Kyle’s Korner …
I recall a little tune we sang at Nolan Grade School many moons ago. It went, “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”
I received a surprise, but welcome phone call this past week from one of my best friends from grade school.
Glen Blevins, whom I started the first grade with at Nolan in the 1960s, attended junior high at Chattaroy and on through high school during the early 1970s at Williamson, was one of my best friends.
Growing up we used to visit each other often and shared an enthusiasm for sports, the outdoors and many other activities.
Glen resided at Borderland on the hill above the Red Robin Inn, which was owned and operated by his uncle, the late Charlie Blevins. I lived in Nolan along U.S. 52 within walking distance of many venues, including the school, the river, the restaurants and the local hangouts.
Glen, “Junebug” as he was known by some, got me interested in buying and collecting baseball cards. During our phone conversation we recalled how we spent our lunch money on purchasing baseball cards at the old Fannin’s Restaurant, which was up the street from Nolan Grade School.
(We both would love to have those cards today, some of them are worth some money. The same thing goes for the comic books we had.)
I recall selling pop bottles to get enough money to buy a couple of 10 cent comic books when I was lucky enough to get to “town,” which is what we called Williamson.
We were big Cincinnati Reds fans in the early days of the “Big Red Machine.”
Glen’s favorite player was Tony Perez and I idolized Pete Rose. I would even try to slide in head first like Charlie Hustle, always getting my clothes dirty during recess and lunchtime.
Early in our childhood we were big fans of the old television show Batman. We would play Batman and Robin on the playground during recess.
I can also recall playing Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie after we had watched the Disney movie Davy Crockett starring Fess Parker during this era.
We also enjoyed roaming the mountains above his home or mine, whichever was the case. We trailed through the wilderness many Saturday afternoons, especially during the fall of the year when the snakes had hopefully hibernated.
On many an afternoon we played baseball, basketball or football – whatever season it was during that time of year – with several other friends at various locations. Basically anywhere we could find a flat piece of ground big enough to choose sides and have a game.
Those were indeed the good old days. We had no worries and our only concern was whether the Reds won the night before or what happened to the villains on the latest episode of Batman. (I now realize how cheesy that show was when I see it on reruns. But we thought it was the best thing ever while in grade school.)
As we got older we drifted apart. Glen and I took different paths in life. Not all of our decisions were the best, but that is all a part of growing up and learning from your mistakes.
Glen is now a pastor in Martin County, Kentucky. That is great news and I am happy for him.
We are both parents and grandparents now. How times flies.
But when we talked on the phone those wonderful memories came storming back. We could still both remember our phone numbers from all those years ago.
It’s funny how certain recollections come out when you reminisce about the past.
Even though we had not had contact in many years, I recognized his voice. It’s like we had still been talking regularly, even though it had been years since our last contact.
It was great going down memory lane with my childhood friend.
I hope we can visit in person in the near future. Although, naturally we have aged with father time, there are some things that never change.
That is true friendship – the kind that can last a lifetime.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)