Thursday, July 29, 2010

HNT - Hanging With Tom Over The Years

Last Friday night my good friend Tom Potts was in town for an evening. He had a stag/golf tournament to attend in Niagara Falls relatively early Saturday morning, and since the drive from Mount Forest to Niagara Falls is a good bunch of hours, he called to see if he could stay at our place Friday night. It was the perfect excuse to get together.

Fran and I were delighted to have him visit, particularly since we had originally made plans to have Tom and his wife Penny stay at our place for Canada Day -- unfortunately, due to a very nasty sinus infection and bought of bronchitis, that visit never happened, so it was nice to be able to visit with Tom at least for a few hours last weekend.

After a fantastic meal that Francine prepared and we all enjoyed, Tom we spent most of the evening sitting on the back deck, chatting, having some beers, catching up and talking about our love of music, writing and the creative process.  The first picture in this week's HNT post is a picture of Tom and I taken that night a couple of hours after Francine turned in.

Me and Tom - 2010

Last summer, around the time of Canada Day, it was the Levack District High School reunion. That was the first time Francine got to meet Tom and that we both met his wife Penny. Funny, we'd stayed in touch via phone calls and I'd gone to see Tom play with his band at a bar in Mount Forest, but the four of us had never gotten together before that. I don't think I got any pictures of the four of us together last summer. Too bad. We had some fun times and a heck of a lot of laughs. I was pleased to learn first hand how Penny embraces life with a fond enthusiasm that is addictive.

Now if we flash waaaay back to 1992, it was another L.D.H.S. reunion. We were all just graduating from university, so the "catching up" aspect of the high school reunion was pretty basic. Here's a picture from back then. Ah, look at how young, and happy we all were -- look at that wonderful mullet I was sporting. (Sigh, it still feels like yesterday that I could grow a full and health batch of hair on the top of my head)

John Ellis, me, Tom Potts, Michelle Norry-Simmons - 1992

And finally, here's a picture from 1986, the year when Tom graduated from high school.  I first met Tom when he moved to Levack to attend LDHS, staying with my neighbours. I was about 12 years old at the time, and Tom and I hit it off almost immediately. We were good friends through high school, but when he graduated and moved away I remember it being a really tough thing. We got together a few times over the years immediately after he moved away, and always had a great time together, but ultimately, in the last 15 to 18 years we have mostly communicated by telephone, and have only gotten together a small handful of times.

Tom Potts dressed to kill for high school grad, and me, uncomfortable in a suit - 1986
Interesting that the song lyrics I quote below from Rush were coming out at about the time this earliest picture was taken, and though I liked the lyrics then, I couldn't fully appreciate the sentiment expressed until a few decades later when I was sitting back with a friend and just soaking in the moment.

"Summer's going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger"
     - Rush, Time Stand Still
 Time stand still, indeed.

Tom is one of those gold friends I'll always cherish, no matter how much time passes, or no matter how often we get to hang out together.

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