Happy birthday, Randy!
Today is the birthday of my dear friend Randy, another auspicious member of the Campbell High School Class of ’77.
Randy and I have been friends since we met in Mr. Diffley’s homeroom at Nash Junior High. He was the coolest boy in the class, and I was shy and in awe of that wild boy — and, I must brag, the only girl in our homeroom who admitted getting the joke in Pussy Galore’s name. I sat behind him in Mrs. Sellers' science class, where we became buddies.
But we actually met years earlier. Randy and I went to kindergarten together at Kiddie Dude Ranch — the coolest-named school on the East Coast. (And somewhere, Randy, I have our group graduation photo; I’ll have it ready for next year’s birthday post. Holly, he looks so cute in his little suit!)
Randy was one of my favorite people in high school. I spent four years in homeroom with him and David (the tall guy in the courtyard photo; we need to find him). Early in our freshman year, Randy cracked a slightly dirty joke (probably his Pledge of Allegiance “stance”) … I blushed … and after that those two spent every homeroom trying to embarrass me. Well, within a couple of months, my sailor mouth was popping back with the filthies — and a deep, lifelong friendship was born. If I were a cruel person, I’d spill the “Baretta” and Fonzie beans … but I’ll take the high road since I'd hate to tarnish his level of cool.
Randy helped me master the Southern art of holding your beer — in his very cool Datsun 240Z, no less — and introduced me to Lou Reed. To this day, whenever I hear “Walk on the Wild Side,” I think of cruising in that cool white sports car, sucking down a can of beer, and laughing with Randy.
He also had the coolest parents around. Parties at his house were always fun, and I always felt comfortable if I just stopped by.
The summer before our senior year, he developed a crush on Holly, who’s been my friend since the fourth grade. I had a very light hand in getting them together (and back together). I was proud to sit with his parents at Holly and Randy’s wedding in 1983. A very small affair, it was one of the most romantic, beautiful weddings I’ve ever attended. They have a great, happy marriage, and they still glow when they're together. I love hanging out with them; it’s so convenient when your friends marry.
Randy and I shared classes, test answers, and lots of beer at Georgia State … many a drunken night at The Launching Pad … and numerous dramas throughout my single life. He and Holly now live on a lake, and they're taking life easier these days. Who wouldn't, with a fabulous house on the lake?
When OM died last August, Holly and Randy were among the first friends to come by. Always a smart businessman, he mailed that day’s Wall Street Journal to my mom, so that she’d have the latest stock and financial info on hand once she started working on my dad’s estate. He had lost his dad a few years earlier, and knew what we’d need. It was one of the sweetest things anyone did for us during that rough time.
With his nephew at that fabulous lake house
Randy, we’ll never agree on politics, but I’ll always dearly love you (and your dirty martinis). I look forward to growing old with you and Holly and Renae and Greg.
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