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BS: Rekindling Friendships

Jerry Rasmussen 09 Nov 08 - 10:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Nov 08 - 03:55 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Nov 08 - 10:36 AM
Ebbie 10 Nov 08 - 10:42 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM
kendall 10 Nov 08 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Justin Urqhart 10 Nov 08 - 07:40 PM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Nov 08 - 08:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Nov 08 - 08:30 PM
CamiSu 10 Nov 08 - 09:32 PM
Rapparee 10 Nov 08 - 09:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Nov 08 - 09:55 PM
jimmyt 10 Nov 08 - 10:16 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Nov 08 - 11:38 PM
Ythanside 11 Nov 08 - 02:30 AM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Nov 08 - 03:57 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM
Bobert 11 Nov 08 - 08:25 AM
Bobert 11 Nov 08 - 08:26 AM
olddude 11 Nov 08 - 09:10 AM
jimmyt 11 Nov 08 - 10:02 AM
Bobert 11 Nov 08 - 04:58 PM
Rapparee 11 Nov 08 - 08:28 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 08 - 08:35 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Nov 08 - 09:09 PM

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Subject: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 10:29 PM

A few days ago, I tracked down the phone number of an old friend. He moved away about 12 years ago and there were some hurt feelings involved on his part, not mine. I ran into him once when he was visiting his family a couple of years after he and his wife moved away, and he looked to be very unomfortable when I came over and said hello, telling him how good it was to see him. I probably would have just let the old friendship rest, keeping many good memories as a gift, but I wanted to track him down to thank him. He was my pastor many years ago and was the first one to encourage my writing. I've sent the manuscript to the book I just completed to a publisher, acknowledging his importance in my life. His name appears woven into the stories throughout the book. I had no idea what kind of a reaction I'd get when I called him. When I called,he was out. I spoke to his wife and asked when would be a good time to call him. I called him the next morning.

When my old friend answered the phone, it was as if we'd just had breakfast together a week ago. We were both anxious to catch up on what each of us was doing. I told him about my book, and how important his encouragement had been and he ackowledged that I meant a lot to him in helping him to sort things out in his own life. As soon as I hung up, I e-mailed four chapters of the book, including two that grew out of sermons of his. He had rarely written a letter in all the years I knew him, but I got an e-mail back the next day telling me that he enjoyed the chapters that I shared with him. And I told him that I'd ordered a book that he had mentioned, as I had done so many times during the years when we were friends. I don't know whether the friendship will go forward, but I feel good that we have a warm appreciation of each other. That was worth taking the chance.

In my life, I've had several occasions where I tried to rekindle an old friendship. I've only had one really bad experience, and one fine one. The others fell somewhere in the middle. I have some thoughts about why some friendships can be renewed, while in other instances, there is no way to pick up a friendship after an absence of many years.

Any thoughts?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 03:55 AM

Nice to hear from you again Jerry. Hope life is good for you, and that your friendship with the other mudcatters is re-kindled real soon. Congratulations on writing a book. Its a real achievement - a footprint in the sands of time!

I'm not all that good at re-kindling friendships. Once or twice = people have forgotten who I was altogether.

I think I must have been quite unpleasant at one juncture at least - as those who did know me, don't seem to want to know. Really if you haven't kept at least Christmas card type contact - I think its a bit useless.

Once, another guy who I made contact with had gone very strange - and started shouting very loudly about Frank Zappa in the middle of the night - he woke my wife up in the next room, and she felt very nervous about further contact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:36 AM

Hey, Weelittle:

How nice to hear from you. Trying to rekindle a friendship is like trying to go home again. Everything has changed. When several years have passed, I would hope that the other person has changed as much as I have. (Or grown, hopefully.) When you reconnect with an old friend and all you can talk about starts with the words, "remember the time when we..." you know that you have nothing left in common except memories.

Ive had every possible outcome from rekindling old friendships. One of my best is with an old high school buddy of mine, Earl. (It was Earl who gave me his banty rooster Herbert, who I wrote about in the kitchen table thread.) Earl went away to the University of Oregon after we graduated from high school and except for one brief moment when I offered my sympathy at his father's funeral, I hadn't seen him or communicated with him other than the Christmas Card thing for
close to thirty years. Earl was never a letter writer. I have always written voluminously, and every once in awhile I'd get a response from Earl. He'd say stuff like:


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:42 AM

Earl was a man of few words, eh? *smile

Hi, Jerry. Good thread, good to see you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM

Hey, ebbie:

Well, that was weird. on my computer screen, the rest of my message appears as shown here. The rest of the post never made it.

