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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneGrowing OldI once asked my father, “How can a person know when they are growing old?” He answered in all of his infinite wisdom, “By the number of people you once knew who are no longer here.”It is with that thought in mind that I pay tribute to all those who I once knew, loved and valued as a friend. As I go back in time through my memory, I renew old relationships. I remember many of the things that we did together, whether good or bad. I remember your smiles and laughter and even the unfortunate things that you might have experienced and because of that, the sorrow that you might have shared with me. Although I might not have been capable of providing you with the comfort that you sought, you at least confided in someone who you considered to be a friend.Friendship goes both ways. It is a compliment to be someone’s friend. A friend is someone that you can trust and knows the depths of your feelings. You might have known me or seen me at my worst and I might have recognized your own shortcomings, but the important thing is we still remained friends. As I think back in time, I want each and everyone of you to know I am grateful that I am still capable of carrying those memories with me because I sense that through the grand scheme of things your souls are still out there somewhere even though some of you no longer walk this earth.134

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