Sunday, February 19, 2017
A Long Time Ago
While I was casting about for things to pick on Juvat about, I ran across that photo above. I'd downloaded it from the koobecaf a while back from a friend's post. He's in that picture, as am I.
The photo was taken in the fall of 1970, no doubt October. I remember a local sports guy coming to take pictures for the local paper. It was taken, as I recall, in the week leading up to our last game against our rivals a bit to the south. Oddly enough, my hometown's biggest rival was the town I was born in. We never lived there, it's just that my dad and mom liked the hospital better there. Or maybe it's because it was closer to both pairs of grandparents.
I don't remember, I was just a baby.
At any rate, that team is the guys I played football with in high school. For the seniors it had been four years together. Two-a-days in the hot August sun, practice five days a week once school started, a game every Saturday. I remember some of it, I've forgotten probably more than I remember. Bits and pieces of games and practices will sometimes spring into my mind from out of the blue.
The picture is from just before the last game I ever played of organized football. I recovered a fumble in that game, it was against the rival's second string, we were getting slaughtered. But it still felt good. Those guys in the picture were all pretty good guys, most of whom I called friend.
A few of those young lads are dead now. Cancer, accidents, even one suicide. I think back to how young we all were. Heck, I even had hair, all of it dark, still thick but starting to thin out in the front.
Looking at the picture again, and the two guys I'm sitting between, it struck me. All three of us served. Army, Air Force, and Navy. All three of us made it a career.
Or maybe not, those were different times.
Geez, I still can't get over how much hair I had...