THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: On Long Ago(s) and Far Away(s) - Part 1

Monday, January 15, 2007

On Long Ago(s) and Far Away(s) - Part 1

So once upon a time I was eight years old.

And on the very same day that they handed out those little pills that you could chew on and it would make your teeth and gums red where there was plaque, a photographer came and took the picture reproduced below of my third grade class in Panama City, Florida. There was a fair amount of plaque in my mouth that day, but as you can see if you can figure out which kid is me which you ought to be able to from these clues, I was not in the least bit embarrassed about it.

At least I wasn't embarrassed about it until we all got our copies of this picture back a few weeks after it was taken.

But this isn't a post about my noticeably deficient oral hygiene during the fall of 1980. Although my oral hygiene is certainly noticeably deficient. And although this picture was taken during the fall of 1980.

This is a post about grade school best friends. And my best friend from when my family lived in Panama City is in this picture. He was in my class. His name is Billy. I loved him. We did all kinds of stuff together, my memory tells me. We went fishing. We rode our bikes around. We chased our dogs. We read books. We went around the neighborhood in the morning on trash day and scavenged for treasures. My family's house was on the edge of this swamp with homemade dirt biking trails and puddles and woods and less than a mile from the runway of some local airport and we were eight year old boys.

There was always something to do.

But we moved to Iowa during the summer between fifth grade and sixth grade. And Billy and I lost touch.

Now fast forward to last week, more than twenty-five years later -- just skip right past the invention of Google even though it's a darn important part of the story. I was talking to my four year old daughter and she was asking me to tell her about when I was a little boy. She was asking me, bless her adorable little heart, how I met my friends back when I was a little boy. I have no idea how it came up.

Well, I remembered Billy's name, looked him up on the Google scraper that I use (that way Google doesn't get my cookies), immediately found a website about him and sent him an email. He answered my daughter's question -- How do you meet people when you're under 10? -- with what must be the truth:

"You just do, I guess. It's before
you have any reasons not to."

Thus began a glorious email exchange of wonderful reunioning which I hope and trust will continue here in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. And all of which prompted me to dig around in my old photos to find not only the above class picture but also the image of triumph reproduced below.

This image captures perfectly my best friend Billy the conqueror in the hours immediately after he subdued a true monster of the deep - a largemouth bass weighing in excess of one pound (seriously).

And, to my amusement, it looks like I'm wearing the same shirt in both pictures.


Blogger The Velvet Fog said...

Good stuff.
Nice shirt.

7:36 AM, January 16, 2007  
Anonymous billymanes said...

Sniffle. Very well put, Garrett, and it's an honor to be scraped by your Google. I wish I was wearing a red striped shirt of some sleevitude, rather than a drapey white t that made my head appear difficult to hold up, what with such an inconsequential torso. Anyway, we'll speak again soon. Don't fish so much anymore, though. Heh.

12:30 PM, January 16, 2007  
Blogger PDD said...

Awwww, you were sooo cute!

The way you were sitting in class and that enormous smile, plus your one crossed eye shows while you were probably a good student, you had a quirky off-beat, rebellious side. And because of all that I would have totally flirted with you in 3rd grade.

You would have blushed and been all shy and shit.

5:17 PM, January 20, 2007  
Blogger PDD said...


5:18 PM, January 20, 2007  
Anonymous Yours Truly said...

Awesome story. Very warm & fuzzy. One of your best posts ever. You rediscovered a good friend ... AND you still have that mischievous look about you!


1:07 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pink pants, you must have been one tough kid to pull that off ...

8:01 PM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger garrett said...

Not only are those pants pink, but (and it's truly a shame my fans couldn't see this) both of the knees of these pants are completely covered by a San Francisco 49ers helmet that my mother made out of iron-on patches.

9:17 PM, January 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Brasky had pink pants...

12:50 PM, January 29, 2007  
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Anonymous billymanes said...

i remember the patches! what i don't remember is how it is that I managed to look like the most menacing child in cordouroys ever. and did you notice the 'busy as a beaver' bulletin board in back? beaver. yep.

9:12 PM, January 30, 2007  
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