Old Friends

Dan Willcoxon once told me, “You can’t make old friends.”  When I say that to others they always nod with understanding.  It might have to do with old friends   know you from a different time and hence in a deeper way.  I got to reconnect with some old friends the past couple of days.

The Honda Ridgeline has logged 2400 miles since the last post stopping in Cleveland, Pittsburgh,  the upper Delaware River, Washington, DC, and then on down to Siesta Key, FL.  I’d say the rhythm has been a little too fast.  I should be spending a little more time at the stops and spreading out the schedule.

In Cleveland, Lori and I got to see my daughter, Emily and my son, Jack for the first time since having brain surgery.   We were all glad to catch up and see each other intact.  Jack is in the middle of moving from Pittburgh to California and Emily is starting graduate school so we had a loads to talk about and I stayed up too late trying to keep up with youth (Craft beer is much more potent than Bud Light and not recommended for healing from brain surgery).

I put Lori on a plane home in Pittsburgh and went to visit some great old friends from my college days, Dr. Pat McMahon and Andy Kimball, Esq.  However, I knew them from before their professional achievement and we still interact in puerile ways.

We like to drink beer and trash talk to each other while competing at a game, any game.  I found myself at shuffleboard table playing for $10 a game and ordering another beer at 1 in the morning just like it was something I do normally.  It was great reconnecting and catching up.  Great experiences with great friends is the best way to live.

From Pittburgh, the Ridgeline rolled to the northeast corner of Pennsylvania in the wilds on the West Branch of the Upper Delaware.  I got to take some dirt roads with big potholes and puddles using my truck all wheel drive and ground clearance.  Even better I got to fly fish with Dr Z who taught me 40 years ago.

Dr. Bill Zegarski first took me fishing in 1977 on a creek near Monroeton PA.  In 1978 I had a lot of “car trouble” making me late for school as I learned how to fish a little better.

I will say the student has remained the student and Bill is still the master.  I was amazed as he used binoculars determine what kind of bugs the trout were eating.  He is a legend on the Upper Delaware and everyone respectfully calls him Dr. Z.  Dr. Z graciously shared his private access to the world renowned fishery.  It was an awesome experience and great to reconnect.


It’s a far cry from the wilds of north eastern PA, to Old Town Alexandria making for diverse set of experiences.  Played the swanky, Belle Haven Country Club with old fraternity and football friends, Dave Phillips and Larry Zmuda.  Dave had kids returning from school, and graduating and Larry had a son getting married in South Carolina in 3 days but they still took time to visit and Dave even put me up and made his wife go out to dinner with me.  Old friends are great because  you can tell stories from the past as you create new memories.

The pace of these visits was too hectic and next time I’ll slow it down a bit to make it even better.  So next I drove to Siesta Key FL for a family reunion.  Next post, How to have a Family Reunion in a Tropical Storm.

One thought on “Old Friends”

  1. Wow Jim! You are having a great time. I’m tired just reading this but what fun to reconnect with old friends and the kiddos. Hope you have a Happy Birthday! Can’t wait for the Ridgeline Tour to hit Boise, ‘Land of the Spuds!’


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