Sunday, August 1, 2010

Going, Going, Gone...

     Change.  Not loose change.  Just plain old 'nothing-ever-stays-the-same' change.  And these days, change is working overtime- nearly as fast as Joan Rivers' plastic surgeon.  I'm just back from a retirement party for an old friend named Eddie Foote.  Eddie spent four decades working for the same TV station in New York City.  You can look it up.  Eddie's picture was in the New York Daily News.  The blurb says Eddie was retiring after 45-years. What the newspaper didn't say was that things had changed.  The TV station had changed- longer hours, shorter paychecks.  More work.  Less fun.  

     When I first met Eddie I was part of a crowd of new hires.  Just out of college- freshly-minted journalism grads- we were ready to change the world.  And in some ways we did.  Or more likely, the world changed us.  Eddie was the voice of experience- a friendly, smiling presence- always willing to help out the new kids.  He taught us a lot.     
     A bunch of us showed up to wish Eddie a grand retirement.  His going away party was held in an Irish pub overlooking 45th and Third Avenue.  As I looked around the room at all of my former colleagues- the changes were unmistakable.  Gray hairs, crows feet, some bulging waistlines...  You could see that everyone was older, wiser (we hope), more sedate.    This party was a luncheon.  We washed down crab cakes with white wine.  In the old days we'd have our parties in wild New York City clubs.  We'd stay out all night- dancing, drinking and dreaming. 

Those days are long gone.  So much has changed.  But at least a few things are still the same.  Eddie's still a hell of a guy.  And Friendship.  That hasn't changed a bit.

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