Friendship Rekindled After 40 Years Apart

Updated on December 15, 2023

Written with Vincent Geraldi

Childhood friendships are one of life’s treasured memories. I developed a childhood friendship with Vinnie G. We both lived in Port Monmouth at the time and were attending Port Monmouth grade school, 3rd grade. Vinnie and I made friends quickly. His father, Larry G., owned a barber shop on Main Street with a residence in the back. Other small retail stores aligned the front of the locale. There was a large empty field in the rear.

Vinnie and I both had a youthful interest in football and that was the hasp of our growing friendship. We played one-on-one football after school on that empty field to the rear of the shops. We both owned football helmets that represented our favorite teams. Mine was the army team gold helmet with a black stripe.  Vinnie’s helmet represented Notre Dame’s colors. We exchanged field positions after each score. We kept score but  played mostly for after school fun. There were no winners or losers.

Vinnie and I remained close friends throughout our grade school years until his family move to Atlantic Highlands. I visited him at him home a couple times but the miles kept us apart. We went to separate high schools. He attended Atlantic Highlands and I attended Leonardo (Middletown Township) We graduated the same year but had minimal communication though the four years. We had no contact for years after high school. We met briefly when exchanging classes at Monmouth College. It was a surprise encounter. Neither knew about the other’s college attendance.

The Grand Reunion

Approximately  40 years after our last personal contact came our grand reunion. It was the beginning of league bowling at Brunswick Lanes in Hazlet. It had to be one of the most joyful reunions of my life. Memories flooded my mind as we hugged and yoked together. He introduced his wife, Patty. After bowling, we caught up a bit on what was going on in our lives. This is what we found to our utter astonishment:

> We had lived in the same town for many years, only a block away.

> We both served in the armed forces after high school, Vinnie, the Navy, me the Army

> After service, we both met our future wives and got married

> We both enrolled at Monmouth College – at about the same time

> After graduation, we both took government jobs, Vinnie, federal, me county – at about the same time

> We both went on for advanced degrees at Rutgers University – at about the same time

> We both reached upper-management positions in our respective fields.

As we look upon these milestones in our respective lives, we cannot help but be amazed at the close paths of our lives took — without us even knowing.  Imagine, living in the same town, only a block away, and not running into each other at local retail stores, gas stations, a supermarket or corner video rental store, which we both frequented. Since our chance meeting six years ago, we feel blessed at the opportunity to rekindle our valued friendship and bring back precious memories of our childhood. 

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William Frederick

William Frederick resides in Red Bank, NJ.  William offers expert help writing ads, articles, blogs, sales letters, and publicity releases. Low, flat fees. E-mail: wmfdrick@Icloud.com.