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Loyalty, Love, And Busting Balls - There's Nothing Like Reconnecting With Some Old Friends

Had myself a pretty nice little Saturday this past weekend. No I did not go to Home Depot and buy some wallpaper. Didn't get some flooring. Couldn't find the time to hit Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Nope instead I actually attended a wedding that meant a lot to me and I'm gonna take some time to write out why. I really don't like writing about my life too often, but this calls for an exception. 

All of this starts with a man we all call Tommy Z. Short in stature, but a truly one of a kind heart. The man can you get you fired up for just about anything with the passion in his voice. It stems from his football days whether that was playing for the U or coaching high school later on in New Jersey. He cares for so many and never really looks out for himself. That's why when a moment like Saturday night rolls around with his son getting married you can't do anything but be happy for the guy. Here he is sandwiched in-between his son and myself at the after party. You could never tell, but I'm about 12-15 jack and cokes deep here. Maybe mix in a water, asshole. 

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Tommy isn't family by blood, but I certainly treat him like he is. He got to know my dad while they grew up in Brooklyn together. Their friendship famously took a giant leap the night Tommy performed the heimlich maneuver on my dad while he was choking on some food. The stubborn fella my father was didn't want any help and distanced himself from the others to try and figure it out himself. Naturally it was only getting worse and he needed legit help. The former fireman in Tommy realized what was going on and saved the day. Since that moment they became extremely close friends. When my dad passed away back in 2012 Tommy took it upon himself to look out for me because that's the kind of man he is. Every week without fail for the last decade we talk on the phone for about twenty minutes on topics ranging from Aaron Boone being an asshole, to his disdain for Ohio State football, to his football coaching prowess, and him still kinda having no clue what I do for a living. It sorta feels like I'm talking to my dad when you mix in the accent, the sports talk, and the no-bullshit attitude. Tommy is the man and I'm grateful to have him in my life. 

Back to the wedding. 

On a quick lighter note, following the I do's and the kiss to seal the deal with the newly weds, the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song played as they exited the ceremony and headed to the reception. I'm not entirely sure if either the bride or groom have seen the show based on that selection. 

This night was not just about me seeing Tommy, but it was also about running into the rest of the gang. Seated at my table were some of my dad's closest friends who are still kicking. These guys absolutely rule and are responsible for a lot of my favorite memories growing up whether that be Summer get-togethers, holiday parties, birthdays, you name it. When we were hanging out with this crew you knew it was going to be an awesome time. Ping pong, sports on the TV, drinks in hand (iced tea for me), and music blasting. For whatever reason anytime I hear 'Black Hole Sun' my mind immediately gravitates back to those days. They'd constantly break each others balls, but also look out for one another as if they shared the same bloodline. I promise you they haven't missed a beat in that department. 

Saturday night was the first time I'd seen them together since the funeral. It was also the first time I had been around them where I was involved in the drinking, which was an interesting wrinkle. I think I spooked them at first with how many mannerisms I share with my dad. Either that or it was my hideous appearance. Hoping for the former! Anyways the night consisted of us all reminiscing about the past, telling all sorts of stories about my dad, copious amounts of alcohol, and some dancing which I certainly will not show you. Was stoked to be able to grab a picture with them before they called it a night. 

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I got a text yesterday as part of a group chat including all their numbers along with a few I did not recognize. Feels like I'm going to be seeing them more often now, which is great. That or they'll see I wrote this about them when it gets posted on Facebook and take me out of the chat. I'm banking on them not knowing how to work technology well enough to pull off that task, but we'll see. 

We all have our close friends no doubt, but sticking together for over half a century is something else. Wouldn't ya believe it, today would have been my old man's 68th birthday. I think he'd be happy we all reconnected and hit it off like we did. It's amazing what a few really good, dedicated pals can do for one another. Apologies for getting sentimental here, I hate talking about myself, but Saturday night really meant a lot to me. Seeing them all in action again was quite the sight for these eyes. It's said all the time, but life is way too fucking short. Make sure you find yourself some awesome friends like these guys to make the ride worth it in the end. 

P.S. Congrats to Drew and your beautiful bride on a great night. Here's to hoping the Curb music doesn't come back to bite ya. I kid, sort of. Sorry your dad got the shine in this blog, but I think you'll understand. 

P.P.S. The title of this blog is a little much I get it. I struggled to figure one out for way too long. Just ignore it.