This starts out, talking about the kinds of things that Earl would say:

In regard to your last letter, my answers to your questions are
no, yes, and occasionally.

I always got a laugh out of that, having no idea what questions I might have asked him.

The computer has been the mechanism that has rekindled our friendship. Somewhere along the line, Earl made peace with writing and keeps in touch regularly. Earl has become a different person than the eighteen year old kid I knew back in highschool. So have I. Or at least, I like to think so. Our friendship is very different now, and we rarely utter a sentence that begins with "Remember the time..." Instead of talking about the latest Bob and Ray program on the radio, or ribbing each other about the relative merits of the Cincinatti Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates, we talk about what is happening in our lives on a more personal level. Our faith has become much more important to us than it was when we were eighteen.

I've only met Earl once since highschool, but I liked him even much more than when we were kids. Like wine, some people age well.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: kendall
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 07:35 PM

Hey Jerry, good to see you here again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: GUEST,Justin Urqhart
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 07:40 PM

It is always hard to pick up on old friendships, either you change or they do. Met a guy I worked with 30 years ago recently who was a great guy, so full of life. The conversation was like pulling teeth, he just kept going on about his health and wife, didn't have a good word to say about either.

I was glad to get away !


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 08:12 PM

A year or so back I received a very strange call from someone I went to school with. School days were not my happiest, & I had very few friends & I've lost contact with everyone I knew at school, tho one of my sister's friends said hello at a Festival a few years back & she emailed me recently again with a music enquiry.

Message on my ans. machine started with a female voice very LOUDLY giving her phone no. (I do ask callers to leave their number & latest time I can call back), then a garbled message about everyone was asking after me, attempts to name the folk who were asking after me, & a final admission she was drunk. As it was left sometime before 4pm plus caller didn't include her name, tho the message does ask for it, I just deleted it.

Same woman rang back later that night, again no name & again rather garbled (hungover?) & she remembered the names this time. I only remembered one of them & she certainly was a friend from primary school days. I said I'd love to hear from her, & declined to join the group one day for a drink. Nor was I interested in school reunions.

Another woman's father is a friend of my parents, so that explained how she had my number, but I never heard from my old friend. Maybe the caller forgot the message.

Last year I rejoined an organisation I joined 30 years ago & left about 15 years ago, & it was a pleasure to rekindle those friendships. I had attended many of the organision's annual fairs so had seen lots of the members over the years. Strangely enough many members are very white haired! Many are in their 80s!! And I of course am not a day older.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 08:30 PM

When it comes to deciding what constitutes "old," Sandra, I'm sticking to my definition: "Old" is ten years older than I am. That makes "Old" anyone who is 83 or older. Next year, "Old" will automatically be set forward to 84. On my birthday, I set "old" a year ahead.

Jerry

Good to see you too, Kendall!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: CamiSu
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 09:32 PM

Well, Jerry, I am back here after about a 7-8 year hiatus. It was interesting to go to Sinsull's a couple of weeks ago and see who I recognized (having met them once at Barry Finn's 8 years ago) and who had not changed a bit....

Yeah, things have changed a bit, but, thank heaven, not all has changed!

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 09:40 PM

I tried to keep the spark of friendship alive with the guy who was my Best Man, but nothing worked. When he died a few years ago I called his mother and the reception was, to say the least, chilly. I wrote his widow (whom I also considered a friend), but never heard anything more. No, I have no idea why things were the way the were. I tried, God knows, but I now know he was a "taker" and not a "giver" unless it somehow satisfied his ego.

I only wish I'd realized it 40 years ago.

Somethings you aren't meant to know and you realize it too late.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 09:55 PM

A story. Back in the 60's, I had a good friend who was probably the most creative musician I've ever known. He was very much a man of the 60's, free-love and all that stuff. Clearly, I saw a lot of good in him or he wouldn't have been one of my best friends. But, there were qualities in him that led him to take advantage of people that I didn't admire (Just as there were qualities in me that were not admirable.) We had a mutual friend who I felt he took advantage of. Our mutual friend was extremely generous and vulnerable to being used.

