The following is a tribute to my “old friends” who gather with me every Tuesday for lunch and camaraderie.
While I truly enjoy my role as Mayor, as well as the people I work with, I treasure the time I spend with my “old friends” every Tuesday afternoon for lunch. We have been gathering together for close to ten years, and our group has grown from three of us to our sometimes gathering of fourteen or fifteen individuals. Most of the group is retired, but several of us like yours truly are still engaged in an activity that keeps us active. Our age range is between early sixties to the mid-eighties, so you can probably guess that individual health issues sometimes enter into our discussions. We are all members of the Darien Lions Club, but our friendship is so much more than our membership in any organization. We share stories, laughter and from time to time a tear for one of us who has passed on. When I am with them, we are all equals, friends who will always be there for one another.
Just this last Tuesday, I sat there and looked at the guys surrounding the table and told myself how lucky I am to have friends who kid with me about my role as mayor; are both supportive, and yet honest in their appraisal of my role with the city. In a world where so many take to social media to criticize elected officials, I have a group who are honest, and offer excellent advice. As I mentioned, from time to time we say goodbye and we shed a tear and make a toast to one of the group that has passed on. At this Tuesday’s gathering, we shared news of our “founder” and group organizer who is currently dealing with some health issues. While we enjoyed our gathering, we knew how much we truly missed his presence.
As I reflect on this last Tuesday’s gathering, I know how much I cherish being part of this group, and I sometimes wish that I could freeze time and hold a picture in my mind of this group that would never change. As Simon and Garfunkel sing in “Bookends,”Long ago it must be I have a photograph. Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.” I will always have great memories of these guys and how they brighten my day. To my Tuesday afternoon “old friends,” I can only say, I can never thank you enough for your friendship and for your love and support!