As much as I like to keep my friends forever, that doesn’t always work out. Family, moves, emotions, life – there are a lot of reasons why friendships sometimes don’t last. I hate that, but I understand it too. It makes me appreciate even more those who stay close, in spite of the boundaries of years or distance or differences. These are the friends who are family, and every bit as precious.
I met Becky 25 years ago during my senior year of college. She was a freshman trying out for Thee University of Wisconsin Marching Band, which was the cornerstone of my college years. Becky was energetic, fun loving, and committed, all in a beautiful package (none of which has changed.) We clicked instantly and it didn’t take long to become close friends.
The Wisconsin State Journal
Theno, Meg (Photographer).
Madison, WI. August 29, 1991.
from Wisconsin State Journal
Becky gained quick notoriety when the Wisconsin State Journal posted her picture on the cover of their newspaper during tryouts (though maybe “infamous” would be a better word than notoriety). Our marching style requires that you raise your knees high and “stop at the top”. One of my 9 roommates (pictured to her left) was keeping a close eye on her progress…or something. She was a welcome addition to my house, TKB (Tappa Kegga Brew) and helped make my senior year pretty fabulous. We had a lot of fun adventures in college, and despite only getting to live in the same city that one year, we’ve remained close friends ever since.
Some of our adventures probably shouldn’t be preserved on the internet, but some of my favorites happened in Rochester, MN. Over two or three summers, I attended a weekend show in Rochester, which is only 90 minutes from Minneapolis where she lived. We’d hit restaurants at night (there are some damn nice restaurants in Rochester) and close down bars, where she introduced me to karaoke. (My apologies to anyone who attended.) And sometimes we’d even bribe the hotel concierge to let us sneak in and use the hot tub after hours. Then, I’d shakily work the next morning while she slept in. I’d get back from working and we’d hit it again. Ah, youth.
Becky is a lot of fun, and has a certain energy about her that you wish could bottle up or borrow. I’ve always said she has sales flowing through her blood. Not the door-to-door vacuum cleaner type that we can all do without. More like the amazing monkey-remover who leaves things better than when she arrived. She knows people, how to interact with them, and makes new friends everywhere she goes. Her self-confidence and compassion are captivating, and it doesn’t hurt that she has the brains to back it up. Oh, and did I mention beautiful? Needless to say, her input with my writing has been invaluable.
Alpha Team Member
I’ve rewritten more than a few chapters per her advice. Early on, I read my rough drafts aloud to edit, and recorded them for friends who didn’t have time to read. She was on the road a lot while I was writing “Angst,” and preferred the audio version. There was one particular chapter in the first book that had way too much jumping around, and I have always found it fascinating that she and another friend listening to the audio version were the only ones to point out the problem.
A Fun Surprise
I lucked out when Becky married Matthew, both because he’s an amazing guy, and his parents live in Kansas City. My wife and I are totally spoiled once or twice a year when they make it down to visit. Often we get together for a nice dinner and some good catch-up time. They have two beautiful girls who, no doubt, will challenge them as much as Becky challenged her parents. I’m also sure they will turn out just as amazing because of their great parents!
This story doesn’t end, it’s actually happening right now. My wife and I drove to Minneapolis this morning, and are waiting for Becky and Matthew to join us for dinner. Hey, 25 years is something to celebrate, and with Matthew’s help, I think she’ll enjoy the surprise.
(Special thanks to Wisconsin State Journal for permission to use their photo!)