MY FATHER MADE FRIENDS everywhere he went. But of all his friends, he loved Bill the best. They went way back, to Marblehead High School, where they graduated together in 1949. My dad was the lovable troublemaker, the kind of guy who might be called a bad influence. Bill was just plain lovable, with his soft-spoken charm and luminous blue eyes. They were an unlikely pair, but their friendship endured, through both hard and happy times, for the rest of their lives.
I remember childhood nights at Bill and Jane’s house, running barefoot in pajamas through their big backyard while the grown-ups reminisced and drank whiskey and grapefruit juice. In the tales my father told of crazy teenage exploits, Bill was the sane one, the straight man. Listening to his friend Bob, Bill’s eyes twinkled.