Afternoon Greg: A surprise visit from college pal
My friend Dave Kiefer, one of the really great people in my life, left me a voicemail message on Sunday that I didn’t check until today.
What a flake!
It seems that Dave, his beautiful wife Linda and their three blond bombshell daughters had made an impromptu visit to Disneyland and were on their way back home to the bay area. But there was a window of time that they could pop by for a visit if I called back before 12:30. It was 12:15! I called and they were in the 5 Freeway right in front of the Citadel outlets.
They met me at The Grove, across the street from my Park LaBrea apartment, and we had a nice time catching up and just seeing each other. Dave and I have been close friends since my last year of college and with the recent death of our friend Walt, it was even more special seeing Dave. A lot had happened to both of us in the past year or so: we both got laid off from our newspaper jobs!
Dave was a sportswriter for the San Jose Mercury News and was even the San Francisco Giants beat reporter for awhile which I loved because I got to see him whenever the Giants played the Dodgers in LA. He now has a job in the Sports Information Department at Stanford University so he’s landed on his feet.
It’s been nice to be able to share the ups and downs of the business with Dave and we have had a lot of good times visiting each other’s newsrooms over the years. I once helped out taking some prep sports calls at the old Palo Alto Times Tribune where Dave was in the late 80s and we dissolved in laughter when I called the city Burlingame “Burley Gate.”
Another time Dave visited while I was working a Sunday night cops shift at the Los Angeles Times in Orange County. I told him it would be a slow night and we could gab and stuff. But then a dead body turned up in the trunk of a car and I was gone from the newsroom for several hours leaving Dave alone at my desk. (This was in the early 90s, the days before the Internet!)
Dave loved his newspaper career as much as I loved mine and we both had 20-plus years in it. Despite the setbacks, I still think both of us have a lot of great work ahead of us.
You know, the New York Times had a much-talked-about article on Sunday about gay-straight male friendships. I have not yet read the NYT piece, but with Dave and I, it has been effortless and uncomplicated from day one which was more than 22 years ago!
Old friends also help with your memory. Dave and I were looking at a photo album I had put together for Walt’s memorial service and Dave said: “Remember that time when we took you to that strip club in San Diego?” OMG! Of all the memories that have come flooding back of Walt in recent weeks, that was one I had completely forgotten about – maybe because it was so horrible for me.
Walt, Dave and I went to Pacers in SD and I don’t remember why. But since this was a year after college and I was not yet out to them, I couldn’t really protest. But I do remember vividly when one of the less-attractive dancers was trying to get my attention, I turned to Dave and remarked: “I just went limp.”
But, as we now know, I was limp from the moment we got there!