|English: Federal Signal Thunderbolt 1003 (dual tone) siren head mounted on pole in Louisville, KY (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In some ways I was a pretty shy kid. It was not always easy for me to get close to other kids and make friends, but I wasn't the only one like that. Many of us would go to school and quietly make it through the day well behaved and striving for the good grades to please our parents.
When I was in the fifth grade, I was living in San Diego. This would have been in 1961, a tense time in the United States as we were in the cold war stand off with the communists. We kids didn't worry too much about the threat of war. The monthly air raid siren tests at noon, the duck and cover drills at school, and the war talk on television were just another part of life and didn't stop us from being kids.
That school year Eddy's family moved onto the street where my family lived. They moved in about seven houses down from ours. Eddy was the only boy in this family and he had three sisters. His older sister was a normal enough looking girl and didn't look anything like her siblings. Eddy and his two younger sisters were small and almost frail and sickly looking. All the kids were very intelligent and, like me, quiet and reserved.
Perhaps that's why Eddy and I hit it off so well. I passed by his house on the way to school and it was not long that we became walking buddies to school and back home at the end of the day. But there was one problem--not for me, but for some of the other kids in our class. Eddy did not pledge allegiance to the flag for religious reasons. He became tagged as a communist by some of the other kids.
For a while some of the more bully-like boys, mild by today's standards, but bullies nevertheless, began trailing behind us taunting Eddy about being a communist. I was a little afraid, but as long as I was by Eddy's side they only teased from a distance. Eddy had become one of my best friends and I accepted him for what I saw in him and the way he treated me. It was a mutual acceptance and our friendship grew stronger.
Eventually the bullies must have tired of harassing me and Eddy and it all stopped. Visiting Eddy at his house I learned about his interest in photography and film developing, radio building, and other scientific pursuits. To me he was like a genius and his knowledge fascinated me.
We remained friends until seventh grade, at which time my family moved to the Chicago area. In his last letter to me he informed me that his family moved to Costa Mesa, California. His last letter was our last correspondence. I never wrote back. I was bad about things like that.
So, Edward Ross--I'm guessing that is what you go by now--I'm sorry that I didn't keep in touch. You were a good friend to me and I think of you often.
"Love is blind" goes the old saying. When we can look past some of the things that might seem different, weird, or not in the norms of society, we can learn to accept others and begin to love them as friends. Those friendships are sometimes difficult to find and it's a shame when we let them slip away.
Love must involve acceptance.
It's a bigger shame to never accept a friendship in the first place. Boo to those bullies.ReplyDelete
I often wonder about my childhood friends, where they are now, what they're doing, and if they ever think about me. I bet Eddie thinks about you and how you made his life easier.ReplyDelete
Even though you not in touch, Eddy left his mark on your life, it is a nice tribute that you honour him with.ReplyDelete
I loved reading this Lee, acceptance is a word we all have to do during our lives, well done on another excellent post.ReplyDelete
Hi, Lee, It's funny, I want to be accepted by all, yet, I don't like conforming to what "others" expect.ReplyDelete
But, I think I'm very accepting of others.
Ida -- We often miss much when we don't accept those who may have much to offer.ReplyDelete
Wendy -- I think about those friends in my elementary school days since I never saw any of them but one afterwards.
Sally -- We all leave our imprints on on another and that influence makes the world what it will become.
Yvonne - Acceptance is what we all yearn for.
Teresa-- I think I'm like you've described. You undoubtedly have that magnetic appeal that attracts others to you and you use that to best advantage.
Ha! I knew love is blind was coming round again, Lee - agreed here - acceptance of differences, acceptance of less than perfection - critical to friendship, critical to love :)ReplyDelete
Powerful post, Lee. Really good! Hope you find a way to get in touch with your old friend.ReplyDelete
A beautiful story, one any of us this age can relate to. I had Catholic friends who stopped before the end of the Lords Prayer, and a few non Christian friends...how hard things were for them..and those of us that friended them. I'm troubled everytime I read on blogs or facebook that we must "get back" to values and recite the pledge every morning in school. And love it or leave it. Narrow minded people. Perhaps you could find your friend through facebook or doing some research on the net.ReplyDelete
Before the day is out, I might get around to adding another blog to the challenge...but don't know. Just learned how to do the hyper link I asked you about on one of your other blogs.
There are a few friends I've lost touch with who made a difference in my life. I wish I could find them now and let them know that.ReplyDelete
You walked by his side when he needed a friend, and you kept in touch with him for years. Don't feel guilt, the postal service delivers both ways.ReplyDelete
Wonder whatever happened to him? That was so great of you to stick by him esp. in those times. He has such a common name; I bet he'd be hard to find now. I wonder what he remembers about that time period?ReplyDelete
Gracie -- It's difficult to love someone whom you are constantly judging.ReplyDelete
MJ -- Who knows? If he googles his name he might find this. I've had other people locate me through my blog posts.
Sandy -- Actually I have searched for this friend through various means and have not yet found him.
LD -- Sometimes we don't recognize friendships until those people are beyond our reach.
Susan -- Yeah, I won't feel guilt--we were both in middle school at the time and probably too busy with young people things. But still.
JoJo -- The commonness of his name is what I discovered when I searched on the internet for him. I supposed if I really searched hard enough and actually made contact with some of the names I might be able to find him.
Loved the title of this blog so clicked on it. I'm in the middle of the Blog Tour portion of the A-Z April Blogging Challenge and feel so fortunate I happened to click on this one.ReplyDelete
WOW. Great story! Oh, how I hope he reads this and finds you. :)
Thank you to our founder, too. :) This has been great fun so far. But it is, however, only Day 1. I hope I survive.
It's a rare and precious thing to be truly accepted by another person. Most of us spend too much time trying to change people.ReplyDelete
Maybe it's an age thing, Arlee, to think back on the people who've filled our lives with friendship. Of course you were to young to tell him how much your friendship with him meant, but your actions no doubt spoke louder than words and gave him acceptance as well. Great post, thank you!ReplyDelete
I agree with Susan that you were a good friend to Eddy and you always stood by him. This was beautifully written, and I hope that somehow it finds it's way to your old friend.ReplyDelete
Hi Lee - Happy Birthday for yesterday .. the beginning of a busy month - hope you can celebrate properly in May!ReplyDelete
Love the story and I'm sorry you and Eddy didn't stay in touch .. perhaps you'll find each other sometime ..
I've always been pretty good at keeping in touch with people .. but it entailed a lot of letter writing -
Cheers enjoy your creation .. and have a fun time -Hilary
That is a touching story, Arlee!ReplyDelete
It is a hard thing not to be accepted by others, Betty knows all too well.
And yes, love involves acceptance. Betty is happy that Jesus loves and accepts her and that Betty loves herself because the love of Christ is in her.
Great message Arlee! Your heart always amazes me! Cheers!
I hope Edward Ross gets your message!ReplyDelete
I thank all of you for your visits!ReplyDelete