The phone call

I wrote two stories this week that triggered ‘the phone call’…

One was about taking the time to visit those who are hospitalized…something  I did not do in the past, but I now do.

The other was the story about the fabulous neighborhood Dad, Vic Voegelin, who taught us so much about life, love, and being a great father.

Yesterday morning, therefore, I realized I had to make a call…not to a hospital..but to Vic’s house.  Had not spoken to him in over five years, and I was not positive he was still alive (since I do not get a newspaper, I do not see the daily obituaries).

Was able to find Vic’s number, and gave a call.  Vic picked up on the second ring, and I identified myself.  Vic, who is now in relatively poor health, immediately lit up.  Now ninety years old, he sounded fifty.

He immediately spoke of my Dad, his first boss, and how much he loved him.

“You know, Greg, your Dad paid me the grand sum of seventy five cents a week.”

“Vic”, I said, “he paid me the same amount in 1969.”

Vic’s fabulous wife, Georgia, joined us on speakerphone.  Tried to keep a lid on how emotional I was, but I have to be clear, I wanted these two people to know much they meant to me.

Asked if I could stop by and bring some coffee for a short visit, but Vic’s health was just too fragile to deal with that.

So the phone call would have to do.  And it most certainly did.

From Georgia, I obtained the phone number of their son, Bill, a wonderful friend who was a month older than me.

Called him.

Bill and I spent two fabulous hours on the phone and many of our statements started with statements like…

“You knucklehead, remember when you drove your sled into the creek” (me)


“How could you shoot yourself in the eye with a beebee gun?” (him…and he did not go blind)

I told Bill about the conversation with his Mom and Dad…and he was thrilled to hear it.

I informed Bill that not doing breakfast was not an option, and bring all his buds.  And as we got older, his buds were not my buds.

But that’s fine.

Look forward to seeing all of them.

Because of Bill, his sibs, and his parents, I have something that not everyone has.

Great childhood memories.

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