Many, many years later, after not having seen my musician friend or even spoken to him, I met someone who knew where he was living and gave me his phone number. I called him up, and we enjoyed the conversation so I invited him to come up for the weekend. It was a revelation. The music that we shared so empathetically wasn't there any more. I thought that if we met thirty years later that we could just sit down and resume where we'd left off. Not the case. And it was the music we played together that bonded our friendship. The great thing was that I liked him far more as a person, and we found that we had new common ground (even though it wasn't all that common.) We enjoyed the weekend, and keep in touch occasionally, although I haven't seen him since then. But, I felt good about rekindling the friendship, even though it was nothing like it had been.

When I recounted the weekend to our mutual friend, he was disturbed to hear that our friend had changed. He (these "he's" are getting confusing) was upset because our friend had changed. By his definition, all change was for the worse, even if our friend had become much more thoughtful, and seemed to be a much better person.
For some people "change" is a four letter word, and there is no such thing as a change for the better.

I would hope that we've all improved at least a little, with age.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: jimmyt
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:16 PM

You da man!!! Every time I think I have reached my final days in Mudcat, you show up and make me realize what a wonderful community it is! i love you Jerry Rasmussen! You are one of the true good guys, and I always hold you in a higher plane and say to myself, "one day you can be like Jerry if you just learn to not get your feelings hurt by mean people," Jerry, you were the first person I met here, and I am still impressed that anyone from Janesville, WIsconsin can be such a philosopher!   I will always remember our contact here on mudcat, and I hope you will be my friend forever!   jimmyt


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 11:38 PM

You got it, jimmy! You may be busy being a farmer now (practicing dentistry on the side) but you are never forgotten. Hey, getting hurt beats the Hell out of not feeling anything. Getting hurt gives people a power that they don't have.

So, when you coming up to Connecticut to get a new bass?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Ythanside
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 02:30 AM

Jeez, Jerry, what a thread. I'll post a response as soon as I can edit it down to less than six chapters. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 03:57 AM

Jerry, dunno if "old" is 10 years older than me. I recently attended my best friend's 70th birthday & I'm only 56. Her partner's 95 years old mother was at the party & altho she is slowing down, still lives alone.

I'm not sure what my definition of old is - another dear friend who I've known since I joined that organisation almost 30 years ago is 92, but she is very feeble, unlike the 92-year old member of the 'Tai Chi & Gentle Exercise for Seniors' class I attend, or the 93-year woman old I met at the bus stop yesterday.

Most of my friends & acquaintance are older than me - maybe "old" is my parents generation?   

sandra (puzzled young thing with greying hair who gets offered seats in the bus)


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM

Hey, Sandra:

This is one of my favorite stories about age. True, too.

Back when my Uncle Walt was still living, he was Director of Cedar Crest, a retirement center in my home town. He was a Methodist minister most of his life, and the position suited him well. His wife Ruby was the office manager and after a lifetime of being a ministers wife, she could manage anything. When I was home visiting one summer, I went out with my mother and father to visit Uncle Walt and Aunt Ruby. They met us at the door, and led us to a small room at the end of the hall set aside for visitors. We no sooner had sat down than a woman came rolling down the hall in a wheel chair at full tilt. When she made the turn and came through the doorway, she ran right over Uncle Walt's toes and he let out a small, dignified yelp. His years in the ministry had taught him to control his emotions.

Once the woman was in the room, she relaxed, her head slumped back and she dozed off. A minute or so later, her eyes popped open and she was ready to visit. My aunt Ruby introduced us to the woman and said to her, "You just had a birthday, why don't you tell them how old you are?" The woman nodded and said proudly, "one hundred and five." And then she dozed off again for a minute or two. When her eyes popped open again, she continued her conversation without missing a beat. "You know, a man was here a couple of days ago, and I aaked him, How old do you think I am?" He didn't want to guess my age (a wise man, indeed) so when I told him that I was one hundred and five he said, "You don't look a day over one hundred." And she smiled broadly, brushing her hair back and smoothinga wrinkle in her cotton robe.

