Sunday, July 28, 2013


Growing up in the 60’s in a little town called Rennerdale continues to fulfill my story telling moments with family and friends.

One of my favorites is the story of Richard and Gary (names changed), both my age, and two of my best friends growing up.  They lived at the further end of town near the train tracks by the water filled quarries.
Richard had 4 brothers and three sisters…Gary had two sisters and three brothers.
Both dads worked for the railroad, the families ate what was in the deep freezer from hunting season, well water was a given, along with no TV and hand-built outhouses (outdoor toilets, basically a hole in the ground).

At the age of 9, I was fascinated by Richard and Gary’s lifestyle.
So much so, I would always ask my mom if I could stay at their places for the weekend…and I did, many times.
They experienced so many things that I never did; hunting, trapping, fly-fishing, handmade toys, five kids in one bunk bed, and NO TV!
To this day when people ask me; have you even eaten rabbit or groundhog? I can honestly say, YES!

Recently I reconnected with both of them on Facebook.  In separate messages to each one, as we went down memory lane, I told them I was intrigued to hear of their success.
 “Gary / Richard", I said,  "I am so happy to hear that you found success, especially since you were so poor growing up.”
Both replied to me after a short pause,  with almost exactly the same words, “Well Bob, we didn't have a lot of fancy things, but we never considered ourselves 'poor'."

To this day, that has been my “Ah,ha” life reflecting moment … and it reminded me of a quote from 
 Art Buchwald, “The best things in life aren't things.”

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