There are friends who get together often, share birthdays, holidays and family vacations.  They speak at least once a week, can show up at the others house without calling, play golf and then share a beer afterwards.

Then there are those friends who go back almost 50 years during which you have shared great times and some bad ones as well along with crushing losses of those who left way too soon. In the mid-70’s a group of guys attending Ocean County College came together one by one to form a circle of friends that simply cannot be broken.  We did all the stupid things you do when you’re young and through marriage, kids, divorce we all managed to stick together.  Bucket list trips to sporting events, occasional get togethers when those who moved away returned home and unfortunately funerals is what has brought us together in more recent years.

While some live out of the area a return home by one for a high school reunion inspired us to meet for lunch this week at Caffrey’s Tavern in Forked River as it just so happens the owner Dan Coleman is part of our friendship circle.  Along with Gabe Vitale, Brian O’Malley, Carroll Oakley, Joe DePasquale, Mark Kashuda (and his brother Greg) and yours truly we spent more than two hours living in the past and loved every moment of it.

Doesn’t matter how long it will be before we meet again I can’t wait because it takes us about 2 minutes to go back in time when we were sitting in the OCC student center.  These and those that were missing are friends for life…the best kind.

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Gallery Credit: Sam Elliot

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