Dick Newman: When we are too late
Often I think of friends I would like to talk to again. Usually, it is a friend I grew up with. But there is a problem I keep having when I try to contact them. I find that I have waited too long. This happened recently, the last time I tried to find Ken.
We lived a couple of miles from one another and went to the same schools. We played in the bands and often met to play together. I knew he had moved to Ohio and tried to locate him through the years to no avail.
The last time I finally got some results on the internet. I remember how sad it made me to read the words, “his son was with him and he went very peacefully.” I was too late for Ken.
Bobby was another band member friend. We had the same trumpet teacher and often practiced duets together, even did some duet traveling together. I thought about him a lot through the years and not too long ago I found his brother’s number and got his nephew.
We talked awhile and finally I asked about Bobby and he told me Bobby had passed away. I was too late for Bobby.
Don and I played in the bands together and I was fortunate that I did run into him a couple of times. The first meeting was at a grocery store. That day he told me how he had always appreciated the arrangements I made for the duets we played in church. He also told me that my driving of that time scared him to death. I ran into Don later at a senior citizens dance. I got him a date for one of my dances with a lady I knew there.
He seemed sad and sometimes I thought I would call him and maybe help him. Not long ago, I picked up the paper and there was a flowing obituary, but I was too late for Don.
Bill lived in Pennsylvania. As teenagers, we had traveled together throughout the Midwest in a trumpet trio. I thought a lot about Bill and decided to look him up. I did my usual search and there he was. From the write-up, one sentence really hit me, “in his lifetime, Bill brought a lot of joy to people with his trumpet playing.” And again, I was too late for Bill.
Dick Newman is a Huntington resident.