On Top of Duane’s Mountain

Indy’s at the top of Duane’s Mountain. I don’t know if that the official name of this mountain in Potter County, PA—but that’s what I’ll call it. He’s sitting on the handle of a 4 wheeler. (Good lord, if you’ve never ridden one of these you should!) For the sake of me maintaining my urbane, sophisticated, artist’s sensibilities, I must point out I only do this once a year—but what a rush.

This was a weekend away with high school friends, Duane Weaver, Eric Bishop—that would be Dr J. Eric to you (a fourth, Bruce Heavener, couldn’t make it this year). Usually we discuss all manner of issues surrounding religion, family systems, women, missing parents. We stay up late, get up early, whine about our 5o+ year-old bodies, take an occasional 10-mile hike, wonder what we might do over the next 30 years, fret about security, grieve losses, eat poorly, dispute microbrews vs inferior products, celebrate children, wonder at the amazing vistas, and marvel at the ability of nature to heal itself even as we ourselves heal . This area of PA has been mined, logged and drilled—it has given up its lumber, coal, oil, and gas—and still it grows back. There’s a metaphor there, I think.

High school classmates are interesting to contemplate 35 years later. There are those we never saw after graduation; 12 of us married each other—just one at a time—I mean—married just one of our classmates—when I say we, I don’t mean all of us married the same classmate—ok, let’s forget that. Where was I? Ah, classmates. There are those I’ve known since birth (Duane), those who dropped out of my life for 15 years and came back in (Bruce), those whose importance grows stronger each year… and the one I sleep with on a regular basis. So thanks to everyone in the Christopher Dock class of ’74 who helped me along the way.

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