was in third grade.  This is a searing memory, because within about four months I would lose my father.

Then tragedy struck.   After the first day of school John was walking home from school and a german shepard attacked him severely scaring his face, ahoulders and arms.  He was mauled near death at a time when plastic surgery was imperfect.  When he got back to school his poor face was scarred  and after many surgeries by college his scars were reconstructed mostly.

He moved with his wife to Boise Idaho and became an engineer with a lumber machine builder where they designed different equipment for the lumber industry.  He would often travel to the mills in Florida and Alabama, but we never really got together.  He has two children, and four grandchildren, and his wife was a disc jockey for a jazz station in Boise.  I have called some other friends who knew him later in high school, and I look forward to the river rat stories we will tell the grandchildren, as we are getting together at my daughter's house as my youngest granddaughter's birthday is that afternoon.  Like the time we cut a tree on an island in the river and felled it on a boat going down the river.......stupid.....and lucky nobody got hurt.   Or playing in Devil's cave and naming all the islands and building forts in our Huck Finn world.

It is nice when people in your past hear you are sick and try to visit.  I remember most of all his hot sister who was a year older, who never thought we existed as she preferred boys who were four years older and drove sports cars......I drove a lime green 1961 ford falcon which never was a chick magnet, but at his mother's funeral she told john.....I should have paid more attention to your friends.........boy Junior year in high school I wish she had paid more attention......but then I might have had to get rid of my falcon....in a second.

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