Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - My Oldest Friend - 7/13/08

When I read this week's prompt, "My Oldest Friend," it was the easiest prompt to respond to in the year or so that I have been writing Sunday Scribblings. Only one name came to mind. His name is Marc Dorendorf. We met in the seventh grade in 1964. We maintained our friendship throughout high school, playing sports together. I am number 44 and Marc is number 20. Our coach looked extremely drunk and thinking back I wouldn't blame him. We were better at baseball.

His mom and dad became my surrogate parents. I spent a lot of time as a welcome guest in their home. We would hang out at his place after baseball practice, gorging ourselves with Velveeta and ham sandwiches in his basement rec room.

After high school, we both attending the University of Idaho for a year. We both left school and went to work at the lead smelter of the Bunker Hill Company until we got our draft notices early in 1972. I married in June before departing for the Air Force in August. Marc was a groomsman in my wedding. My son Josh's middle name is Marc.

Marc elected to go into the Army for the minimum 2 years. He was spared Vietnam and spent his enlistment in Germany. I, on the other hand, spent 20 years in the Air Force. My experiences and family have been documented in previous posts. Marc met his future wife, Debbie, in Paris during his Army tour in Europe. After discharge, he returned to the University of Idaho and using his veteran's educational benefits, earned an accounting degree. He has a very successful CPA firm in Spokane, Washington. He and Debbie raised two great daughters.

Through the years, no matter where I was stationed, I received a family photo Christmas card and a newsletter. I followed his life and the growth of his family through snapshots in time. I have included some of those snapshots here. I have always carried them with me. They are not in perfect order due to my lack of computer skills, but they still chart the growth of his daughters and acquisition of a son-in-law, soon to be two. They have a beautiful home on a hill south of Spokane which, as you can see, has been home to several domestic animals. It is also been a refuge for countless deer through the years.

As you can see, through the years Marc's hair has advanced from black, through grey, to a shade of blue usually reserved for residents of Del Boca Vista, Florida (obscure Seinfeld reference).

We never completely lost touch and on my rare visits back to the Pacific Northwest, we always get together. 

This week, Marc informed me of the passing of his dad, Marvin, two days before his 81st birthday. He died on July 5th in the presence of his loving family.

Above are his 1945 Kellogg High School graduation photo (I see a little Jerry Lee Lewis happening there) and a photo as he looked the last time I saw him. I am not as sad as I am happy to have known him. He had a great run.
The memories that news brought up to me made the timing of this prompt perfect. Spending 20 years as a nomad in the military does not lend itself to establishing and maintaining long-term friendships. I greatly value this one.  I have other friends that I have known longer but as you will see, we never lost touch. 


Giggles said...

I just loved this story and the wonderful pictures! Amazing that you kept every last picture and were able to post them. Nice progression! Sorry to hear about his dad. I'm sure it was difficult to hear of his passing having spent so much of your youth at their home! Thanks for sharing!

Hugs Giggles

Shannon said...

Beautiful story! Friends like that are hard to come by, I am happy that you have one in your life too. :) Thank you for sharing this!

redness said...

Lovely story and images ... thanks for sharing these marvellous people here ... for now, chin up!

anthonynorth said...

It's good to have a friend like that. They are very rare, indeed.

Rob Kistner said...

I was wholly captive to the sincerity and depth of this post. Thank you for sharing it so honestly.

It put me in mind of my two lifelong friends, and how seldom we see each other face to face in the 20 years since I moved to the Pacific Northwest. Email & the phone keep the feelings alive.

P.S. loved the basketball photo... ;)

myrtle beached whale said...


I am sure that you can tell by the photo that we didn't win many games.

Lucy said...

Rick, when something is so dear to your heart, it pours onto the page so honestly and so easily.
this was a beautiful tribute and reflection. The photos were so nice to add. That basketball pic is priceless! So happy you're blogging again. :)

Anonymous said...

This is a great post, and I was so sorry to hear of Marv's passing. Did you know that his sister Sally sewed all of my bridesmaid's dresses?

JBelle said...

Marc Dorendorf is a stand up guy. Doesn't surprise me that you two go way back.

danni said...

great post - a wonderful and loving look at an enduring connection --- thoroughly enjoyed it all!!!

Inland Empire Girl said...

I just heard of Pug's passing when I was in Kellogg this week-end. Great basketball picture and I loved traveling through the years with Marc's family. I have the same photo card colection from Sally's family.

Redheels said...

Old friends, how dear they are! It is great the way just thinking about them rolls the years back and brings us much happiness. This was a very touching post. Loved the pictures.

I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend’s father.

Jan said...

I have a best friend for 30 plus years myself...and they are worth more than family.

My sister recently passed away at age 80. (she was the oldest and I was the menopause child) But her college roommate had been HER best friend for all those years, and was with her till the end...coming in and reading to her in the last days as she was bedridden with cancer and unable to read or comprehend much. It was a beaufiful and heartbreaking thing to see. Another great post from you... Jan

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear about your friend's dad, however, when I looked back up at your basketball picture, I started laughing my ass off again