Old Friends

I’ve mentioned this before, how I start each Monday through Friday with Imus in the Morning. Business News, you say, ho-hum. Not so fast, I say. Business news can be quite enlightening, especially when mixed with politics, entertainment, trash talk, and guests ranging from a mix of politicians, news analysts, and military experts to authors, celebrities, and country-western musicians. If that’s not enough, on weekends I watch the I-Man’s highlights from past shows, in case I missed anything during the week, or just want to have a second laugh or grit my teeth over some controversial subject, of which Imus has plenty.

I also have the Imus show set to record in order to catch certain segments I missed while at Casalago, our retreat at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. I guess that makes me an Imus fan, even though I don’t always agree with him or his guests. Nor am I particularly fond of country-western music, although I do make certain exceptions.

One of my favorite Imus spots revolves around the outrageous humor of Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell, always irreverent and often laugh-out-loud funny. And then there are those weekly “Blonde on Blonde” shouting matches between the passionate Deidre (Mrs. I-Man) Imus and her counter-part,  the much calmer legal analyst Lis Wiehl. Mustn’t forget Thursday’s rowdy “Mensa Meeting,” again with Deidre Imus plus former stand-up comedian Alan Colmes, the over-the-top frank and challenging Bernard McGuirk, and Mike Gunzelman who brings a twenty-something point of view to the panel.

Recently the Imus show was blessed with a visit from singer/songwriter/actress/business woman extraordinaire Dolly Parton accompanied by her entourage of musicians and back-up singers. Dolly is one of my country-western exceptions. What a terrific way to start the morning with songs like “I Will Always Love You,” which she wrote, and among others, the poignant “Jolene”. But it was the song “You Can’t Make Old Friends” that touched my heart to the core. Those lyrics by Kenny Rogers got me thinking about my old friends, those I first met as a freshman in high school and to this day still count among my best friends.

Old friends are a precious few and without a doubt will dwindle over time. One of the nicest things about my old friends from eons ago is never running out of things to talk about. We can be separated for a year or more and on getting together again, will resume our endless chitchat as if a mere matter of days had passed.  Over the years we’ve supported one another through dating, break-ups, weddings, pregnancies, children, divorces, and the loss of loved ones.

What is now known as sleepovers, we used to call slumber parties. Ah-h, those were the days, staying up all night, watching the sun rise, and later returning home to resume a normal day after one or two hours of sleep. Some of us still get together for a girls’ weekend. Yes, we still consider ourselves girls and always will.

Several years ago three of us—M, C, and I—met at the Lake of the Ozarks retreat of a fourth old friend J for a few days of R & R. We ate too much. We drank just enough. We never stopped talking. We stayed up until four in the morning playing board games, which I usually resist but made an exception for these old friends.

Hours later found us at the nearest Outlet Mall, where we shopped until we dropped. Make that plopped, onto a welcoming bench flanked by wrought iron arms, similar to the kind we used to plop down on during our high school days. Okay, so it took a bit of shifting here and there before we four old friends maneuvered our backsides into a snug fit on that unyielding bench. We started laughing as did this stranger nearby, a man around our age who’d been observing our determination not to give up.

Some things aren’t supposed to change but it’s inevitable that they do. As friendships continue to grow and expand so do old friends, especially when it comes to staying joined at hips that aren’t as slender as they once were.

So, what about you? Any stories about old friends you’d like to share? Come on, don’t be shy.

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About Loretta Giacoletto

Loretta Giacoletto is an American writer of family sagas, mysteries, and contemporary fiction, all of which contain elements of crime. She divides her time between the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks where she writes fiction, essays, and her bi-monthly blog, Loretta on Life, while her husband Dominic cruises the waters for bass and crappie. Their five children have left the once chaotic nest but occasionally return for her to-die-for ravioli and roasted peppers topped with garlic-laden bagna càuda. An avid traveler, she has visited numerous countries in Europe and Asia but Italy remains her favorite, especially the area from where her family originates: the Piedmont region near the Italian Alps. - See more at: http://www.loretta-giacoletto.com
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