Saturday, July 30, 2005
The Funniest Man I Know
I've been privileged to know and be friends with some extremely gifted, brilliant, engaging, and fun to be around people in my life. OK, so not many hit ALL of those traits (save for my trusty 7-or-so on again, off again blog readers!). But I've been fortunate to have people in my life that I enjoy, and that I think enjoy my company as well.
I met Tony Johnson many years ago. My dad coached the East Ward Greenwave football team, and Tony and I probably met as 5th graders. He actually attended East Ward school; I went elsewhere, but could play for the mighty Greenwave only because my dad was the coach. Tony and I got to know each other from that experience, and a small group of us hung out together off & on throughout Jr. High and High School. And he's always been the funniest man I've ever met.
Granted, its been since approx. 1986 since we've talked. I did attempt to find him once (go ahead, try Googling "Tony Johnson" and see just how many come up), but lost track. Last week, we both managed to make it to our 20th High School Reunion. It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I went and reconnected with that great group of people.
I didn't realize the Kramer-esque life that my friend Tony had led for the last 20 years, many of those spent as a college student! I knew he was nuts, I just assumed he probably had left some of that behind and moved on with his professional life (which turns out to be an oral surgeon).
Well, he has moved on with the aforementioned professional life, but he's still nuts. And still the funniest man I know.
When time permits, I will attempt to tell his story that started with this line: "Then there was the time my mom tried to poison the Japanese guys." It's a true story that could easily have happened in the apartment across the hall from Jerry Seinfeld. My jaws still hurt from laughing!
As for the reunion itself, it was fun. It was my first such event, having missed the previous one at 11 years (please, no Kentucky jokes...there were reasons for having it year 11, some of which have to do with the aforementioned friend who didn't realize he was class president and didn't pursue reunion plans...), and have had conflicts with the college reunions. So I was skeptical as most people are, but very impressed with our class (at least with the 30 or so who could come), and very glad I went.
I can't say that I've burned bridges with those from my past, but I didn't do so hot at keeping them active. I have lost track with many from HS and college, and wish now that I had done better. I'll make some efforts to keep communication lines open with these newly-discovered friends, and look for opportunities to "touch base" more often. Life is meant to be lived in community with others, so I'll do that better!