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Some Kids I Have Known
Forty Years

As sure as winter drifts into spring so too the ways of those around us. Their quiet struggles slipping in and out of our world with maybe only a moment of our notice. If this small vignette came to, our eye can't we but wonder as to what thoughts we have and had upon our seeing some small scene then and now.

First of all, dear readers, please let me tell you this is a true story. For the time period and for my remembering here at the last half of my living there has to be a purpose for our sharing this very small story.

Forty Years More or Less

"You know, I think you are telling me you want some time to spend with our music?" Jim and Earl were visiting on the telephone.

"I can't think of anything I would enjoy as much." Jim was quick to agree with Earl when he had suggested they play musical instruments together. "Come on over, won't you." "You know." "I'm always here."

Earl was young, handsome, full of life and loved the joy of playing his guitar with good friends so it was little loss of time he gathered his instrument up and headed out the door. Evening and dusk was just upon him and while he turned to lock the front door of his apartment the neighbor's cat slid around and about his legs as it purred for attention.

"Listen to me!" "You old cat, cat." "There had not better be any of your fur clinging to my trousers!"

As if the old cat knew his place he was quick and lithe as he leaped off the low steps and was just as suddenly gone into the evening shadows.

Earl drove the short distance to his friend's place and was now standing quietly waiting for someone to answer the door. Jim's wife came to the door. She had a quick smile and was a charming young woman who now welcomed her husband's invited friend over for what she knew would be an evening of needed pleasure allowing him to escape into the world of music.

"Hey Molly!" "Sure glad to get to spend some time with Jim, chasing rainbows with all our schemes and dreams in music."

"I know." "I know." Molly was equally enamored with the secret world the music brought to them. Her broad sweet smile brought light to the room. "Jim." "Earl is here." "Are you about through there?"

At the little table Jim was sitting across and beside his daughter. The girl was only around six and had a body severely involved with cerebral palsy. Jim, her father, was dutifully spooning food into the little girl's mouth since her little spastic limbs would not allow her to do this for herself.

Without a minute's hesitation or break in what he was doing Jim spoke to them. "We are all finished here." "Just a little clean up needed." His youthful handsome face held only a tiny whisper of something else behind his quick smile.

The men enjoyed the evening with their instruments, and as time and the passage thereof, somehow they lost track of each other. Many years would pass before they once again happened to quite by accident come into contact with each other again.

As if the page had been turned ahead forty years Earl once again called Jim and asked to share an evening together with their music playing. For Earl to again walk up the steps to wait for Jim's wife open the door seemed like something of pulling up of memories resting somewhere within his heart and mind of an evening so many years before.

Jim's wife again opened the door to the friend of her husband. She was the same if but only forty years older. Her same bright smile and quick welcome were there for Earl.

So many things were going through Earl's mind. He, of course, wondered about what had happened with the couple during the passage of time. Were they both well? Obviously, their marriage had survived.

Where were all the places they, no doubt, had wondered through? In other words how many paths had they followed only to return to this place not too far from where they had both been so many years before.

As if to read his mind, Jim's wife said. "Come on in, Earl." "It has been so long ago since we saw you." "My, my you are still as handsome as ever." "I know Jim will be so glad to see you." "Come on in he is here in the dining room."

Was it a testament to character to strike at Earl's heartstrings? Was the passage of time to thump at his mind like this? For all the world Earl was not ready for the picture before him.

There sitting at the table was a woman, possible around forty six years. Her body was just as afflicted with cerebral palsy as was the child he saw forty years before. Her father delicately lifted one spoon after another of the food on the plate before her to her mouth.

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