This photograph came to the Eugenius archives today thanks to the little boy you see on the right, my oldest friend in the world, Roy Lyster. Since that photograph was taken in the early 1960’s, Roy and I have gone our separate ways, but in the true manner of old friends, we check up and check in every now and then. Roy was in Calgary last week and we had a lovely evening together.
And now, looking at this photograph that Roy sent out of the blue today, I am in awe that I have been blessed to have such a truly wonderful friend in my life all these years.
I mean, look at us! Could we be more happy!? Is there any place we would rather be than in each other’s company?! I think not.
A few comments on the photo, some 50 years after it was taken . . .
I believe the photo was taken near Roy’s house on the 16 block of Athol Street in Regina. This area has since become, according to Macleans Magazine, the worst neighbourhood in Canada, but it seems pretty damned leafy and safe in this photo. And it was. It was a good place to grow up.
I’m not sure what Roy is doing wearing those high-waisted jeans, but he was always a little ahead of the rest of us fashion-wise. I can’t help but notice that I am wearing a cardigan, which I still do, and am wearing what appears to be Chuck Taylors, which I still wear, and I’m obviously riding a bike, which I still do. Have I not come anywhere in over 50 years on this planet? Have I not evolved? It would seem not.
But as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Further to my wardrobe, you notice I am not wearing jeans, like Roy is. My mom was wont to dress me up a little bit. Legend has it that she insisted my hair be kept long and she liked to dress me in little outfits, pinafores and such. One day my dad was out with me and someone asked him how old his little girl was and that was that. Dad took me to a barber and cut off all my curls. Mom took to her bed and cried for days. I still have an envelope with those curls in it. So I notice I have on dress pants in this photo, which doesn’t really surprise me.
Notice too that I am on a girl’s bike, and with a basket, yet. And notice how gigantic Roy’s bike is in comparison. Roy’s bike even has one of those old school generator and light gizmos. Talk about high tech! I can’t believe he could ride that thing without damaging himself! But why would I have a girlie bike with a basket like that?
The simple answer to that is that I at least had a bike, and, I’m sure, was glad to have it. My parents were hardly wealthy. Neither were Roy’s. But they provided us with what we needed, and we were obviously happy little boys.
Today, the little boy on the right in an immensely talented and successful man, you can read up on him here: http://people.mcgill.ca/roy.lyster/. And elsewhere. And you know about the other boy in the photo. Whatever was going on in our young minds that day almost half a century ago when we set out for a bike ride together, it must have all been good, and our little minds were free and clear to dream big dreams.
One night, a few years after this photo was taken, when we were thirteen or so, we were at a party and Roy had the Old Friends album by Simon and Garfunkel. I remember we wondered that night so long ago if we would be friends like Simon and Garfunkel so beautifully sang about. Well, we’re not 70 – yet – and we’re not sitting on a park bench – yet – but it seems we are destined to be friends to the end. I hope so.
I found the song and share it with you here.
So, here’s to old friends, my friends. Remember the old saying:
Make new friends
But keep the old
Some are silver
Some are gold.
Thanks for reading . . .