It's funny. Most women are flattered if you guess their age, making sure that you say that you think that they're younger than they are.
Most of the guys I know take pride in how old they are. They take each year added on to their age as an accomplishment. My friends Joe and Frankie in the Gospel Messengers love to tell everyone how old they are. Joe is eighty four and Frankie eighty two. I tell everyone that I'm the young kid in the group at seventy three. And Joe and Frankie stand there beaming, just like that little one hundred and five year young woman in the wheel chair.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:25 AM

Speaking of "rekindling friendships", hey Jerry!!! Man, geeze o' pete, good to hear from ya'... I only have a few minutes here before I have to go off the the ol' hotel and put in yet another day as "Bobert the Plumber" so I won't get into any stories right now but I'll be back later...

"Hey" to Ruthie fir me, too, Bro Jer...

How's everyone in the gospel group???

Love ya,

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:26 AM

Oh, BTW, JimmyT is okay in my book and is my official Mudcat bass player...

Now I do gotta go...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: olddude
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:10 AM

It is always nice when an old friendship has been rekindled. That happen several times to me. I also have experienced the opposite as other have mentioned that hurt me quite a bit. However, I somehow get blessed with meeting new friends like you Jerry and then I realize how many good people are out there and what a joy it is to get to know them

God Speed Jerry
everyone's life is blessed when they get to know you!!

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: jimmyt
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 10:02 AM

now I am blushing Bobert! High praise from one of the greatest blues players ever!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 04:58 PM

Sorry you missed the Getaway, jimmyt... But I done you proud...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:28 PM

Now, having told one story let me tell another.

My oldest friend, going back to grade school, died a few years back. He was one I could call anytime and we'd pick it up without a sweat. I hadn't spoken to him in years, so one day I called him and asked, "Hey, if I wear it out in the open can I pack my .44 cap and ball revolver around in Illinois?" Without missing a beat he responded, "Yeah, but you really ought to wear pants too." A great guy, a Vietnam veteran who got the Army Commendation Medal for running MEDCAPs alone and unarmed -- and as his obituary said, "A lifelong rifleman of the old sort." I drop around his grave whenever I'm in the area -- it's less than a hundred feet from my parents.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:35 PM

Well, I been bad... Real bad...

Seems that every New Years Eve there are about half a dozen folks I call... We catch up and then....

...it's next New Years...

I was thinking a couple onths ago that, other than my family, I really don't know anyone I went to high school with anymore so I joined Classmates.com but seein' as I went to 3 high schools there really wasn't anyone there who I really knew...

That's a bad thing...

My oldest frined is Chip Brooks that I still half keep up with... I met him in '69, 4 years after I graduated high school... Yeah, I call him on New Years Eve... We have the same discussion very year, have a few laughs, promise to get together and then.........

Man, this sucks....

I gotta do better this year... I really do...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Rekindling Friendships
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:09 PM

This summer, Ruth and I went out to visit my family in southern Wisconsin. We spent one great evening with my old friend Dick Badger and his wife, Carol. I've rekindled a friendship with Dick so many times I've lost track. Dick was a pretty good friend before I went to kindergarten, so we have a long history. He's a year younger than I am, so I was always the older, more sophisticated one. (Pay no attention to what he says.) We were friends off as much as on in elementary and high school, partly because he lived with one family after another, moving around town. I roomed with him for a couple of years in college, and then he went off to the Korean War when I was in graduate school. He came home from the War the summer of my last year in graduate school, when I was fed up with Acadamia Nuts and had decided to quit working on a Doctorate. I have no idea what to do with my life, and because Dick had just returned from Korea with no prospects in mind, we spent that summer going to every bar within driving distance, and I started playing guitar and singing in bars.
There was a stretch of many years when I wouldn't hear from Dick, but he'd show up for family picnics and funerals when I'd get home.
There have been as many dry stretches as times when we've communicated, but that's somehow seemed just about right. We never kept in touch because we should. We just did, when we felt like it, which was often enough.

So, Ruth, Dick, Carol and I went to the 4-H Fair last summer. We wandered around the fairgrounds, with Dick mostly semi-regaling everyone with confessional tales about all the trouble he got into at the fair when he was a kid. And then we went to the local A&W root beer stand for supper. I was a car hop at the A&W stand when I was in higschool, so I rekindled a friendship with their root beer, while I was at it.

You don't have to work at good friendships.

Jerry


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