Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The People we Knew

Since I started writing I’ve harped on the fact that I don’t like time. Time equals change, change is bad, hence time is an enemy. I’m sure most are like this though and this doesn’t set me apart. However, it’s the better than average memory I have that makes it a true challenge. 

For those I interact with, they have a special place in my memories. I don’t open up to many, but to those I do I remember more than most. I may not be able to say anything to let them know what they mean, but they mean a lot. That’s why, when I find out about something like I did over the weekend, I’m frozen in place. 

I bowled for many years and and had some great teammates. The team I was on for about a decade happens but chance as I subbed for them one evening. Oh, it was great! I was 19 and when needed I’d rush from my bank job as a teller and bowl with a group of men that knew each other for a rather long time. 

The person that first recruited me, Charley Fuchs, passed away from cancer a couple years ago, but over the weekend I saw a post from a friend on Facebook wishing his dad a heavenly birthday. I was shook. I didn’t know. How didn’t I know?

For several years, retired newsman Dick Ford was on my bowling team. Conversing with him became one of my favorite parts of the week. He knew everything about everyone in Saint Louis sports and, well, I do think he knew everything. 

He was impressed with my speaking work and he gave me advice that was all too prophetic, “Aaron, here’s thing…” he said in the voice I’d heard on the television for many years in Saint Louis, “when you’re hot you're hot and when you’re not you’re not. You w got to capitalize now because there will be people jealous of how hot you are and will want to see you not.” 

The rest of the morning after finding out I just felt ill. I wasn’t family, and I wouldn’t even consider myself a friend as we were teammates, but I felt a considerable loss. 

My memories stay in the moment they happen. It ducks having such a visual memory because just earlier today, as I drove past the bowling alley, I could see my usual day. I could see walking in, starting the weekly crossword puzzle, Charley would come in, we’d chat about the week in sports, or a recent presentation, and then the other teammates would come in, including Dick, and I had a weekly taste of normality. There’d be laughs, strikes, perhaps some misses, but while bowling was the activity it really was the interactions with the teammates I enjoyed the most. Oh, to be 19 again and have everything be the way it is supposed to be in my memories. 

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