Past Friends

I often think about the friends I grew up with, wondering where they are and what they’re doing. So, now that I have a presence on the web, I’ll make this public enquire about them, asking them to contact me, for ole time’s sake.

Scott Lewis: Long time friends until junior-high school, where our interersts changed. His dad was a fireman, and he had a sister a couple of years older than us. He had a black and white dog named Lady, I think, who never strayed off their lawn, as if there was a fence blocking her way. They raised chickens once in their basement; I remember Scott telling me about how he chopped a chicken’s head off. He introduced me to french toast when we were about 10: he fried the egg sodden bread in a pound of butter.

Paul Cooper: I think we became friends in Cubs or Scouts, losing touch after high school. He was into cars and motorcycles as he had a knack for mechnical, hands-on activities. I helped his family setup an above ground pool; I remember almost fainting while working on a hot summer day, installing the pool’s lining. We led the Junior High school’s chess club, winning the provincial tournament one year, and maybe two.

Mary-Ellen Kendall: I got to know her through Paul since they went out together. We were in a lot of classes together in high school. For my 18th or 19th birthday she bought me scimpy underwear which I briefly (haha) modeled for her and her friend. While attending university in St. John’s, Newfoundland, she was in town for a few days, so we got together for a night, going to a club or two. I was a shy heel that night (that is, even more so), and regret not being… well, fun.

Carolyn Kendell: Mary-Ellen’s sister, a couple of years younger than me. She went out with my brother. She taught me how to drive a standard shift. She lived with me in Montreal for a few months, in my cramped basement apartment. It was a platonic relationship, unfortunately.

Hope I didn’t forget anyone.

7 Replies to “Past Friends”

  1. I had a platonic relationship with a good-looking girl once. We lived together for several years and often talked about having sex, but never did. All my friends wanted to get in her pants but she never gave in.

  2. Ah, the memories…

    SCOTT LEWIS: For a while I thought he was Chinese because he always squinted his eyes. I have a vague memory of him having a good-looking sister. I remember being at Scott’s house for some reason, it might have been a birthday party, and Scott’s father yelling at me as I left the house through the back door, and me yelling back at him and calling him a stupid fatso. I remember it because it was the first time I swore, and at an adult. Quite the confrontation. I hardly knew him, but I could see Scott growing up to be big and mean.

    PAUL COOPER: Tall, skinny, Icabod Craneish, worked at the Capitol grocery store packing groceries at the pick-up lane. I first met him after I was forced to join Scouts, where Jody had every honour badge you could get, whereas I usually managed to snag myself participation badges (you know, the ones you get for just showing up). Paul and his sister had exactly the same facial features, which, in my ignorance of genetics, I found kind of spooky. One night my friend Travis and I got drunk at Paul’s house and nearly destroyed the place. I remember walking into Paul’s bedroom and finding Travis trying bench-press some weights, but he couldn’t lift it; when I came in, the bar pressing against his neck, choking him. In my effort to save Travis, one side of the weights crashed and fell through the bedroom wall. We got the hell out of there. Paul was a good guy; I was an asshole, and that’s probably the last time I saw Paul, who today is probably a wealthy man, working as an engineer of some kind, living in a clean house with a garage and a couple kids.

    MARY-ELLEN KENDELL: I won’t say much because Jody’s trying to make contact with her. But I don’t think it would be news to Mary-Ellen that, at the time I knew her in high school, I thought she was phoney and self-centred. She was Paul’s girlfriend, and the two of them almost got killed in a motorcycle accident. She had to have her front teeth replaced. Last I heard, she was married to some guy Vancouver.

    CAROLYN KENDELL: My girlfriend in high school. She was a sensitive and intelligent person. I remember after high school when we were going through one of our many breaks, Jody started hanging out with her and eventually asked me what I thought of him and Carolyn and “going out” together. I said I didn’t like it one bit, and (I assume) he respected my wishes. I don’t think Jody spoke to another girl again until he met Dawn (his wife), about five years later. I haven’t seen Carolyn for years now; at the time we knew each other, I was young and dumb and afraid of the world and eventually got around to telling her that we should go our separate ways because I couldn’t handle the being “just friends” thing. I’ve looked back on that with regret more than once; she probably would have been a good friend to have over the years.

    By the way, Jody, I think Kendal might be the correct spelling of their name. I used to know, but it’s been years.

    Unlike Jody, I don’t think too much about my old friends, because I didn’t have any friends when I was growing up. I spent my entire childhood living vicariously through Jody. The memories…

  3. I have vague memories of phil hanging out with my brother and an al bagio..brewing beer inthe bedroom and smoking cigars…where you there phil…the only thing I remember about kendals was that we were related somehow..3rd cousings or something…ahh life in the maritimes..hey jode I met mary ellen when I was home at my dads, she is married with a child and now lives in I should go clean something….hey jody I have vague memories of someone being hammered and we walked up to humber park..up to mary ellens…was that you?

  4. Yeah, that was me. I remember walking (stumbling) through the dark paths of Forest Hills, then trying to take a short-cut to Mel’s by climbing over a fence, and falling. I don’t remember getting to her place.

    I’m going to Detroit next week, driving through London. I’m going to drop by and visit her.

  5. Tom, I don’t remember smoking cigars, but I do remember brewing beer in your closet. How the hell your parents never noticed THAT, beats me. The smell of dirty sweaty socks in one thing. But YEAST is another class of stink altogether. Eventually we managed to bottle the swamp water and then we stored it under Al’s bed at his house. A week or so later while the beer is aging under his bed, the bottles start exploding. To everyone in the house, it sounds like gunshots. His mother comes running and somehow he talked his way out of it. Al’s mother must have been in pure denial about everything, because I don’t think he ever got in trouble. We took the remaining bottles (the ones that didn’t explode) back to your house. One night while your parents went out square-dancing (christ, SQUARE DANCING), he hauled out the bottles and lined them up on your kitchen table and every inch of counter space. And we start opening, anticipating a good ole drunk off our very first batch of home brew. Almost every bottle overflowed when we opened it, and what beer came out was a cloudly mess of, like I said, swamp water. We tried filtering it through coffee filters and paper towels, and we even tried drinking the stuff… until about 20 minutes into it your parents come back because your mother forgot her special dancing shoes or something — and the shit hit the fan. We scrambled for about 10 seconds until we realized it was hopeless. Al and I made a B-line to Travis’s room as your mother walked into the kitchen and saw all the bottles. She began yelling, “Oh my god,” or whatever, and told Al and me to GO HOME. We left the house laughing out asses off knowing Travis was gonna get it good. Don’t know whatever happened to the beer in the end. Probably got thrown away.

    Those were good times.

    I could tell you a story about how I met up with Carolyn again recently (I wrote a post about it on my other blog), but it’s kind of a sad, funny story, that she probably wouldn’t want to have told to the general public. (Email me and I’ll send you the link. Imagine, Tom, there’s a whole other blog out there you could reading.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.