Friday, September 18, 2015

An old friend

Yesterday I went to happy hour at Saketumi with my old friend Dave Holler.

Dave's family lived near my family when we were young boys, but moved away before we became teenagers.  Coincidentally his family moved close to where my grandparents lived in the mountains of Western MD.  My parents would sometimes leave me at my grandparents' house for a week or 2 in the summer so I could experience a different way of life.  My grandparents lived on several acres in the country, with a huge garden covering much of the land, and a creek that ran behind their property, and lots of woods to roam and explore.  I would stay in the tiny bunk room where my father had grown up and help my grandparents with their huge garden, and go swimming and play in the woods.  It was a welcome diversion from my suburban childhood.

A couple times my parents coordinated with Dave's parents for him to join me at my grandparents' house for a few days.  Since we were teenagers by this time and the bunk room was so tiny, we slept in my grandparents' camper in the back yard.  It was fun to have a friend there during some of my stay.

But eventually I stopped spending summer weeks at my grandparents' and lost touch with Dave.  We ran into each other a couple times at the Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) conventions years later, but due to redistricting those encounters ended as well.

Fast forward 25 years or so to 2010.  Spouse & I were having dinner with our friend Bryan and his friend Dan when somehow the conversation caused me to mention that I had been raised as a JW.  Dan said that he had a friend who had also been raised in the JW religion but was no longer part of it.  Quite literally as a joke I asked the name of Dan's friend, kind of like the way when you're on a cruise ship and meet someone from Canada you can't help but ask if they know your friend who lives in Canada.  But quite to my surprise, Dan said his friend's name was Dave Holler.  My jaw dropped and I said "Oh my god - I know him!".  Dan called Dave right there in the restaurant and I got to talk to him.  We exchanged emails and became friends on facebook.

So a few days ago I got a message from Dave saying he was going to be in my area for a few days and wanted to get together.  I meant to take a photo of us but forgot to do so.  We had cocktails and sushi rolls and talked for over 2 hours.  It was really fun to reconnect with my old friend, catch up on his siblings, and hear about his parents.  They are still JWs (like mine) but have found a way to maintain a relationship with him, which is nice for him.  Dave is doing great and has 'adjusted' well to life outside the JWs.  We plan to get together again the next time he's in town.

1 comment:

anne marie in philly said...

now ain't that just fantastic! who would have thought it was possible!