Take a trip in the Wayback Machine


David Lindeman

Contributing Columnist

If you could take a trip in the Wayback Machine to the years after I graduated from high school, you would see that I went to a lot of weddings. There were a lot of weekends when I had to break out the suit (or borrow one) and watch my friends tie the knot.

(By the way, if you know what the Wayback Machine is, you are showing your age – but that’s a story for another day.)

I don’t do so many weddings these days. Unfortunately, I now spend those weekends at funerals.

Not long ago, I learned that two classmates from my high school class recently had passed away. We all know there is no escaping the Grim Reaper, but when you’re 18 years old, you don’t entirely believe it. When you’re 65, you’re a believer.

Watching the clock tick makes you think about some of those people who were such a big part of your life way back when. A few weeks ago, a couple of them paid a visit to Troy, and we got together to relive old times (at least, the old times we could remember).

We spent a lot of time together growing up. You could have called us the Three Musketeers – or maybe the Three Stooges, depending on your point of view.

I told my wife the guys were coming to town and she was on her own for the night. She decided that was only fair, since she had lured me away from my friends when we were still in high school and then as it turned out they spent one of their weekends coming to our wedding.

We’ve seen each other a number of times over the years, but we know that clock is ticking and decided to make a conscious effort to get together more often. We weren’t trying to recreate our lives as 16-year-olds. First of all, we were lucky to survive that the first time around, let alone try it again 50 years later. Second, we are now mature adults (well, adults anyway) and as fathers and even grandfathers, we have a certain standard to uphold (as in, just don’t get arrested). Third, most of our time in high school was spent driving around town, complaining that there was nothing to do, getting something to eat at Ording’s and then going home. Time seemed to move so slowly then. It sure moves faster now.

One of my friends arrived in the afternoon, so I took him on a walking tour of downtown Troy. The high school kids driving by after school probably didn’t give two old guys hobbling around downtown a second look. I wanted to pull their cars over and say, “Take a good look, before you know it, you’re going to look like us.” That would give them something to think about.

My pal was astonished at the changes in downtown Troy in just the few years since he had been here last. We almost crashed a wedding when we walked in the door at Lockbox 28 minutes before a wedding was scheduled to take place. He loved the new look at the courthouse and the changes in the buildings around the square. He was really amazed by the addition at Lincoln Center.

Our third friend arrived in time for dinner, so we spent the evening on the patio at the Boathouse, where I tried to explain to them why the river was almost dry and that, yes, you really can rent a floating tent for a campout on the river.

So there we were, a long way from being class president or playing basketball at Hobart Arena or football at Troy Memorial Stadium. It was great to remember old times and old stories. But it was also great to know that after all those years, there’s still a special attachment that never goes away.

Yes, a lot of time has gone by, but we’re all still looking forward to what is yet to come. We’ve all had some bumps in the road, but at least we’re still on the road and that counts for something. It feels good to have old friends traveling down that road with you.

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