Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Brothers

Above, top to bottom: from left to right, starting with the bald gentleman, Gerry Wiltfang, Brett McCaw, myself, Mike Banwell(back to camera), Andy May, Dave Anderson and John Rudzinski at Casa Rudzinski for the annual Guys' Get-together on January 2nd in Rockford, Illinois; from left to right, John Rudzinski, Jim McCaw, Gerry Wiltfang, Mike Banwell, and Andy May yell a greeting to Dave Anderson as he arrives late to the dinner of venison, spaghetti, pierogis, borscht, beer and other manly foods; Ross Laloggia and Bud May watch the bonfire burn embers into the night sky as John Rudzinski enjoys a cigar while sitting on cardboard boxes; Tim Malone and Andy May listen to Brett McCaw tell a story; and the fearless Tim Malone kicks a cardboard box into the fire(don't try this at home).

I once described friendship like the rings on a tree: each interior ring is smaller and contains less people, and the exterior rings, being the broadest, are also the most easily shed. That harsh reality is usually realized when you leave a community, like graduating from college or leaving a job.
This is my innermost ring. The men in these photos are probably the closest to brothers that I have, and they know me well. We first bonded at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico while hiking for two weeks on a high adventure trip. Every year, we either take another trip or have some sort of get-together at one of our houses, and every year we go stronger. 
I was thrilled to have them over the night before I left for Los Angeles, and the food was so rich I didn't have to eat for a day. To the men of Troop 23, the Phil Group, and my closest friends, you're the best friends a man can ask for and I am blessed to have you. Thank you.

No comments: