It was 1951 and my family had just moved into the new subdivision of Cottage Hill. It was the stereotype middle class America. Small modest homes that made it possible for the working class to complete their dream of owning their own home. Dads went to work in the morning, moms stayed at home, kids played in the woods, dogs ran free without any stress and Summer weekends were spent outside – mowing lawns, having BBQs, drinking beer and chatting with neighbours over the fence. It was a happy time.
The first kid I met was Russ Wolfe. Russ and I became the best of friends and our parents became friends. Russ and I were pretty much inseparable. We did the stuff that boys do. Our friendship lasted and 50 years ago this month Russ joined the Marine Corp. When he left the service Russ spent some time wandering and sometimes we never knew where he was. It was during that time that his Dad passed away. Sometime around 1970 Russ settled in North Carolina and we continued our friendship, albeit a distant one. In 1971 my mom passed away and over a period the friendship between my dad and Russ’s mom became something more and they married. Russ became my brother! How cool is that?
Russ continues to live in North Carolina with his wife Sandy. He is dealing with a number of health issues and I wish we were geographically closer. He is a proud veteran and a proud American. Both traits he wears with humility and dignity. He is a class guy and a good man. I am the better for knowing him.