Mabookies On Parade

The picture may not be the best quality picture; after all I used my Redneck photo copier to take it, i.e. I took a picture of a picture using my phone, but it is one of my favorite memories from a time long ago. The three people pictured in this photo are me and my friends Terry and Angel, and was taken 16 years ago while on a mission trip in the Philippines. I added the words “Mabookies On Parade” and had it printed for the three or us. We often referred to it as our “album cover” even though we never recorded any music.

The term “mabookie” came from the remastered version of A New Hope (Star Wars episode 4 which is the first movie, but the fourth in the franchise). In it, Jabba the Hutt referred to Han Solo as mabookie and the subtitles defined the term as “my boy”. Terry and I adopted this phrase and began calling each other by this nickname and it took on a life of it’s own. Later we added Angel to the group; even though she’s a girl she was our mabookie too.

One of the reasons I love this picture is because it reminds me of all the laughs we had together. I know you can’t tell from the picture, after all we were making an album cover at the time and were going for the serious artist pose. But when the three of us got together, there was laughter galore.

It probably helped that we were kindred spirits and had the same quirky sense of humor. There have been very few people on this planet who “get me” but these two did and my life is so much better because of them. I believe if every person on this planet had two friends like these the world would be a better place. I’m truly blessed to have been a part of this cadre of fun loving people.

Terry died a few months ago, taking our trio down to a duo, and while it’s been hard with him gone, Angel and I had the opportunity the other night to get together and watch our favorite movie So I Married An Axe Murderer together. It was so nice to have her there with my family; eating, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. It was just like old times and I hadn’t realized how much I missed the good times we all had together.

And as I sit here writing this and looking at this picture I can’t help but thank God He brought these two people into my life so many years ago. They truly have helped to make me a better man, and the laughter they brought into my life I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Thank you Terry and Angel for all you’ve done for me; mabookies for eternity.

A Cup Of Joe And Memories

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in my hometown; it’s the first time I’ve been in one since my friend Terry died. It’s not that I’ve been trying to avoid the coffee shop or anything, it’s just a point of reference for my writing today. You see my friend Terry and I loved to go to the coffee shop, drink coffee (obviously) and spend time in each other’s presence. Many times we didn’t even do very much talking, we just sat together as friends and enjoyed the camaraderie.

A lot of men like to play or watch sports, hunt or go fishing or work on cars, but what I enjoy more than anything is time spent in the company of men who make me a better man. Terry did just that. Yes it is true he loved watching football and had a mean pitch when playing softball, but we could spend hours talking about the mundane or very important things and both walk away feeling much better as men.  We quite often solved the world’s problems in those coffee times, only there was no one who would listen to our opinions.

As I’ve sat here today, drinking my mocha, endeavoring to put into words these feelings I have in my heart, I can’t help but think how going to have a cup of joe just will never be the same. Oh I know there’ll be more times in coffee shops, but they will never be the same as they were with Terry. After all, he was the guy who got me drinking the stuff in the first place; not to mention my son and daughter both give him the credit for their coffee addiction as well.

Everyone should be so fortunate to have a friend like Terry in their lives and I miss him each and every day; especially when I try to call and tell him something funny or poignant which has happened to me. But even though he is gone, I cherish the times spent together drinking coffee and as I reflect on those good times I smile and my heart feels just a little less sad.

Yes, I will continue stopping into coffee shops for the remainder of my days and I know each time I will think fondly on my friend and the joy he brought to my life as we sipped our coffee; mine black and hot and his with one cream, in it.


We All Have That One Friend

You’re at a social gathering mingling and talking with friends and acquaintances when all of a sudden there is a murmur across the room, and everyone starts looking towards the entrance.  As you turn your head, you see what all the commotion is about; it’s one of your friends, the charismatic one who never meets a stranger and probably knows the entire population of the city you live in.

There is a man like this in my circle of friends.  In fact, I’m fortunate enough to call him one of my best friends.  This man truly is the life of the party, and it doesn’t matter what age a person is, they are all drawn to Faron Kelly.  I often watch Faron in these situations, and he always has a smile on his face, and a kind word no matter how busy he is.

I’m amazed by my friend, I say amazed because he has a gift and ability which seems to be a foreign concept to me; he really does love all people, and not just people who can do something for him.  You will see him dancing, hugging and just being the same friendly guy with every person he meets.  I’m serious when I say it amazes me.

I met Faron twenty some years ago at the church I attend, and right away knew this was a guy I needed to get to know.  It seemed he was always happy, laughing and so alive.  I don’t know about you, but when you see someone living life fully like this, it makes you want the same thing; at least it did for me.  And I knew if I had any chance of living like this, then I needed to spend some time with him.img_8400

I consider myself blessed because this man is part of my life and journey.  There have been times when I didn’t know how I would have continued on and he said just what I needed to hear, or all the times I was doubled over in laughter because of something he said or did.  I could go on for days and days telling you about all of the things Faron has done in the time I’ve known him, but let me end by saying this.  If everyone in the world acted like Faron Kelly, I guarantee there would no more wars, poverty or hurting people, not to mention life would just be a hoot!

Now you know what I think, what do you think?





I’ll Be Your Huckleberry

Water flowing was the only sound the men heard as they gathered their gear.  Doc Holiday leaned against his saddle which was next to a small tree, while Wyatt stood along the bank gathering his thoughts.  Coughing, one of the men said, “Doc, you ought to be in bed, why are you doing this?”

“Because Wyatt Earp is my friend.”

“Hell Doc, I’ve got lots of friends.” The man said with a look of wonder on his face.

“I don’t.” Doc replied. 

There is something in this short scene from the movie Tombstone which gets me every time I see it.  I think about it often when it comes to my friends too.  I wonder if I’m this kind of friend to them; one who is willing to lay his life aside to help them.  Am I really the friend they need?

There are seven men in my life with whom I have walked through hell and back.  They’ve been there for me at the best and worst times in my life, and to say I’m thankful for them is an understatement.  We know the good, bad and ugly in each other’s lives, and yet we still enjoy each other’s company even though we spend less time together than any of us would really like.

Friendship may be one of the greatest gifts a man can ever have in his life too.  I can’t imagine doing this life alone, even though spending time alone is one of things I do enjoy.  I’m obviously not alone because I’m married and have kids, but there is something a man needs in his life more than this relationship with his family, he needs to be friends with other men.

As a man, you need to cultivate relationships with other men who can speak into your life.  This won’t happen overnight, and it probably won’t be easy either; because men are guarded and don’t express what is going on in their lives very well, for whatever reason; fear, pride, unwillingness to be open and honest, etc.  But it is worth any effort you apply to developing this friendship.

The idea of being a lone wolf may be popular in stories, but in real life this kind of man pales in comparison to the guy who has true and authentic male friendships in his life. I was reading a blog the other day about being alone, and in it Kenneth Burke talked about solitary confinement being the harshest form of imprisonment (Thanks kenneticexpression!) When a man spends most of his time alone whether by his choice or not, it brings with it a deficiency which does terrible damage to a man’s soul.

We were made to be social creatures, it’s in our make up to want and need friends. Regardless of what you may think; you need a few solid friends in your life like Doc Holiday in Tombstone. And you also need to be this kind of friend to other men in your life. I know life has a way of making you busy, and does it’s best to keep you alone and away from your friends, but you must make it a priority in your life.

Start today, contact a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and get together for coffee or go hit some golf balls. Do something with some other men, get out of your comfort zone and make the effort. You’ll be glad you did.

Now you know what I think, what do you think? Tell me about it.