For many years wherever you saw me…you saw my buddy, Steve.
We became friends over 45 years ago.
Both of us had struck out on our own and we attended the same little church in Elkville, Illinois.
Our lives gave new meaning to what it meant to be poor.
One day…one of us said to the other, ‘Wouldn’t some biscuits and gravy be delicious’…the other agreed and we proceeded to the Maid-Rite Cafe in DuQuoin, Illinois.
When we sat down and ordered coffee…I said to Steve…’you are springing for this aren’t you?’
Steve replied, ‘I thought that you were paying…as I am broke.’
I responded, ‘I do not have a dime on me…and we had better leave now or we are going to be washing dishes!’
We hurriedly left…before the coffee arrived.
I was hired at SIU on October 10, 1978…and Steve was hired nine months later.
For many years…people would call my Steve and call Steve…Jay.
Mary Jane and I married on March 24, 1978.
Steve and Faye were married less than a year later.
Faye and Mary Jane were good friends.
Steve and Faye and Mary Jane and I took many vacations together.
We enjoyed going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee together during the Christmas Season…and did so several times.
For years, when we did not go to Gatlinburg…we visited our friends in Kingsport, Tennessee.
I had a tradition of purchasing a Case knife at a Flea Market in Kingsport each Christmas Season.
We had another tradition of attending movies together…especially during the holidays.
I vividly remember attending Godfather III…and Faye giving me one of her headache pills for my splitting headache. My headache vanished,,,miraculously…and I happily recall the event…now….although it was over thirty years ago.
Faye is such a kind and loving person…I think of her as a sister and Steve as my brother.
Steve and I worked around our little church…in all capacities.
I remember he and I shoveling snow on Thanksgiving Day.
We drove to Birmingham, Alabama…to assist in moving Faye’s sweet mother back to Illinois…to live with them.
We used to go to Steve and Faye’s for New Year’s and they came to our house near Christmas.
We played board games and laughed and talked about our shared past…and our futures.
Steve and I share October 24th as our birthday…and…guess who is older?