Two Friends from High School
“A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.” —Charles Darwin
March 18, 2018
Two friends from high school sat on the front row in the crowded Parnassus Books waiting to hear me speak about my newest memoir, Songs from an Imperfect Life. They laughed and sang along when I played the recording of my song, Belle Meade Proper. And they listened and wiped a tear away as I spoke of the life which I had kept hidden until now.
It was a standing room only crowd of friends as far back as elementary, high school and college. A few from church, work and non-profit boards which I am affiliated with as well as, friends who have followed me on social media. I spoke for 45 minutes and then sat at a table and signed copies of my book. I was not able to speak with everyone. In fact, I had not realized a few friends were even there until I saw the photos taken from the event.
March 23, 2018
My two friends from high school, after reading my book, invited me to join them for lunch. They were anxious to learn more but also, wanted to express their concern and offer their support. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and I was able to fill in a few blanks for them and flesh out some of the stories in my book. They mentioned how they had wished my talk had been followed by a reception – a chance to meet the people in my life and in my story who were in attendance. From that comment, an idea was hatched which resulted in their offer to host a party in my honor.
June 8, 2018
My two friends from high school, along with their husbands, came together to give me an evening I will not forget. The setting was a beautiful Oak Hill home where the dining room table was filled with substantial delights lovingly prepared. The party flowed from room to room and out onto the covered porch as well as, around the pristine swimming pool on that lazy summer evening.
Over 40 friends from all areas in my life were there to support me. In fact, the guest list was compiled and names chosen because of the love, support, friendship and kindness each person had expressed to me since I came forward with my memoir as well as, my parents’ story, Kept in the Dark. Others, who have joined me on this journey but unable to attend, sent heartfelt messages.
It was amazing to see, after introductions were made, just how many of my friends found common ground. I shared with my hosts that I am rarely relaxed at a party as most my events are business oriented. However on that evening, I found myself completely comfortable and absolutely delighted to bring everyone together.
It was such a generous gift, not only from my two friends from high school, but those friends who altered their schedules to attend. (Two traveled from Texas and one from California) I do not feel worthy of this expression of love and friendship but I am eternally grateful, blessed and forever in their debt.
J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.
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