Old friends

55 years ago I had just gotten out of the Army, and within a few months I moved in with some friends. John and Pam were newly married then, and we shared living arrangements for the next four years. Those four years were some of the wildest and craziest times of our lives.
At one point we had rented a nice house in a well-off (McLean, Virginia) neighborhood. That grew to 9 people at one point, with a pigeon coop on the roof, a goat in the backyard, and a motorcycle track around the house. That did not last long, or end well.

Our next home was a rundown little house in an industrial park, and this was a much better fit. The 3 years we spent in the Merrifield house is still a special time for all 3 of us. Much of what is considered “the Sixties” actually took place in the early 70’s. Let’s just say we were there for it, and leave it at that 🙂 I went to tractor-trailer driving school and drove an oil tanker those years, and spent much of that time building my custom motorcycle.

Our living together time came to an end when I finally realized my dream of “hitting the road” on a motorcycle. I eventually ended up in California, got married for the first time, and came back to Virginia. My new bride and I again lived with John and Pam for a few months until we bought a small house on the GI Bill.

We remained close friends and saw each other frequently for several more years, until they moved to California. Since then it has only been sporadic visits, often separated by a number of years.

Just a few days ago I flew to California (first airline travel in over a decade for me) to visit them. It is a remarkable thing to have a friendship spanning 55 years. We are all 77 now, or will be this year.

This photo matches our memories of those days, happy and faded. John, Pam and I are on the top step, the guy playing the guitar and the dark haired girl were next-door neighbors. This is at the Merrifield house


These are of our short-lived period at the “Wrightson Drive Commune”. That is me showing the goat to my sister. The nine people, [Read more…]