Saturday 3 November 2012

Big Bri

Today, another one of my friends from high school celebrated his sixtieth year. That seems to be happening quite a lot this year, but I suppose it is to be expected. Once again, I missed the party but then I am sure that someone is saying “It wouldn’t be a good party if Harrison was here.” I can be a drag at parties, but I was there in spirit.

I only met Brian in high school because he lived beyond Pharmacy Ave. and at that age, he might just as well have lived on the other side of the moon. You know, I don’t remember the moment I met him, but I am sure that it was through our mutual buddy Don. Don was a guitarist and so was Brian so in a school as small as Wexford was,it was probably inevitable that they would get together to talk and play music. For the life of me I can’t figure out how I fit into this group of talented people, I am just thankful that I did.

Memories about friends are like spaghetti thrown at the wall. Some stick for no apparent reason and others kind of slide down the walls of your mind into oblivion. I can remember a night time ride through Edwards Gardens, I think it was, and we were enjoying the cool night air, the breeze from our ride and good conversation when Bri ran into a park bench at full cruising speed. You know, for a big guy he flew pretty well, but his landing left a lot to be desired. I can still see him in the air beside me without his bike and a befuddled look on his face. Good times…good times.

One year Don was having a Halloween party and we all dressed as our favourite characters. Ok, we dressed in whatever came to mind, I was Cleopatra. I had the legs and figure for it back in those days. The party was in full swing with wine in glasses and let’s say wine in pipes, when there came a pounding on the front door. Someone looked out and called out “It’s the cops!” I was in the bathroom ready to turn the baggie upside down into the toilet at the sound of the door being kicked in. I didn’t want to get busted, but I didn’t want to dump $25 in dope either. When Don opened the door there was Bri dressed as a cop and a huge smile on his face. Asshole! Pretty good costume though and if anyone had been able to make a judgement at the end of the evening, I am sure he would have won for best costume.

Brian and our buddy Ken lived together in an apartment at Lawrence and Victoria Park. There were many parties there and it became a good place to hang out, play music and talk about the world. Bri and Ken were kind of like our own version of “The Odd Couple”. Brian being the neater person and Ken was…well…Ken. I can remember going over there and seeing the kitchen sink and counter filled with dirty dishes and Ken proudly holding up paper cups and plates like they were the Holy Grail. I guess in a way they were, as they saved him from doing dishes. The girls would come over and at some point would want to have a cup of tea only to find no cups available so they would set to washing the dishes. I’m not sure that was Brian’s plan, but it just might have been. The girls got their own back when they tied all of the boys clothing into knots.

Louise and Brian hit it off pretty much from the moment they met. He once called her a female Ken, but I am pretty sure he meant that as a compliment. Pretty sure… We were waiting to get into a concert at Varsity Stadium and Brian looked over my shoulder and said “Look at that poor, thin, pasty looking guy over there.” I turned around and saw a post that someone had put a hat on. Both Louise and I started to laugh and couldn’t stop. We are still laughing at it 40 years later. Once I was playing crib with Louise and Brian and in this particular game I was far beyond double skunking them. I could do no wrong and was looking forward to the best win of my young life. I will freely admit that I am a less than pleasant winner, but they should never have just quit in the middle of the game. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME! I still cry at that 40 years later.

Through the years, distance has made visiting sporadic and I often wished that Brian was closer so that I could benefit from his humour and good sense when I was down. The good thing is that I knew he was always there if I needed to talk, and although I never did test it, I am sure he would have given me the shirt off his back, and still would. It wouldn’t fit of course, but it’s the thought that counts.

I hope that you had a great party Brian and know that I was there and always will be.

1 comment:

  1. Great stories. Sounds like you had some fun times. And good friends.