Reedie and I from a photo taken on August 8th of 1959. Reedie and I were both five years old at the time. I am on the left hand side. Reedie is on the right hand side.
To Find Reedie
By Richard James Mabey Jr.
My family moved to Madeline Avenue in Clifton on April 26th of 1956. I was two years old when we moved there. We moved to the old Mabey Homestead in Lincoln Park when I was six years old. During those four years, I had two very dear and wonderful friends. My next door neighbor, Brenda, was a sweet, kind, caring little girl who was the same age as I was. And, there was Reedie, the boy who lived a few houses down the street, who was also my age.
I remember Reedie as being a kind boy, a tried and true pal. Brenda, Reedie and I were like the Three Musketeers. We were all bestest best friends. Sadly, I don’t know what ever happened to Reedie. I don’t even know if he is still alive. I pray that Reedie is alive and well. For some reason, it hit me like a brick wall today, I will probably go to my grave not knowing what ever happened to Reedie. This thought left me with a deep sadness.
An old photo from the summer of 1959, of Reedie (left hand side) and myself (right hand side) playing in my old backyard at Madeline Avenue.
When it came time for Reedie, Brenda and I to go to Kindergarten, the three of us walked to and from school every single day. We were the Terrific Trio. We looked out for each other. We were truly, “one for all and all for one.” We were bestest best friends.
My old Kindergarten class picture. Brenda is standing in the back row, third from the left hand side. I am standing in the back row, seventh from the left hand side. Reedie is standing, tenth from the left hand side.
Most recently, I was blessed to find Brenda on social media. I think that one of the first things that I asked Brenda is if she knew what ever happened to Reedie. Brenda told me that she had lost touch with Reedie and did not know what happened to him. I confess my heart sank a bit.
I count my blessings. I know that Brenda is safe and happily married. Brenda is a successful businesswoman and presently works as an accountant in a medical firm. I am grateful, my heart is filled with gratitude to know that Brenda is alive and well.
But still, I can’t help wonder if Reedie is still alive and well. The thought haunts me. Reedie was the best friend a little kid could ever want.
Why do we remember the things we do? I don’t pretend to know the answer to that question. I remember this little moment like it was yesterday. Both, Reedie and I each had these little balsam wood airplanes. We had bought them at the little store that was up the street on Madeline Avenue. I think they were only ten cents each.
Well, one summer’s day, Reedie and I were playing with our little balsam airplanes. I remember my little airplane looped the loop and crashed into the side of my backyard garage. It crashed so hard, it was beyond repair. Well, I remember this so very well.
Little Reedie said to me, “Dicky Jim, don’t be upset. We can share my airplane.” And we did! Reedie and I took turns, all that afternoon, sailing Reedie’s balsam airplane high into the air. And, when our mothers called us in for supper, Reedie’s plane was unharmed. It had survived the entire afternoon.
But that was the type of boy that I remember Reedie as being. Just a good hearted friend. Now at 64, I can still hear the echo of Reedie’s boyish voice, “Dicky Jim, don’t be upset. We can share my airplane.”
I pray, oh dear Lord do I ever pray, that some day I’ll find my bestest best friend, Reedie. I don’t know if I ever will. But you just never know. If by any chance, if your name is Reedie and your 64 years old and you grew up on Madeline Avenue in Clifton, please do leave a comment on this blog post. Please do.