Back Home Again In Indiana
I sure wish such.It has been a long time since I’ve played anything by Les Paul and Mary Ford. So I slipped in a cd of their’s and a very appropriate song for the time and the mood of this evening came on. The song was “Back Home Again In Indiana.” The second song to play only further accented my thoughts; it was the 1940’s hit “Sentimental Journey.” “Gonna take a sentimental journey, gonna set my heart at ease, Gonna take a sentimental journey to re-new old memories.”
Mike and I first met when the two of us were about ten years old. Our families both attended the same church in our home town in Terre Haute, Indiana. When Mike and I were fifteen years old we spent a week together in a tent at church camp; yes, in a tent. For those of you who knew Mike can you imagine a week in a tent with him? From that week forward our friendship grew and has continued to this very day.
Over the years Mike brought a lot of happiness to those of us who knew him. While tonight I am sad, just the mention of his name will forever make me smile. I guess when you’re a kid you are always thinking forward, but when you strike a certain age you sometimes think backwards. Well, over the years Mike and I did a lot of both.
This past January my wife and I were going to be in Florida for a few weeks and I would not see or visit Mike on a regular basis as I usually did, so I wrote him a letter. Even though I would be away from him I wanted him to know that I was thinking of him and missing our sit-down visits. In the letter I told him I would find it hard to call anyone my very best friend, as I have been so fortunate to have so many good friends over the years. But I did tell him that I had never had a better friend than him.
No friend we love can ever die;
The outward form but disappears.
I know that all my friends are nigh
Whenever I am moved to tears,
And when my strength and hope are gone,
The friends, no more, that once I knew
Return to cheer and urge me on
Just as they always used to do
They whisper to me in the dark
Kind words of counsel and of cheer;
When hope has flickered to a spark
I feel their gentle spirits near,
And oh, because of them I strive
With all the strength that I can call
To keep their friendship still alive
And be worthy of them all.
Death does not end our friendship true;
We all are debtors to the dead;
There, wait on everything we do
The splendid souls who’ve gone ahead.
To them I hold that we are bound
By double pledges to be fine,
Who once has had a friend has found
The link between mortal and divine.
March 25, 2015