Enough Said

Enough Said
A sampling of my columns and why the hell is my picture SO big?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Four decades later, still standing and not as crazy

Published April 08. 2015 6:14PM
He was standing, looking at frames lined up on an end cap, a friend I had not seen in over 40 years. He looked older, but healthy and well kept. I was at the end of my workday, so I knew I looked like I had been tumble dried with a hay bale. First thought, you’re in a hurry to get home, say nothing, walk by. Second thought, who knows if you will ever see him again, take the time to say hi. I said hi.
Because aging four decades separated our interactions I introduced myself, using my maiden name (Munn) as a middle name, just in case he didn’t recognize me. (I’ve lost almost a hundred pounds since then, too). Why would he know me, I thought, I looked like my grandmother and he had never met her.

Only a few seconds of who-the-hell-is-this showed on his face and there it was, recognition and 40 years melted away. As we talked it was nice, and a little sad.

For the first few minutes we updated each other on our personal lives, he’s still a well-known local artist and I’m still, well, me. Our children are the age we were when we first met. I knew him as a hard drinking unknown painter, with a passion for boats and trains and having a good time. He knew me as a store owner, who worked and played too much. We were shop owners at the Black Swan Marina, (Between the Bridges now), during the mid to late 1970s. He had an artist’s studio and gallery overlooking the Connecticut River. I sold marine supplies and nautical gifts in the big store on the road-side.

Back then owning a business along the shoreline which caters to the Connecticut boating community was hard. That part hasn’t changed, gearing up each spring for a season that lasts only a few months is economically difficult and for the under-capitalized, near impossible.

As my artist friend and I began to reminisce we fell into the abyss that long lost friends almost always tumble into, discussing the people we knew who have passed away. I’ve learned that our impact on humanity is tenuous. He has one daughter, I have two, he’s a painter, I’m a writer. Those are our breadcrumbs through the forest of life.

We began to talk about our mutual friends (the living ones) and how they tuned out. Some were successful and some have let their lives melt away in a wasteful example of ignored opportunity.
It’s strange, that when you are young, some of the people you are closest too, end up being the exact opposite of someone you would want to even acknowledge as knowing once you mature. Maybe it’s because the common youthful endeavor of having fun clouds judgment. Though my artist friend and I were known for traveling in a crowd that had a good time, we were serious too. We had to be serious because we owned businesses. We had rent to pay plus reputations and commercial viability to maintain.

It was great to catch up and wonderful to know he’s still painting and maintaining his passion for trains. And that he is still married to a wonderful woman who is a beyond talented artist and teacher, illustrates his appetite for the straight and narrow. Forty years ago if you asked me if we’d still be around and successful four decades later, I probably would have laughed and ordered another round.
I’m glad I stopped and talked and reminisced. It was nice and yes, it was sad, but it was heartening too. Steve the artist and Carolynn the writer, still standing and not quite as crazy after all these years.



  1. This is beautiful, Carolynn. I felt like I was watching a movie.

    1. Thank you Lilly, what a nice thing to say. You know, when I think about the whole incident it plays in my mind visually. I'll have to come up with some theme music. Thanks again XO

  2. As always, Carolynn, you write from the heart. (Yes, I've lurked here before, but never commented.) This post is particularly touching, this past week I've been asking myself "where have the years gone?" There are a lot of positives with growing old, but a lot of negatives as well. Thanks for reminding me of the positives.

    I'm coming by a little late from Janet's blog, but I was off traveling. Things are finally getting back to normal.

    1. Oh LynnRodz, thanks so much for stopping by. It's nice to hear that someone, other than my huge newspaper fan following (hahahaha) actually reads my column. Your words are too kind.
      Yup, getting old sucks but you know, we glean a lot from life as we age. And since with age comes experience and knowledge I wouldn't have it any other way. Actually I would, but that's called dementia :)

  3. LOL! And the good thing about our eyesight failing with age is when I look in the mirror every morning. What can I say, I have to count my blessings!