On Friday afternoon, I learned that Terry, a high school classmate and one of my closest friends in junior high, passed away. He and his family took me to Seven Springs where I skied for the first time. I filled in as a substitute on Terry's paper route at times when he was away. I don't think I've ever shared this before, but Terry and I set off fireworks one day, and at one point, a firework exploded by my ear as I was about to throw it. I didn't hear clearly in my right ear for hours, and Terry laughed about how slowly it took me to throw it in some type of exaggerated pitching motion. Terry also attended my Bar Mitzvah, and we had some epic chess matches together.
Besides being friends on Facebook, I probably hadn't talked to Terry in over 20 years. I always find it strange how someone can be such a big part of your life at one point and not at all a part of your life at another time. I guess that's just growing up and growing apart. I don't remember when we stopped hanging out or going different directions, but it must have been at some point in high school. My brother-in-law actually met Terry at a Steeler bar in Atlanta probably 10 years ago. Apparently, Steelers fans or people from Pittsburgh is its own 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon game.
I don't know what happened with Terry, but I have a pretty good guess based on his obituary. My thoughts and prayers truly go out to his friends and family. For me, I'll remember the good times of us being kids since I wasn't there for the bad times. I'll also remember our chess team dominance in Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs which was featured in The Pittsburgh Press.
Rest in peace, Terry.