(Dedicated to Dr. Robert Williams)
I took a drive with a longtime friend to a place called before. Pryor to letters, titles, and the personal accomplishments that put each of us in our proper place. When a child’s eyes still saw heroes in the form of Grandpa and Dad. Walking the land, turning over rocks, and a dropping a branch line in the creek was both classroom and playground. After lingering awhile in the shadows of the past, the setting sun made it clear departure time was near. Like pigs called to the trough we were off to the virgin watering hole, which somehow survived the ravages of change with its innocence intact. Fresh paint could not diminish the smell of grease that activated our salivary glands in preparation for this guilt-free feast. Wiping our chins with stained napkins, the call from the counter,”two vanilla shakes” signaled it was time to go. Inhaling the smoke from the gravel lot, it dawns on me, I share some core values with this unlikely friend.