A lifetime of friendship

I had lunch with my three oldest friends today. We all attended the University of Western Ontario 50 years ago. We’ve held this regular Christmas gathering at the Old Mill for a long time. As a first step we declared that matters of personal health – the organ recital I call it – were not open for discussion. Otherwise, you get into a lot of kvetching and complaining. We did, however, congratulate ourselves on surviving for another year.

Among the four of us there is a lawyer, a dentist, an accountant and me, the writer. Topics ranged from Stephen Harper (dangerous for the country declared the lawyer), with the rest of us peppering him about his wrong-headed description. There was a general agreement it’s time for a change in Ottawa but not because of any clear and present dangers. Other points agreed upon included the disaster that is the Ontario deficit and the hopefulness we felt about Toronto Mayor John Tory – as long as he can muster the necessary leadership skills to make a difference when dealing with the diverse views of city council.

At times, the arguments about everything from the world of business through Putin’s possible demise to the mess at the CBC became heated, as they always do. Just as quickly the topic changes and new debates take over. It’s been like this for years; no one ever gets angry with anyone else. 

Another thing that’s predictably the same is the character of those involved. Despite the ups and downs of our different lives, despite our differing experiences, we are still at root recognizably the same people who were together on campus so long ago. Some aspects of life are immutable. True friends most of all. 

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