Monday, August 17, 2009

After Twenty Years

One of the first things that I really enjoyed when I first joined Facebook was all the connections that I found with friends from my high school years. It always brought a smile to my face to see someone who I haven’t seen in over twenty years. In the last year I’ve reconnected with close to one hundred familiar faces.

Even better than this simple fact, was an invitation that I received, just last Friday. The invite said – “James! Sorry for the short notice. There’s going to be a small gathering of high school friends, tomorrow, at my sister’s house.” Stacia was right – it was short notice. I called my wife and since we had no plans for the next day we were able to attend!!!!

About half an hour after our arrival a tray full of shooters was passed around. Ah – yes!!! The one thing that we all still had in common – LOL!!!

Because many of my high school friends had older or younger brothers and sisters our social group included many grades. In the photo above there is Mike – a year older and Eve – a year younger.

Although the party was referred to as ‘Stacia’s Party’ it would have been more correct to say ‘Sophia’s Party’ cuz it was her house where this gathering took place.

Of course, many photos were taken throughout the day and evening and of course I had to live up to my reputation by budding into a photo. Eve and Kyla didn’t even know I was there. Dave snapped this shot then lowered the camera a bit to say, “OK, Kokes – get out of the picture!” By that time I had snuck a few feet away and I looked at Eve and Kyla and said, “Eh! I have know idea what you’re talkin’ about Dave. I’ve been over here the whole time!” – LOL!!!!

It was funny to here my name as ‘James’ or ‘Kokes’ again. I got the nickname Kokes cuz no one could pronounce my last name. It always came out as ‘Kokahide’ and then it was shortened to ‘Kokes’. I started calling myself Jim when I moved to Toronto to go to college. I was working in the bars and I thought that Jim was a bit more casual and it’s stuck through all these years.

This is my great friend Dave! I think Dave came to my elementary school while I was in grade three, so we’ve known each other for many years, indeed.

Dave and I have chatted many times, since high school and we did get one chance to get together in 2004. I was really glad to be able to see him again.

This was our host for the evening, Stacia! She’s a beautiful mom with three beautiful children. Mike and his older brother Steve are in this photo, as well.

Later, in the evening, I brought my guitar out to play a few tunes. Steve brought out his small drum and the two of us jammed out for a bit. It was so cool to hear my songs being performed with another instrument, adding to the experience. Steve was also very quick with his voice, adding subtle harmonics and backing vocals to these tunes. It was only the second time that I’ve ever played music with someone and I had a lot of fun and everyone thought that we sounded great!!!

Although it seems that we were all still a little crazy – from our high school years, it was evident that we had all grown up… a little! In high school we would have partied until four in the morning, I’m sure. This evening, many of us started to leave around nine in the pm. We all had about two to three hours of driving ahead of us and most of us had obligations for the next day. I’m sure that many of our teachers would have been shocked to learn that ‘this crew’ had grown up to be responsible – LOL!!!!

I’m very grateful to have built such strong friendships during my youth with such a variety of personalities. I’m also very grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve had to be able to reconnect with friends, since that time. I’m a pretty lucky guy!!!


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