Since June 8 is “Best Friend Day” (who comes up with this stuff?!), I can’t help but think of my friend, Joe. Joe and I have now been fishing and hunting together for some 44 years. We have spent countless hours together to the point that we probably know each other better than our wives. At least, that’s how we joke about it. Our wives may not think that is so funny.
I first met Joe when we both worked for Proctor and Gamble. He convinced me one day to steal away from work to go fishing. Not very smart, but Joe can be persuasive. Where this really went wrong, he slipped up and told a co-worker — in front of my boss — that he and I were going fishing that afternoon. The next day was a little painful.
The common ground between Joe and me is almost over the top. He is nine months older than I am. We both grew up in small towns. We had both been in Korea in the military (he with the army, myself with the air force). He has two daughters. I have two daughters. We both spent 10 plus years with Procter and Gamble. When Joe went into real estate, I followed. Now we both have 34 plus years in that business. We both lived in the same model home built by the same builder. We both found ourselves driving Jeep Grand Wagoneers at one point in time. We both fish Winston rods, wear Orvis vests, Simms waders and Filson caps. Are you getting pretty sick of Joe and me by now?
Anyway, there always seems to be a little competition going on when we hit the water. I love to catch the first fish. You know he is playing the same game as he whistles as soon as he has a fish on. We both try to get in our fishing gear in as soon as possible so as to get to the stream first. That is subsiding now as we are getting older, and we are finally beginning to “smell the roses” a little more.
Joe is a very good fisherman. We now do revel in each other’s catches. We share flies. We both love telling our wives that they “will see us when they see us”. We love boring other people with our old jokes. Everyone should have a friend like Joe!