Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Ken and Myself a few short years back aboard "Halcyon"

I’ve been thinking of friendships lately. I suppose this stems from the new friends I’ve made here and the feeling of how lucky I am to have them. Sometimes we are blessed to have lifelong friends.

As I was growing up we moved a lot. My father was an officer in the Air Force, so the longest we stayed in any one place was three years. I made many friends across the world, but after I moved on it was hard to maintain contact. Letters would come regularly at first, then trickle, then stop. Most of my friends from growing up I’ve totally lost contact with.

Sometimes, though, we get lucky and a friendship blooms, is nurtured and becomes life long. I have been blessed by one such friendship. No matter where we are or how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, we are friends and neither time nor distance can lessen these bonds.

I met Ken in 1978 when we both moved into the same apartment complex in St. Petersburg Florida within a week of each other. Ken was in the Air Force and stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, which was right across the bridge from our complex. I was a producer/director at WTSP-TV located just on this side of that same bridge. We were both married and had similar interests.

I met Ken after I had analyzed my transportation needs and purchased a motorcycle for my short daily commute to work. One week later, Ken went down to the same dealership and purchased his own motorcycle. His bike was bigger! We’ll go into that another time, LOL!

We started riding together, playing tennis together and fishing together. What a time we had riding those bikes all over that part of Florida with the ladies on the back seats. We stopped at out of the way hole in the walls, parks, attractions, and any establishment that had the word oyster as part of its title.

In sickness and health, family crisis and family deaths, we have always been there for each other. We didn’t live in that apartment complex for more than two years. Ken got transferred to Germany and my wife and I bought a house in St. Petersburg. We wrote occasionally, mainly at Christmas. Then three years later I get this phone call. Ken’s tour was up, he was back in St. Pete, and was getting out of the Air Force.

We loved fishing. I got a little Jon boat first. Then Ken got a runabout. I got a slightly bigger runabout and Ken went out and bought a cabin cruiser. You get the picture. We loved it! We fished the heck out of every boat we owned and left no island unexplored while we were at it.

Through the years our jobs and careers have changed and we have moved around at bit. However, we always kept in touch and took the time to visit every chance we got.

Ken is now a corporate executive with a company on the East Coast of Florida. He is a very busy man with a lot of responsibility and yet, he always takes a few minutes to chat when I call him.

I was going to take a week at the end of this month and go see him. We were going fish, laugh, and even share an adult beverage or two. Right now it looks like I’m going to have to postpone my trip. Again!

When we scheduled this visit originally, I did not know I was going to be moving into a new house at the beginning of this month. Well, life happens and I need to postpone. We are in the house but there is still too much to do.  I am a little sad and I guess that’s the reason for this post. On the bright side… I will go later this year. I will not let another year pass without seeing my friend!




ondinemonet said...

Ahoy Sam

Welcome to Journal Land. I found out about you from the wonderful judith, one of my favorite people here in the land and so I came over to say hello. Great journal you have here, I enjoy nautical themes a lot...I am part mermaid you see. LOL. I invite you to pay me a visit at my main journal Ellipsis. I enjoy meeting new journalers and making new friends here in the land.

Be well and of good cheer.

Carly :)

judithheartsong said...

What a wonderful entry Sam.... there is nothing like a good friendship that will weather storm. The change in my lifestyle did a lot to show me who was there 100% and who was there conditionally. There was some grieving there, but I would much rather know the truth. Your friend sounds like a good man, and the relationship sounds like such an enhancement to your days. Cannot wait to hear about your next get-together. Don't let it wait too long.
I am so delighted you are here my friend!! judi
p.s. we would love to hear house stories too!!! hint hint

bosoxblue6993w said...

I have drifted away from most of my old friends.   You are very fortunate.  

mosie1944 said...

Hi, Judith sent me!  You write well, and I'm sure I'll be back.

amy122389 said...

We're an Air Force family, ourselves (and guess where we are...yup...MacDill!  Freaky!  LOL) and my daughter feel the same as you....about making friendships...and then they dissapate with a move....  Ah well....we've got each other, I suppose....


blondepennierae said...

I hope you get that visit Sam.  A friendship that has weathered time and distance is a treasure.  Our lives are filled with many acquaintances, but real friends are truly a gift.  Lovely entry.  Pennie

sanforized6 said...

Great idea. True good friends are so rare. Keep in touch with him. rich

barbpinion said...

You are blessed to have such a friend. I'm so sorry you were not able to see him, but glad you're not going to let time steal away your friendship. Don't lose track of him.  God bless you. *Barb*

nyuknyukpik2 said...

True friends are the best.
One of mine drove 3 hours to see me last week while I was in the hospital to bring me a hair tie and a people magazine.  She stayed for about 40 minutes.  It didn't seem quite worth the trip to me because part of the freeway had sunk so what normally would have been 45 minutes here and back turned into 2 hours here and an hour back--with an almost 2 year old and her hubby.
make sure you get to visit Ken--don't put it off any longer than you have to.

samnsmile5 said...

