DAY 17 – Old Friends & St. Patrick’s Day in Maricopa, AZ

Who has a friend that they started kindergarten with? I’m lucky enough to be one of that rare breed.  Phyllis & I have been friends for 54 years – started school when Eisenhower was president & graduated from Marquette University in the Bicentennial year – 1976!  She’s been in Arizona since then, but we’ve maintained a great friendship over the years. We just sort of pick up where we left off the last time we’ve been together. The bike route goes through Phoenix so the plan was to visit & stay at her home. Mike, her partner, even rides a unicycle, so he and Dave did the male bonding thing over one wheel.

Sunday we went to breakfast with Phyllis’s son Russell and his family.  I haven’t seen him since he was 16, when they would come to Ohio every summer to visit Phyllis’s mom. It was great to catch up with his adult life Russell & Shelly cooked a corned beef and cabbage dinner and we all ate green pies & cupcakes for dessert. It’s still a little hard to get used to my friends being grandparents.  The grandkids were a lot of fun.  Four year old Aubrey even tried to juggle with Dave’s coaching. Ethan’s a super-reader.

The town we are in is Maricopa, about  20 miles southwest of metropolitan Phoenix.  In 2000 it had less than 2000 people. Now it’s got 44,000+. All the homes are some version of tan stucco. Suburban Phoenix will never catch up to it because  desert & Indian reservations surround it.  John Wayne once owned a ranch here.

Before I sign off, here is a tribute to friendship. One of my favorite songs,            Old Friends, by Guy Clark

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