Priceless Collection

Sat. November 25, 2006 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

One of my favorite things to do on a day off is to sit in my favorite coffee shop and people watch while I catch up on my emails and postings. As I write this article I am doing exactly that while listening to ATB on the I-pod. Having good music, great coffee, and interesting people to look at always gives me pep in my step.

I don't often talk about my likes and dislikes as it is something I'm pretty private about. Of all the areas in my life, my attractions to people are my most private. I don't know if it was my upbringing or just my belief that there are better things for me to talk about that keep me from being public about such things. My closest friends remind me that as public as my life is; it is okay that I keep some things private.

My friends are right of course, but as I get thinking about it, those friends are what I am proud of most! They started off in my line of sight just like the cute guy to my right at the coffee table. Who knows if he and I will strike up a conversation? Will I comment on how big his computer is, (Clearly it's an older laptop) or how he pulls of wearing a ball cap and still looks cute. What will be the first words spoken, if any?

I can look at any of my close friendships and remember how it all started. My best friend Isaiah and I met when our mutual friend Michael brought him to meet me at my table at the former X/O Chicago . Isaiah had me from the first word! I found him to be ambitious and smart. I was also very attracted to him! In the four years since then we've dated, and had a very devoted relationship that has blossomed into the loving friendship that it is today. He is beyond friend and beyond family to me. How in the world could I have known what a treasure he would become in my life all those years ago!

My dear friend Bill Healy (Pictured Above) and I met at the former Voltaire cabaret club in the heart of Boystown. I found him to be a witty chap who always had the nicest things to say about people. Never would you hear a negative remark from Bill about anyone. Over the years I've gotten to know Bill even more. He is one of the smartest people I know and has a keen mind! He has stood with me in some of the most trying times and partnered with me on some of the best events! Who would have figured that a bar buddy would turn into one of my closest friends!

My bosom friend David Cruse Beal and I met in 2001 when he was on what our mutual friend thought was a date. David and I were introduced and the conversation has never ended! When my friend was out of earshot David let me know that the date was nothing more than just an innocent time of fellowship and asked if I would hangout with them. I'm glad that I did. Talk about a kindred spirit!

From the day we met David and I have enjoyed the greatest memory making moments all around the world. Even though David lives in Singapore we usually talk every week; cultivating what will be a life long relationship! I certainly didn't think that this handsome boy who resembles a British royal would become one of my most intimate ( Def : Knowing someone and being known deeply.) friends.

I have a number of close friends that I could write novels about but I want to encourage you in the friendships you have and the ones yet to come. Even as you read this now, the friends in your life love and care for you and there are those that you don't know as of yet, who will shape your life! When I was very young I asked my Mom what it was about my Father that caught her eye all those years ago. Her answer was one that has stuck with me to this day. "He collects people"!

I've thought about what she said so many times over my life and I believe that I have subscribed to the same philosophy. Just like an artist collect various works of art, we can collect diverse types of friends who add to the vibrant color of our lives.

Our outreach to new friends and old impacts their canvas too. We can add life and strength to them just as they can to us. In fact when we reach out to others we ourselves are rewarded with a vivacious addition to our life's art.

Wonderfully the cute guy (Michael) and the sweet girl (Nora) to my right and I did strike up a conversation about a lady causing trouble in the coffee shop. That conversation led to talk about and this article. Who knows, perhaps we will become friends and I will have another great inspiring, educating and caring life to add to my collection!