Foulweather Friends

We got all the friends that money can buy, so we never have to be alone.
And we keep gettin’ richer, but we can’t get our picture on the cover of the Rollin’ Stone
.” Lyric by Shel Silverstein for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, 1972

Fairweather friends have always gotten a bad rap, and rightly so. We all want foulweather friends, but without the foul weather. Or do we? What about when we have to be the foulweather friend?

A friend in need is a friend indeed.” Latin Proverb
A friend in need is someone to be avoided.” Anonymous

Both Mr. Proverb (who goes by many different first names) and Ms. Anonymous are among the more prolific writers in the English language. When they disagree, how can we have any certainty? We will have to consult other ancient authorities.

One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” Euripides (Greek playwright) (Yes that is the correct spelling, even though “playwrite” makes more sense.)

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” Mark Twain (American humorist, even though this isn’t that funny)

I get by with a little help from my friends.” John Lennon (the great one, not just a member of Paul McCartney’s old band, as young people would have you believe) (Young people = anyone under 60)

A true friend stabs you in the front.” Oscar Wilde (crabby writer)

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.” Gore Vidal (apparently friendless author)

There, doesn’t all that mushy talk about friends get you all teary and make you want to call up a good friend and eat chocolate and watch a chick flick together? Me neither. But let’s end with one more mushy friend quote.

Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.” Chinese Proverb

There, that wasn’t too mushy, was it? I have been blessed to be friends with all my siblings and inlaws, (they call themselves the outlaws), along with tons of friends in the places I have worked and played and worshipped.

I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” Winnie the Pooh

I didn’t actually know that when I met Bob FitzGerald at Rocky Mountain College in 1964, but that is what happened. He dragged me into adventure after adventure, not only in performing groups but in many different jobs and projects. We have been best friends for well over half a century.

And then there is Pat Callbeck Harper, who is more than a friend. When we fell in love, we often said our goal was to grow old together. We are doing that. The growing old isn’t as positive as it is cracked up to be, but the doing it together is even better than advertised.

As our memories start to wobble, we help each other find glasses and keys and notes to ourselves about things not to forget.

C. S. Lewis is credited with saying, “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

At some point that may be me and Pat. That’s what foulweather friends are really for.

About admin

Rusty Harper is outrageously happy because he is retired and living with the love of his life, Pat Callbeck Harper in Helena, Montana. So why does he inflict these ramblings on the rest of us, you ask? Because you deserve it. If you aren't smart enough not to read this stuff, then you have to suffer through it. Maybe that builds character, though I doubt it. Think of all the positive things you could do with the time you are wasting on things that occur to me in the night and then sound strange even to me when I write them down in the morning. Bake a cake. Complain to your Senator. Run for Congress. Do something.
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