Rollin' with my homies...
School's out completely...

You're my best friend...

Throughout our lives, we have many friends. But how many so-called best friends?

Very few I would guess. I think I can pretty much count them on one hand.

But your first best friend (I know some of you hate abbreviations, but I'm gonna abbreviate it to FBF for simplicity's sake, okay?) is one you never forget.

I don't know why, but the other day, I was thinking about my FBF. I was five years old and I had moved with my family to Lexington, KY (home of Wildcat basketball and the big D). That's where I met the guy who would become my FBF. His name was Steve Pope and he lived across the street from where my court deadended. He was about a month older than me and in the same grade and we had pretty much all the same interests including Star Wars, Legos, and just generally being five-year-old kids. If ever there was a better way for a kid to become acclimated to a new home, I don't know what it would be.

Steve and I were practically inseparable. He taught me to draw. We launched ourselves off swing sets. We caught crawdads in a nearby creek. We went sledding the few times it snowed in Lexington. We set up Star Wars dioramas (later replaced with G.I. Joes) with the figures in our yards. There was very little that involved one of us that didn't involve the other.

All this changed, of course, when I moved to Bristol, CT, five years later. We still managed to see each other once or twice a year by flying back and forth to each other's houses. But the dynamic was shot. He had new friends; I had new friends. We struggled to find common ground anymore.

After a few years, we lost touch entirely. No letters, no phone calls, and no visits.

I did see him once when my family and I returned from a trip to Tennessee for my grandparents' anniversary in the summer after my freshman year in college. But, again, it was strained. I also heard he was interested in applying to the Art Institute of Chicago, but that never panned out.

The last I heard, he was working for some catering company in Lexington and played drums or bass in some local band. Not much more detail other than that.

But he was my FBF and I cannot help but think about him from time to time and the good times we had as kids.

And I wonder what happened to him.

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