I don't want to spend a lot of time on the back-story, so here's the short version.
As I've talked about in so many workshops, I was every parent's nightmare as a college student. I was immature; had no idea what I wanted to do and rarely opened a book. I had horrible study habits and went on and off academic suspension over 2 1/2 years at Miami of Ohio. It wasn't that I was stupid, just irresponsible and unmotivated. Years later I went back to school nights on Polaroid's tuition reimbursement program, but my Miami experience was a waste, but not in terms of the start of an incredible friendship.
The funniest thing is what kept us in touch all these years. Our freshmen year, on St. Patrick's Day, Rich and I hit the Purity Bar in Oxford, Ohio at 7:00 am drinking green beer. By 11:00 our friends came to retrieve us and literally carry us back to the dorm. It was the first experience with over-doing the beer scene. By 11:30 we were both in the dorm bathroom, sick as dogs! However, the day became one of the funniest memories for both of us.
Every year, right up to this past March, we've taken turns calling each other. The goal was always to be the first to remind the other of those two stupid college kids, way back when. Over all these years, I think I've beaten him to the punch only once, but that's never changed the laughs and the friendship.
Rich and his family live here in the area. I needed to be in D.C. on Monday, so Sheila and I came in yesterday morning. Nothing beats catching up to old friends. We're older now, and a little more mature but nothing takes away from being able to reminisce and laugh about the old days. There's also nothing that tops just spending time with somebody you've respected your whole life.
There's one point to wrap this up today that all of you have, which we didn't back then, cell phones. Rich and I don't have very many pictures from those days. We were shooting "neurochromes". Today, everybody has a cell phone and odds are you've got hundreds if not thousands of images on those phones.
So, my point is, save those images! Print a few of them and then file them away for the future. In thirty years they're going to be one of your most valuable possessions. As with every image in photography, there's always a back-story, which like fine wine, gets better with age.
Wishing everybody a fantastic Sunday. Hug somebody special in your life for at least eleven seconds and if you want to have some fun, track down one person you haven't talked to in at least twenty years. Take that walk down Memory Lane and appreciate whatever it is that made you think of this long lost friend.
And to my buddy, Rich. What a kick it is to have you and your family in our lives. We might officially be two old farts in 2016, but nothing takes away from how much I've grown to cherish a very special friendship that's lasted almost fifty years!