I got an email today from one of my three best friends in high school. I hadn't heard from him since about 1976. Turns out, he moved to California in 1980. I moved to Texas in 1985, and another high school chum moved to Florida about the same time, so we had all scattered. The fourth had moved to New Hampshire. I had seen him last year at my 35th high school reunion.
After exchanging emails with the fellow in California, I went to call my friend in Florida, whom I hadn't spoken to in maybe five or six years. I had lost his home address and you couldn't look him up. He was a lieutenant in the sheriff's department, and like so many people who work in law enforcement, he kept his home address and phone number confidential.
But I knew where he worked, so I called his office and asked for him. There was a long pause on the phone... and I knew something was wrong. Very wrong.
He had been on leave, and about to retire, when he had a fatal heart attack just a few days ago.
I emailed the fellow in California and called the guy in New Hampshire tonight, to give them the news.
I hoisted a pint of Fosters tonight in his memory, and I'm feeling very subdued.