(The picture shown to the left is Greg O'Neal)
Tennis and Some Memories
Recently I started playing tennis with an old friend of mine from my home town, Greg O’Neal, who is a Psychology Instructor at Flint River Technical College in Thomaston, Georgia.
We had renewed our friendship a little over a year ago after he had read some of my articles on Authors den.
This past July, after sharing a meal, we went for a ride and visited the old office of the Upson Counseling Center where we both worked in the late 80s.
Over the course of this past year or more, we have had many good times getting together and discussing our work.
We were both counselors and as one might expect we have many interesting experiences that we shared together and individually while working there.
On this particular day though, we visited a tennis court behind that office. As we walked around on that broken down court, Greg visited some memories that he had of playing tennis after work with our boss, Vincent Nellans. He and our boss would get together on a regular basis and little did Greg realize at the time, these would turn into some golden memories.
On the court that day some strong emotions were touched in both of us as we remembered Vincent. You see, he had died of pancreatic cancer in 1991 at 36 years of age.
We both share a lot of love and respect for this man and because of all of those great memories, we decided in his honor to start playing tennis with each other and at the same time strengthen our friendship.
Greg and my self had both grown up in this small town with a population of maybe 30,000. We attended different elementary schools in Thomaston but did to to the same high school, R.E. Lee.
We actually grew up on the same mill village in this town that had five cotton mills. He is a few years younger than I, so we didn’t know each other at that time.
So now we are playing tennis on a weekly basis. I drive over once a week and we have our game and sometimes we eat a meal afterwards. We have renewed our friendship and we are both pleased that we have had the opportunity to do it.
Many times, it seems that we go for years searching for something that is meaningful in life and that very thing is right before our eyes and we don’t see it.
How does this happen? I’m not sure but visiting that court that day and Greg talking of those special memories of his I believe had something to do with it.
But I believe that God had the bigger hand in getting us back together.