In the past 10 days I've had the incredible pleasure to help two of my closest friends celebrate their half-century mark. Even though I see or talk to both Ian and Amy pretty regularly, it was great to remind them (and be reminded) that they're like family, and these parties were just like family get togethers, only without the fighting and criticism—one of the great things about having family that you're not related to.
I also had the pleasure of reminding them that I wouldn't meet the same fate for more than 15 years. I like the fact that most of my friends are much older than me. It makes me feel young and thin and handsome most of the time.
The biggest surprise for me was running into my old bud Mark Norwine at one of these parties, who I haven't seen in a few years. (As a matter of fact, Mark, I think the last time was at Ian's jam, and you and the late Reverend Spanky and I watched the sun go down behind the trees and talked about damned near everything.) Mark is a great guy, and one hell of an electrical engineer and amplifier tech. He's one of the few people on the internet who keeps the signal-to-noise ratio tolerable and occasionally cuts right through the static.
I can't honestly say that I know him well despite the hours we've spent on the phone in the past while he's helped me dig myself out of the messes I've made of a few vintage amplifiers, but one of the things I know about him is that he's one of the most genuine people I could ever hope to meet. He might choose to say nothing if he can't say something nice, but he is not going to lie to you. I'm not sure it's even within his abilities to butter you up, so there was no doubt in my mind that Mark meant it when he said he missed my blog, and nearly begged me to start writing again.
It's good to know that at least one person was paying attention, and sometimes one person is enough to do some powerful stuff.
Thanks, Mark, for reminding me of that.