John Morinec and I were best friends in high school, beginning with a journalism class when we were sophomores, under the tutelage of Miss House. We enjoyed one another’s company, and did silly, outrageous things like staying out all night–I think it was unintentional, but I’m not real clear–and staying at Linda Newhouse’s living room. She had her boyfriend over when we showed up at about 12:00 a.m., and we slept until about 7, when we left.
Then, when I was a freshman at Valparaiso University–from which I was tossed out on my ear, and deserved it, I guess–it was a beautiful spring day at ‘Dear Old Valpo’, and John and one of his buddies came walking across the lawn from Route 30, which ran between Northern Illinois University and Valpo. As a brief digression, the students called it Valparaino, because of the unfortunate tendency to not only rain constantly but also snow, hail, and all that. But–John stayed with us for a couple of days, then went home, I think.
And, aside for a couple of brief encounters, I lost track of him. We shared more than just friendship: we both had parents who were vastly–well, I guess eccentric is the best word. We, neither one of us, were favorites with our parents. Mine tended to regard me as a nut, not to be trusted, lazy and unworthy. Actually, my life began to take off when my mother died and my dad moved to San Antonio, and I rarely saw him.
So, some twenty-five years ago, I decided I needed to get hold of John and I dropped him a line, asking him to call me. He did, we re-united, and we’ve had a nice reunion in that we see each other three-five times a year, our wives get along, and it’s been great to be reunited with a lifetime friend.
Yesterday, Tuesday, John called and asked me to go down to Bourbannais and watch the Bears practice. I agreed happily, met him this morning at his house, we went and stood in line to watch the Bears in training camp. To say we had fun might be an overstatement–it was a mob scene, several thousand watching, hot, no beer, bright sun, we forgot chairs and no beer. Still, it was great to be with a lifetime buddy.
John, like me, got his education going after a couple of years of college, graduated, got an MBA, had a great job, a beautiful house, a lovely wife (the former Donna Kaufman of Steger, with whom we went to high school), a great son, and all the trappings of a fine life. It pleases me greatly. I’m glad I’ve been part of his life, if off and on.