"You have a daughter? I just remember the two boys!"
"Yep. I had her in '91. What year did you leave?"
"Well, that explains it then. Here's her picture..."
"Yeah, I saw it. She looks just like you. You don't look like you, but she does!"
When Ken first met me, I was 19. He was... well, he was just one of those old guys who hired on at the same time I did. Way up there in his late 20's or early 30's, most likely. One of those guys I worked twelve-hour shifts with who became like older brothers to me. Those guys who will always make me feel like I'm 19.
I like that.
It's hard to believe so many years have passed since we've laid eyes on each other. That's the way it is, though - you see someone all the time, and then life turns a corner. Next thing you know, twenty-one years have gone by.
Ken and his wife, Cynthia, now live in Panama. We've exchanged one or two emails and that's about it, so it was such a wonderful shock to hear his voice on the phone Sunday telling me they were in Austin, and could we get together?
We only had an hour or so to visit, just enough to reminisce a little and catch each other up to speed, like old friends do. We compared notes on co-workers (he hadn't heard about Roger) and fingers crossed, I've convinced him to come back to the states in September for a DuPont reunion I'm helping to organize. He's not the only one I haven't seen in twenty-one years - and none of us are getting any younger. (Even this perpetual "19-year-old" sitting at my computer.)
THEN (a staged photo of me and Ken, circa 1980, in the plant lab with Larry, one of those other "old guys". That's a lab pipette or syringe in my hand, by the way, used on methanol tests. Don't start any rumors!)
NOW (not much difference, is there? Well, maybe a little less hair on both heads, but I, for one, think it's an improvement, don't you?)
“My friends have made the story of my life.
In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges.”