When I was a boy I spent summers with my grandparents. They lived on the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen. The water was as clear as a pane of glass. The bottom was soft white sand. It was paradise.
This idyllic location was nine miles from a small town. It was the kind of place where I could walk to the store barefoot and shirtless, put 30 cents on the counter and buy a pack of cigarettes…when I was 4 years old. Yes, that happened. There was nothing unusual about it, at all.
My best friend during those summers was Steve, who lived with his parents next door. As we got older we were allowed to drive motorboats without adult supervision, essentially giving us the run of the lake and all we could discover there.
By the time I was in my late teens, Steve had taken a job as a line-boy at Gainesville Regional Airport, roughly 40 minutes away by car. Life being what it is, we lost touch after that. I went my way and Steve went his. Eventually his parents sold the house on the lake and moved away. It’s been 35 years since I’ve seen Steve, and try as I might, I have never been able to find him.
Last week, totally out of the blue, an email showed up in my office account. It was from Steve. He’d seen me in a video running on the Internet and tracked me down based on information from the video. [Read more…]