Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Guest Blog From A Fellow West Virginian Turned Southerner: Reflections Of A Word Called Friendship

I am a novice writer, in fact, many who visit my blog who have a serious command over the rules of grammar probably cringe whenever they view my cacophony of fragmented and run-on sentences, my improper use of punctuation and my misspelled words. I admire bloggers who have an obvious stronger literary talent than mine. One such fellow blogger is an old friend from West Virginia who now lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I first met Bob D. on the golf course at the Elks Club in Elkins, WV. I have been a fan of his blog and facebook posts for quite some time now. When I asked Bob to "guest-blog" on From The Land Of Palm Trees he was hesitant at first, claiming that he didn't have any good ideas for writing at the moment. I reminded Bob that coming up with something shouldn't be too hard for a man who had introduced the "bag phone" to the land of CB Radios, referring back to Bob's time with Cellular One back in Elkins during the early 90's. At any rate, today I turn it over to my friend Bob, Enjoy!

A Guest Appearance By Bob Darden http://bobisjustthinkin.blogspot.com

As I step forward into this new media type, called blogging, I have already had many different thoughts cross my mind in regard to what I might write about on my next venture, and almost immediately my thoughts were taken back to Elkins, West Virginia and the many friendships that we left behind.

As a native, born and raised in Elkins, and having lived there for 47 years prior to leaving, Elkins will always be home. The natural beauty of the mountains, the nurtured friendships from attending school there, and then returning after being married in London, England, this quiet little city in the heart of the Tygart Valley soon appeared like it would be our home place forever, and this was the advent of probably our most cherished and lasting friendships.

Barbara and I have always been very fortunate by being blessed and surrounded by very special friends. In looking back after being away for almost 15 years, the biggest, single factor that we miss the most, is all the friendships that we left behind us.

I very much recall the time that Barb and I had to weigh all the variables that we were being faced with in regard to possibly leaving Elkins. As if it were only yesterday, I recall sitting around the evening dinner table with our children, in a discussion that must of lasted at least several hours. The one, single theme that seemed to be the absolute biggest obstacle in our children's point of view was, but Dad, what about our friends ?

As difficult as it seemed at the time, Barb and I tried to assure them that good friends, true friends, will always be lasting friends. But as very young teenagers at the time, I am sure they probably found it very difficult to really believe whatever we were trying to tell them at the time.

So now, here we are almost 15 years down stream, both Christopher and Alicia, more commonly known as Chris and Ali, would probably agree with Barbara and I in saying, yes, most of those wonderful friends that we left behind are still wonderful friends today. As we all get just a little bit 'longer in the tooth,' for whatever reason, these lasting friendships seem to become more special every day.

So, as I reflect about friendships, I would be remiss if I did not comment about my new found conduit to family and friends all over the world, Facebook.

It was really interesting how this all occurred. Almost a year ago, my EHS Class of 1964 was preparing for our 45th Reunion. (Damn, are we really that old.) One of our classmates had started a web site to generate excitement for the upcoming reunion. Shortly after the weekend reunion, I heard from several friends that rather than keep the existing web page, that had some expense involved, we were going to generate our own page on Facebook. Hum . . . .

Up to that time, I really thought that social networking sites were only for the young folks, but once hearing of the name of our new page, I could not wait to check it out. The rest is history. Not only have I been able to keep in touch and network with many of our classmates, I have unlocked and rediscovered past business associates, US Navy buddys, relatives and friends from years gone by. It has truely become a pastime that brings happy smiles to me on a daily basis.

So, in closing, many of you here on Facebook are some of our nearest and dearest friends. The fact that you may take time to read this, probably means you're just a bit more than a fb friend. What ever the case, to each of you, wherever you may be, remember 'friendship' is a special thing . . . and if you're a friend of mine, that makes you, 'really special.'

Special regards,
Bob D ~

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