Hooray for Chris! Chris is Chris Cochran, my dear friend since 1967. I still remember the day Chris and I met, in my back yard, by my trampoline, in the summer of 1967. Thank you, Roger, for introducing us! Chris was my neighbor for a few, all too short, years. One of our first bonding experiences was being in our elementary school’s “gifted and talented” program, in which we were exposed to many interesting things our friends didn’t get to do. Chris’ dad worked in the petroleum industry and was transferred from city to city while Chris was growing up, but that never stopped our friendship. We wrote letters and, from time to time, we saw each other when my family visited a city where Chris and his family were living or visiting. Although there have been some lapses when we didn’t see each other, Chris and I have remained friends; as of this writing, we have been friends for over 50 years. My last post mentioned my frustrations in being “forced” to remain silent when many of my chatty friends are having a one way conversation, in which they do all the talking and I hardly utter a word. Chris knows the art of true conversation. When we talk on the telephone (events I always eagerly anticipate!), Chris tells me some news in his life, I ask questions and make comments about his news, then, he asks me what is going on in my life and…wait for it… he LISTENS to what I have to say! Chris listens, he asks me questions, and his comments are directly on target to the points I have made. We have a real conversation! Chris has never, once, subverted something I have told him by comparing it to what he saw in a movie; he has never, ever, made me feel as if my opinions don’t matter. On the day I am writing this post, Chris is the only person who knows David and I just went on the “trip of a lifetime” to The International Beatles Festival in Liverpool to call me so that I could tell him the details of my trip. In fact, I have spoken with several friends and family members who never asked a single question about my visit to England. Chris gets it; he really does! And, thanks to Chris and his wife, Suzy, I have a real time video of David and me, along with our traveling companions, walking across the famous crosswalk at Abbey Road! How cool is that? Thank you, Chris, for 50 + years of friendship, listening, and caring about me. Here’s to 50 more!

I’ve met many of Melissa’s friends over the decades we’ve been together, but I think Chris was one of the first ones I’ve met.  We got off to a good start when we me.  Though he and Melissa had known each other for many years, he seemed very familiar to me.  Lots of shared interests and background.  I think it is also the case that he is intuitively interested in other people such that even my conversations with him were bi-directional.  He’s a good sport too – willing to be adventurous with us in trying things like Moroccan food – including sitting on the floor, eating with hands.  (He’s a pretty good dancer too – the belly dancer targeted him and pulled him to the floor!  Fortunately for him, those were the days before Facebook, though we do have photos!)  More recently, he humored me in trying Dim Sum – at a minimum, the baked pork buns, my favorites, were a hit.  It has been fun all these years to track his career, and the interesting experiences he’s had, and to have him interested in Melissa and my work, our business, and our experiences.  What happened with Abbey Road was amazing.  Chris was interested in what we were doing so, despite the time difference, which meant our mid day walk across the crosswalk took place early in Orlando He, and Suzy, were there with us virtually speaking.  The technology that made this possible still boggles my mind.  There is a 24 hour/day webcam at Abbey Road focused on the famous crosswalk.  Melissa texted Chris that we were getting ready to walk across.  He and Suzy logged in and watched us, but, more importantly, used their phones to record what was on their screens.  Then they texted that they had seen us – and sent the video.  In minutes, we could see ourselves in that video – thousands of miles from where it had bounced London-Orlando-London.  And, adding to the fun was to hear Chris and Suzy’s excitement at being a part of our trip remotely.  Friends like Chris (and Suzy) bring joy to life.  Cheers to them!

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