Margie and I have been friends since 1971, when we were in 8th grade. Margie is unsurpassed among my friends in the following categories: (1) her outgoing and enthusiastic personality; (2) her commitment to living life in a joyfully happy manner, with as much fun as possible; and (3) her ability to boost my happiness with her mere presence. Margie is unusual among my life long friends, in that she helps me as much as I help her. David has often remarked that I seem to be the “rock” most of my friends lean on when times get tough in their lives, but rarely can I depend on them for the same level of support when I am experiencing one of life’s many difficulties. In David’s view, these dear friends aren’t being inconsiderate; rather, it just doesn’t occur to them that I might need their support once in a while. Margie, on the other hand, has always been there when I need her. She has the uncanny ability to look at me and gauge my mood with great accuracy. She was the original “cheerleader” for Magnus when David and I first began our adventures in owning and operating our own business. David and I had many doubts about our ability to succeed, but Margie evidently saw something in both of us that we didn’t see because she quickly dispelled our doubts by saying, “Well, of course you are going to have a successful business. Everything you do has always been a success!”. Margie and I have had many, many, many fun times together, from driving her mom’s super cool Firebird around Fort Myers when we were teenagers, to attending our class reunions together, to other times that will never, ever be disclosed in writing. Her commitment to our friendship is as strong now as when we were kids, regardless of the fact we don’t see each other as often as we would like. I am honored to have a friend in Margie. Many people will live their entire lives without knowing a beautiful person like her. Thank you, Margie, for being my friend!

Melissa is a person with many friends, including many good friends.  Though some come and go, her solid foundation is built on long term friendships.  Eighth grade was a few years ago, so when friendships last so long, they must be strong.  Fundamentally, friendships are based on some mutual connection, that is, they are a 2 way street type of interaction.  But, sometimes there is more take than give in some relationships so it is welcome when there is balance in a relationship.  And, that is true with Margie.  Her enthusiasm and interest in Melissa’s, and my, life is appreciated.  And, as I was reminded when reading Melissa’s comments about Margie, she had an early and important role as a cheerleader for us and Magnus.  Whether starting out or 25+ years later, Margie’s encouragement is greatly appreciated.   And, it has been fun for me over the years to hear about her world of work – in the newsrooms of various newspapers.  I never went the direction of photojournalism with my photography, but it was a consideration and I often worked with reporters and news photographers when they were covering the same events as I.  So, I’ve always been fascinated by the news process – even if I didn’t see myself as a photographer like Animal on “Lou Grant.”  In any event, it is like a battery recharge to be around Margie because of her spark, her energy.  She’s a great cook, too, and one who makes the dinner she whips up look like something easy. Her meals are presented with a bit of flare that adds to the dining experience.  Margie recently had the opportunity to see Melissa in action as noted in this and a prior post.  It seems they both benefitted from that occasion and that even reenergized Melissa as a result.  That is what friends are for, for sure!

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