Sunday, October 23, 2011

Old Friends

Eric Clapton once wrote a great song called "Old Friends" where you opined:

Hello old friend ... Really good to see you once again ... 

Speaking for myself, the greatest friendships are those based on nothing more, nothing less, than mutual affection. Not money, power, opportunism, or anything else -- just good old fashion trust. Those are the friendships that last the test of time, that weather every crises and the changes and vicissitudes of life. True, lasting friendships bow to nothing and no one and truly stands the many tests of time. 

That's why it brought a tear to my eye to read this column last week about two Bronx men in their late eighties who have been friends for ... eighty years! They were both born in Ireland and knew each other as children. Both men then migrated to America and had lives here -- but remained friends throughout. Neither man became wealthy or famous but they had good lives as a gravedigger and a transport worker, respectively. Both married, had families, and the two old Irish friends would sometimes vacation in that workers Riviera known as the Rockaways. 

It's a beautiful story. An eighty year friendship. And thought they've both lived in America for over 60 years, they still have their old country Irish brogues -- so whenever they speak to each other, they remember where they came from and how far they've come.

Sadly, one of them is dying of cancer and soon they will be parted. But there friendship will endure.

An old man passed me on the street today
I thought I knew him but I couldn't say 
I stopped to think if I could place his frame
When he tipped his hat I knew his name

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