Memory is such a strange and elusive thing. It is much more than mere knowledge, awareness, or the impressions that a person retains – be it a person, an event, a period, or subject. Memory is a celebration of those experiences. It is the realization of our past, our history, our whole life.
Bill Brunner was one of my closest friends growing up. He lived conveniently just around the corner and we were the same age we had the same toys, the same interests and quite possibly the same dreams. Bill was more than a bunch of great memories, Bill was my early childhood. Going to school together, watching TV, sports, playing games for hours. We got into everything and anything. Chemistry, geology, astronomy , swimming, racing, bikes, football, baseball the list is endless. He was the punter, running back, lineman of our football team. The only football team with real uniforms and painted helmets. Sidestreet baseball home-run hitter. Engineer of some incredibly swift paper planes. Hot wheels racer enthusiast. Tough competitor and all around typical American kid from around the block.
We threw back coffees in our little meeting spot, up there in the north west corner of New Jersey – a Pannora Bread – late one freezing week night. In my estimation, we had to fill in the gap of at least THIRTY-FIVE YEARS!
Bill has been married over twenty years and is currently raising two preteens and we all know that is more than a full time job. If you want to reconnect with him like some of our family has already done, you can find him as one of my friends on Facebook.
Bill hasn’t changed much, except of corse in only the wiseness that life slowly unwraps for you as you become a husband, a father and a person. He was very genuine, kind and funny.
The thing that I always enjoy when I frolic in the past with old friends or family is that their memory always has a lot more than you could have ever remembered. I thought I knew it all. I thought I remembered it all. Bill kept bringing up times and memories that I thought I had long forgotten! There are so many events that connect together in your childhood, that it is impossible to keep them all.