Originally posted August 24, 2016
Yesterday I had the delightful experience of renewing a friendship that had languished for a looooooong time. Other that a couple brief visits, I hadn’t seen Willie Mims since we graduated way more than fifty years ago (actually I seem to recall his hame is Jim Wolford but he was Willie Mims sixty years ago and will be to me for the rest of our lives.) In high school we were inseparable and we remained close through college, but Mims went on to graduate school in western Canada and I never left home in Park Ridge. As if that weren’t distance enough, a few years later he moved to somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In an era of snail mail and pricey long distance calls we lost touch.
But not forever. Old friends are often the best friends and upon renewing our acquaintance what we had all those years ago came alive once again. This time was even better. In the intervening years, Mims had become an expert in all things living. As we drove around Wolfville, Nova Scotia, he not only gave me a guided tour of his remarkably beautiful part of the world, he pointed out beaches and islands that vanished under more than fifty feet of sea water then reappeared twice a day as the highest tides in the world ebbed and flowed. When the tide was out the sand (mud really) beach was home to millions of creatures ranging from microscopic organisms to birds feasting for their flight to South America.
While driving around we spotted a half dozen different kinds of hawks searching for their next meal. And Mims knew every one . . . and its feeding habits . . . and its life span . . . and everything else about it. I think he called a few of them by name. At least a dozen bald eagles majestically soared overhead – often so close I felt as though I could reach out and touch them.
All this in the company of my high school singing buddy . . . now a retired biology teacher at Acadia University. Wow! What a day. Thanks, Willie Mims. Or do I have to learn to call you Jim? Nah.
P.S. As a bonus, Jim’s mate, Pat, served one of the few home cooked meals I’ve had while on the road. Thanks, Pat. It was delightful getting to know the one so dear to my old friend.