Great Journal...and loved this entry.  It made me stop and think of the true friends that stay by your side through it all.  Great picture too!
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment in my journal.  I think we have something in common...the good ole news business.  :)  

indigosunmoon said...

What a great entry on friendship!
I just loved it!

ryanagi said...

Hi Sam - funny that you stopped by my journal when you did. I had just finished reading all of your entries to date (Penny and Judi sent me). ;-) You are off to a great start. -Becky

astaryth said...

They say a real friend is one you can go years without seeing... and then when you do see them it's like no time has passed at all!

cw2smom said...

Thanks for stopping by my journal and your kind comments on today's entry!  Welcome to this great journal community!  You have a great start on an interesting and well written journal.  I will be back, and I will add you to my list of men who can write!  LOL!  Lisa

rivercitygirl1 said...

Hi Sam  :)
Thank you for stopping by my journal.  I loved this entry.  True friends are hard to come by but there's always that one friend that stays with you for ever.  Keep up the good work.  You're journal is great.

emfeasel said...

I was born in Savannah, raised on St Simons I live in DC 5 mins from Judi, our resident artist here in this community. I came here via her journal..I will def. be back!!

Wondeful entry about a dear friend.


childebrand1968 said...

It's a funny coincidence that I met my best friend and 'sister', Melody, that same year.

We have both moved and settled down over the years in different places, even gone long periods without communicating--and we always find our way back to each other.

This entry prompted me to make a call to her and say hi  :)

Thanks, Sam, for sharing your friend and reminding me of mine...

Great entry here :)


robinngabster said...

Great entry. Friends like that are gems to be treasured forever.  Robin

lindainspokane said...

what a great really is nice to read about 2 men that are such close friends...i know that u have a really good reason to postpone your trip this time but dont keep doing it...set a date and go...u dont want to mis out ...what am i getting at? well, i had a good friend that lives in CA...we kept saying that we were going to meet halfway and spend a few days together...since it had been quite sometime since her and i had seen one another...then before we ever got to see each other again she was killed in a car please take time ...go see your long friends are a rare comodity... hope u have a great day...and
again thanks for the great entry...


jcgeorgiapeach said...

I really liked this story Sam and I'm so glad you decided to join us here in J-Land.  You're a wonderful addition!  ~Peachy

jen73169 said...

Friends like that are a rare gift.

delela1 said...

Good for you.  I too have decided enough time has passed and will be making several trips to see people I haven't seen in years.  :)  Thank you for stopping by my journal and saying hi.  I've often wondered i have silent I know.  Keep on writing!!!

ez2cee said...

There is nothing in this world more precious than a deep true friendship!

I don't blame you for being disappointed.  I hope that things change AGAIN, and that your trip to see your friend is back on your agenda!

Wishing you all the best!

ondinemonet said...

Hi Again Sam

I just wanted to drop by again and say thank-you for the very kind comments you have left on my journal Ellipsis. I am adding you to my sidebar so I will be around a bit more often. I am anxious to read more! :)

Always, Carly :)

ldebbiedeb7 said...

Hi There! My first time by...what a great story....Very hard to find a lifelong friend,sounds like You&Ken got that down....Hope you get to visit soon,sometimes you just gotta do it!!!Life will be there when you return....Happy Fishin' I added your link to my "Favorite journals" see ya soon,Muse

jcole16757 said...

I certainly understand the bond of that type of friendship.  It's a special and rare thing.  Sorry to hear your trip has to be postponed but at least you have it to look forward to later in the year.

heartsingr said...

It's great that you have a friend like Ken.  I know what it's like to move often, only I never did it as a child.  I lived in the same house with my family until I turned 21.  It's only after I got married that I started to move around.  We've been married for 16 years, and have lived in 6 different cities in Illinois and Michigan.  As a result, it's been hard for me to find friends like the ones I had growing up.  It's too bad that you can't visit with each other.  Enjoy your new house!


jbenjack said...

I am fortunate that I too have such a friend. It doesn't matter how much time lapses inbetween or time together, we always manage to pick up right where we left off! Great boat too! My Dad is a lobsterfisherman here in maine! But he use to deep sea fish off the coast of Fla somewhere many moons ago!
Great story too, I was wondering when the mysterious picture would make it's way in there! You did it perfectly!

csandhollow said...

I have a friend like that. No matter where we are we will always have each other.

coy1234787 said...

I think that all of us that have a few friend like Ken
should consider ourselves blessed!
                     *** Coy ***

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sunnyside46 said...

yes, i know how it is...i get my strength form my friends

robinngabster said...

Hi Sam!  I was searching online for journals with the mention of MacDill AFB...was hoping to find someone that lived that that I could chat with and look what I found

I see I made a comment on this entry 2 years ago...who knew that one day I would be moving to the same area you used to live in!   You need to tell me more!

ANd my gosh you look HOT in that that okay to say?