Whatever happened to my best friend from first grade?

Whatever happened to my best friend from first grade?

This blog post is another addition of blogapalooza here at ChicagoNow. (All of our posts get Storified; click here to read more of them).

Our challenge, if we choose to accept it, is to publish a post in one hour on this topic: “Write about a friend or acquaintance from your childhood with whom you’ve lost touch.”

Dennis Duffy was my best friend during elementary school.

He was supremely intelligent. He was funny and imaginative.

Dennis also suffered from the worst case of eczema or psoriasis I had ever seen, or have ever seen since. This kid’s skin was so cracked, so dry and so peely that he itched miserably.

I clearly recall him using his teeth to scratch his hands and arms, because his fingernails weren’t sufficient.

We ate lunch together. We played at recess together.

I especially remember recess. As first or second graders, we were relegated to the small playground at the back of the school.

There was a monstrously tall slide with a wickedly high pole we could slide down. The entire lot was asphalt – not a “soft landing” to be found anywhere.

Dennis and I were both huge fans of the popular ’70’s TV show EMERGENCY!

I pretended to be Johnny Gage and he took the Roy DeSoto character.

We’d make the alarm tones – EEEEE, AWWWWWW, AHHHHHHH! Then we’d “dispatch” ourselves to some big rescue in the playground. Just like this:

We’d climb the slide’s ladder as if we were scaling tall walls to get to a victim. We’d pretend to secure the invisible victim in a stokes basket with ropes attached, then one of us would slide down the pole so the other one could “lower the patient.”

We’d pop the ends of the syringe, we’d call in to Rampart for directions, then off we’d go to the hospital.

I remember that about him. I also remember he was kind, skinny, and no bigger than I was, which meant he was tiny.

Then, he was gone. I don’t remember what year that happened. It might have been after 5th grade.

What I do remember is he wasn’t there in junior high. Being a self-absorbed 11 year-old, it took me a while to realize he was no longer around.

Today, when this topic came up for blogapalooza, he was the very first person I thought of. I’ve often wondered what happened to my good, sweet friend Dennis Duffy.

My hope is that he is well; that his life is blessed, and that he is well-loved.

If you know a Dennis Duffy that grew up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, tell him his friend, Marie, says hello.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Source: Biblegateway.com

Do you have a friend or acquaintance who made an impact on you, but you’ve now lost touch with?

Tell me about it here in the comments, then swing by my Facebook page and like it! You’ll find inspirational quotes, memes, devotionals and other uplifting discussions there.

If you like this blogapalooza post, click here to find more of them, all with different topics.

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