On a wall in a church hangs a plaque. On the plaque are several names, names of boys who earned their Eagle Scout awards many years ago. Three of the names brought back memories of my youth. I knew them and I can't believe it's been so long since we were all basically children. Tonight as I walked past the plaque in a darken hallway, I remembered them.
The first name on the list was the first to earn his Eagle Scout award in that particular congregation. Brent, a year older than me in school, was a kid destined for great things. He was one of the cool kids, good at sports, smart, but would also befriend the kids who were less popular (which was pretty much everyone else...). As we grew up and lived our lives, he pursued a career in medicine and I never saw him past high school. Brent became a doctor, a bishop for his church, and a friend to many. On October 19, 2004 Brent died in a airplane crash in Missouri. I wish I could have had a chance to talk to him one more time.
Cliff was one of my best friends growing up. We spent many hours together "hanging out." I remember Cliff as a smart kid, smart to the point where I believe school bored him. Cliff and I were the same grade in school and as we entered high school, he began making different decisions than the ones I made. It was because of these decisions that he and I no longer hung out, each of us enjoying different things, having different definitions of what we considered a "good time." I haven't seen or talked to Cliff in over 25 years. I ran into his sister-in-law several years ago and she said he was living in Colorado at the time. I wonder how he's doing now...
Roger is a year younger than me, but you'd never know it by looking at him. Roger was always bigger than me and as we grew up, he only got bigger. By the time he graduated high school the boy was massive, and not fat, just a mountain of a man. Roger ended up playing NCAA football for the best football program in the State of Utah (he is a Utah Man sir...). While in college I tried to get him to move into the house some friends and I were renting. He drove by the house, saw the three steps that he would need to climb in order to live there and he said, no. After years of football his knee was so shot that even walking up three steps was a challenge, and he was only 24-years old. Today Roger lives in California and is a very successful businessman. It doesn't surprise me at all.
Three friends, three Eagle Scouts, three memories of my youth. Looking at the plaque brought it all back.