Requiem: A Few Thoughts on the Passing of Old Friends

It comes with aging.

As happens more and more frequently since I have entered my 7th decade, two big pieces of the once-completed puzzle of my teenage years have been removed.

Last week, I learned that Bucky Hayes, whom I had known since grade school, had died in his current Tennessee town. A few days after, I found out that George McLaughlin, my 11th-grade history teacher and later fellow teaching colleague at our hometown Bridgeton (NJ) high school, had passed away.

Obviously, as with the deaths of all people whom we know well, there comes a sense of sadness with the finality of their passing. However, today I’m much more grateful than sad since I can keep the memories and lessons I learned from them forever, or at least until the time of my own passing.

At a cursory glance, Henry Allen, or Bucky as everyone called him, and Mr. McLaughlin (or George as I later came to call him) couldn’t have been more different.

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