Saturday, June 8, 2013

Meeting with Mr."P"

One of the nicer things about working in the Napa Valley is that, sooner or later, most of your friends will make the pilgrimage to the fermented grapes of California. When this happens, we generally celebrate with good cheer and gusto. My architect friend from Minnesota, "P"., showed up with his new bride a couple of days ago. Joni and I joined them to share a couple of drinks and a fancy gourmet dinner.

I haven't seen "P". since we graduated from High School. He has done very well for himself. He became an architect and raised a family in the burbs. After 25 years of marriage, he found himself having to start over. He found himself another gal (who has three kids in their teens) and set up a household in a fine Minnesota town that boasts two decent private colleges.

"P" was quite liberal, maybe even radical, growing up. The years have mellowed him, giving him a maturity that most liberals acquire through raising a family and living in the burbs. Like many independents, he is liberal on social issues and a bit more conservative on the issues of government and spending. Raising a couple of kids will do that to you.

After I got over the shock of talking to my High School friend, who looks more like his Father than my friend from years ago, we had a pleasant and long ranging conversation. "P" has learned to listen and politely asks questions with tact and a lack of rancor that we had as children. He has that combination of Minnesota Nice along with a temperament that is measured and rational. I'm sure this tact has developed through years and years of listening to what a customer wants in regards to designing a building.

There is a pride one has when you meet a friend you grew up with, were close to, who has done well for himself. My hometown public school system should be congratulated that they have done such a fine job educating young men and women who develop into successful and inquisitive adults. As I ponder the people I was close to from the ages of ten to twenty two, all of them seem to have successfully weathered the perils of each of life's stages. They have come out on the other side, now grappling with the joys of being a Fifty something, most with their heads and hearts in tact. Most remain weathered liberals; wiser and shaped by the winds of wisdom and experience.

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