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Take some time to be a friend

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford Publisher
In Sunday's issue, Suzanne wrote a column that talked about Atmore's motto which is "Old friends and new beginnings." This was an idea that I had as well, but decided to focus my thoughts on the second word of that motto, which is friends. If you go to dictionary.com the meaning of friends is defined a couple of different ways. Some examples are a person who one knows, likes, and trusts; an acquaintance; or a person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
My definition of friend would simply be James. As I sit here and type this column, a flood of memories come to mind. We shared probably about a three foot section of fence that gave each of us easy access into the other ones backyard as we grew up here in Atmore. The area made up of Greer and Marshall Avenue was our world, and we had conquered it. We grew up together going from elementary to the middle school and finally to high school. Our adventures would range from riding our bikes to the Conoco Minute Stop so that we could play video games, to working on my crimson Chrysler LeBaron that took us back and forth from school. We shared our dreams and thoughts with each other, the whole time laughing.
Since that time a lot of things have changed. James has completed college and is now successful living in South Carolina. I have served in the US Air Force, married with a baby daughter, and a job that I love. Our lives and their circumstances have taken us apart, but only geographically. Even though we have grown up and moved apart, one thing remains the same. We have always and will always be friends.
The other night I had a chance to give him a call. It had probably been a year since last we spoke, however, once we were on the phone it was as though I had just seen him yesterday. Our conversations usually start off updating each other letting the other know what changes have occurred in our lives and then I update him on what's going on here at home. We usually get off the phone with a tentative date of when we'll next see each other, case in point; our 10 year reunion is this year.
With that said, if you think about it, going a year not talking to someone you consider a friend or a loved one is entirely too long. Keep in mind, we are never guaranteed tomorrow, so it is important that we don't take our time here on Earth for granted.
This year I am going to make it a priority to call my friend, James, at least once a month. I challenge each of you, to make contact with that friend that you haven't talked to quite often enough. It only takes a moment to say "hi," and relive a lifetime of memories
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Atmore Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at chuck.bodiford@atmoreadvance.com