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Ive Gotta Hand It to You

What would I do without my wife? Not much. What would I do without my best friend? Even less.

The story begins a long time ago. I kick myself for not remembering the exact day, but it doesn't really matter. It was back when I was about 22 or 23, or so.

I started working at this gas station near my home in New Jersey. This happened to be the place where I would meet a few key people that would help to change my life. At the time they didn't have a clue.

I was working at the gas station during the day. One job led to another, a young lady by the name of Liz informed me that the auto parts store she worked for was looking for drivers. I went down to apply, and later got the job. Liz and I became friends and chummed around for a while. She was a good friend to talk to, and unfortunately I don't see her much anymore.

I was working two jobs then, things were looking up, though I was working like a dog, days at the parts shop and nights at the station. Not to mention building my airbrush and graphic design experience on the side. Keeping busy kept me out of trouble anyway.

The other person who helped me along is a fellow named Roger. He worked as a mechanic at the gas station and we got along great. We have many fond memories of the station, some that live on to this day. It was during this time that I tried my first home-brewed beer.

Roger has been a blessing in more ways than one. Like Liz, he's easy to talk to, and a good listener. I often wonder how someone could have so much patience for a guy like me, prone to babbling. And not even casual babbling, I'm talking the deep murky stuff!

Roger has been through some tough situations in his life and has helped me through my own struggles. We talk about a lot, and every time we get together it's like a mini celebration. Cheers! A celebration of life because here we are, all these years later, still together, still alive, and still learning about and enjoying our world.

Roger and I share an avid interest in the neat things the world has to show us, and we like to think, to ponder. Through my website (and that's thanks to Roger too, keep reading) I have the opportunity to share some of those neat things, and thoughts, with you.

I'm telling you, back when I was single I was struggling to stay afloat, Lord knows where my money went. What 23 year old male has his priorities in order? Only the ones who have it together, and for some of us it takes longer to gather ourselves. It was tough paying rent, car insurance (which was very expensive for me in my early 20's, you know those "high risk" drivers), a cellular phone bill (because I had to be cool), paying down credit card debt, and putting food in my mouth. I didn't have many pennies left over. I ate a lot of rice and Ramen Noodles in those days. You could get 4 packs of Ramen Noodles for about buck. I was a thrifty shopper, had no choice.

So, there I was in my one bedroom apartment, built around the back of a pizza shop and a hair salon, convenient for quick dinner and a hair cut. No girlfriend anymore, I had botched that, and my parents had retired to North Carolina, my sister and brother-in-law followed. I was alone.

I had one visitor every weekend though: Roger. He'd stop down and we'd have a few beers, talking about various things. It was nice to have someone to chat with after a week of being alone. Don't get me wrong, I was involved with a musical duo and playing out every so often, but my band mate and I didn't get together much outside of the music. Sometimes, we did, but Roger was around every weekend. We just had more diverse conversation.

We could do and talk about anything. Computers, photography, music, including our favorite old bands like Genesis, Yes, and of course Rush. We could talk about books we've read and exchange them. Roger often brought his laptop computer down and we'd network our machines and share files. Just fun geek stuff.

In short, since this thing is getting pretty wordy, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should identify, and hold dear, those who influence our lives. Those who help us to change, especially if it's done inadvertently, because they are being a true friend.

Without Roger, who helped me purchase my first modem, and introduced me to website design among other things, like home-brewing beer, I wouldn't currently be a professional internet graphic designer, with a great batch of home-brewed beer to enjoy.

Without Liz I wouldn't have had enough money to make ends meet. It's because of her that I landed the second job which helped pay the bills

Without John, my partner in music, I wouldn't have experienced the fun and fulfillment of writing songs and performing to a live audience. I wouldn't want to keep writing and performing without friends who appreciate and support it.

Ultimately without these people I wouldn't have truly understood the meaning of "good friends." I'd still be stuck in my "rut" and not seeing the true possibilities in my life.

We need friendships to guide us, to help us grow and learn. And we need to be friends to our friends. There's enough bad stuff in this world, let's not add to it. Let's try to chip away at the rough exterior and smooth things out. One friend at a time.

Drew Vics, an artist, writer & musician from New Jersey, writes for http://www.Myeyez.net, and for other websites online.

In The News:

Foreign Secretary to call for more sanctions on Russia
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 22:42:00 +0100
Jeremy Hunt will use his first speech as Foreign Secretary to call for further sanctions on Russia in response to the Salisbury novichok poisonings.

At least 14 dead after raids on Rio drug gangs
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:30:00 +0100
At least 14 people have died after Brazil's military swooped on drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro.

'Terrorist' shot dead at Barcelona police station
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:49:00 +0100
A suspected terrorist has been shot dead after attempting to attack officers with a large knife at a police station in Barcelona.

Elderly South Koreans reunite with relatives in North
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 02:15:00 +0100
Dozens of elderly South Koreans have travelled to the border with the North to reunite with relatives they were separated from during the Korean War.

Chelsea Clinton: I definitely may run for office
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:27:00 +0100
Chelsea Clinton has said she has not ruled out running for office in the future - although she is not interested in getting into politics for now.



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