Earlier today I received news that my best friend growing up in our grade school and junior high years passed away. Bruce and I lived across the street from each other and played together pretty much every day.

There was a vacant lot next to Bruce’s house that his family owned. We played all kinds of baseball and football games in that lot. We also slept out often in the summer among the trees at the back of the yard. During the summer we went on long bicycle rides that if our parents knew how far we went we would have lost our bicycle privileges.

Bruce and his family had a couple of horses kept some 20 minutes away and I remember his mom regularly taking us to the barn to feed the horses. I wasn’t as interested in horses as Bruce and his family were, but I went with them often. I only remember riding one of the horses one time.

During winter and rainy days Bruce and I were always in his house doing both things we were allowed to do as well as some that his parents would not have approved. Bruce’s parents and grandma welcomed and treated me like I was also their son.

After high school Bruce and I had very little contact, but we were always glad to see each other when I was home for holidays. As time passed we lost all contact as we each went our separate ways establishing our own families away from where we grew up in Springdale.

When I got the news of his death today I was on the golf course and could not hold back my tears. Very little was said, but my golf partners seemed to understand the depth of my loss. When I got home and told my wife my tears flowed more freely than on the golf course. Jan had met Bruce several times and at least knew him.

Even though I haven’t seen Bruce in person for some time, I have seen notifications and pictures he posted from time to time on Facebook. I regret not commenting and communicating with him more on Facebook. Most of all I regret not finding and visiting with him when Jan and went back for my 50th high school reunion in 2019.

Bruce is the second of my best childhood friends in Springdale, Ohio, who have passed on. Chuck Bailey was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2019. And now my friend who lived across the street all those years of growing up is also gone.

I agree with the closing line of the narrator in the movie Stand by Me – “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12.” Both Bruce Edgecomb and Charlie Bailey were great friends of mine during grade school, junior school, and high school. I am thankful for them and hope they are honored by my appreciation for them.

Feel free to leave a comment below and/or share this post on Facebook or other social media.

Image by Alicja from Pixabay


  1. I feel ya Bob. We should tell those we love, that we love them. Often. Often. Often. I am sorry for your loss. I also had my 50th reunion 3 weeks ago. We acknowledged by name, 17 of our classmates who have passed. Our class was the largest my high school ever graduated in a single year. 65. Some were very good friends, but I knew each one personally, and their families. We should verbalize our blessings that we cast on others.

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  2. Bob, Please accept my condolences on your loss. How blessed each of you were to have grown up together and having a magical childhood. May Good grant you comfort as you grieve the loss of your friend. Gil

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry Bob for the loss of your childhood friend. I know how you feel…when my best friend (Cathy Davis Von Rissen) I cried like a baby! I had not seen her for many, many years and lost contact with her for several and then we united via Facebook and telephone. So I totally understand the sadness and grief. May God comfort your heart and praying for his family and friends during this difficult time. Sending you a hug filled with lots of love! Deb 🥲🙏💔❤️😇

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  4. Very sorry for your loss Bob. I know how you feel. Since moving to California I have lost 2 childhood friends from m neighborhood in Annapolis. Always sad to lose a friend no matter where or when.

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  5. Bob, I am sooo sorry for your loss of a wonderful friendship that your heart holds. I lost my first best friend 5 years ago to breast cancer. I also have memories etched forever on my heart. Saying a prayer and sending you hugs as you say goodby to your friend for now.

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  6. My forever friend, from as early as I can remember was Wally Hamblin.In reading your scene, the similarities parallel as Wally and I shared each others days of summer. In 1966 He died, serving our country in Vietnam. The best friend I have ever had. Bob, I understand your loss. And I am so sorry you must endure it.

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  7. Bob
    Those early friendships are so memorable. As we lose friends and family, it is a reminder of our own mortality. Thank you for the insightful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Bob:

    Thanks for sharing your heart regarding the loss of your friend. It’s an excellent reminder of how precious friendships are and that they take nurturing.

    I am so sorry for your loss. Right now there seems to be so much loss but of course, we are getting older and so are our friends.

    Thanks for your articles they are always thought provoking!!

    Be Blessed, Cindy

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bob, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. Time has a way of separating us, but your tribute shows the depth of your feelings and love. God bless you. Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bob, my heart breaks for you in the loss of your close friend growing up. My childhood was very different than yours in that my family never lived in one place long enough for me to experience a close childhood friend. Many years later, I have many friendships, but they don’t seem to have the “staying” power of the one you spoke of. I pray Gods comfort over you. Hugs, Carol

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bob, I have friendships from childhood growing up in small town America too. I am so sorry for your loss, it is a difficult time for you. May God comfort you now and in the weeks ahead. Praying for you and his family at this sad time. Hugs, Rachel

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss. I, too, lost my oldest friend a couple of months ago. We have been friends since we were born and have stayed in touch all these years. We were able to spend 4th of July with our families together at his house last year. He was only 50 so it was quite shocking. His daughter is getting married in a few weeks so his loss is even more acute as we get closer. My heart grieves with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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