Friday, October 22, 2021

2018 - Leadership, HOPE, and My Best Friend


Al (L) and Chris (R) circa 1986 "Yeah, its the 80's"

(Fifty Nifty Years in United States Series)

We just had our 43rd anniversary and back in 2018, when we celebrated our 40th, in my quick and hasty online research, the gift is a ruby right? “Ruby is a stone of Divine creativity. It boosts your energy levels and promotes high self-esteem, intuition, and spiritual wisdom. Ruby is a symbol of good fortune, pure love, and loyalty.” Ruby slippers represented HopeAnd if Chris was standing here while I write this, he would insert “because you know, where there’s Hope there’s Crosby.”

Chris has been a trusted and loyal friend for 43 years. (Me, not so much.) Chris has been that friend that shows up when I have moved (17 times since I’ve known him). He was the best man at my wedding taking me and 17 others on a great bachelor party cruise. He is Alec’s godfather and we have laughed our way through baptisms, weddings, births and funerals as well as work trials and tribulations. We have lived together, driven to college together, hiked together, fished together,  traveled near and far (several countries) and camped together (remember backpacking on Catalina or worse “Storage Shed Hell.”

I learned and gained Hope from Chris. He always has a way to look at what I was looking at and see it with a different lens. His lens has not changed. His upbringing made it a clear facet that he would always weigh whatever has come to him and whatever he is up against.

The day Fowler’s (a sporting goods store in Pasadena that he worked while we were in College) burned down in 1985 is always a measure that I use when thinking about how Chris handles life. I was working on a brick laying project in San Gabriel and he showed up and paced the wall to share that day and process all that was going on for him. Four people had just died in that explosion and he was genuinely grieving and yet still hopeful.

Chris had worked there for several years and knew the family and several of the employees who perished in the fire. It was a stunning blow and one of those moments where you question everything. And I was never a part of that part of his life – I just knew that he had been close to something that suddenly was no longer there. I knew in those moments that I would have Chris as a stable force in my life for the rest of my life. It was and has remained a great comfort to know this.

And how I wish to be better like that for Chris and for others. I can go on and on about the different adventures we have had in high school, college, the Civic, camp (s), holidays, hiking trips, backpacking and all of our varied travels. My children know Chris from those countless stories and “Grappa Burps.”  

Al (L) and Chris (R) 2009 Austria - Shortly after this I did my best
Julie Andrews twirl and run on the same field in Austria.

So I mark this year, with my celebration of 43 years on the occurrence of my 50 plus years of life in these United States with my brother I never knew I had and the brother I may have never wanted. Rubies have historically been held in high esteem and have been used as ornaments on nobles and their armaments.  

I look forward to our adventure in the near future and thank you again for sharing your “wisdom” and HOPE with me which Proverbs tell us are more valuable than rubies.

CHRIS - One last thing – 34 years ago, on November 29, 1984, you introduced me to your bit of wisdom. “It’s difficult to soar with eagles, when you have a talon in your beak.”

"It’s difficult to soar with eagles,
when you have a talon in your beak.” C. Straiter

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