Saturday, December 8, 2012


Several lifetimes ago . . . actually it was in 1969, only 43 years ago . . . I moved from my native North Dakota to Indianapolis to take a job as a news reporter at a radio station.  A few months later a young man was hired.  We became colleagues and good friends in the only three years that we worked together.  Then I moved on to Phoenix, Arizona and found a job with a television station.  I spent 15 years there before, having come into some money, my wife and I moved to Mexico.  About five years later I moved to Austin, Texas and after a couple of years back to Arizona, where I've been ever since.

My friend spent all of his working career in Indianapolis, moving to a couple of televison stations, then running a company he founded doing independent television production, then back to yet another television station as the news director.  He retired (sort of) a few years ago and moved to California.

My friend is Tom Cochrun, who oversees his blog Tender Whispers.  No, wait, that's not it.  I'm really old now and I forget things.  It's called Light Breezes.  Well that could be Tender Whispers, couldn't it?

A few years ago (everything seems to happen "a few years ago" in my aged state) Tom sent me a package of letters I had written to him and his lovely and talented artist wife, Lana, beginning in 1972 and running up to 1987.  Then the fine and gentle art of letter writing was ruined by the advent of the Internet.  Long, thoughtful (Ha!  Who am I kidding?) letters were subsumed (fine word - subsumed) and replaced by short, inane emails.

But back to that packet of letters.  I have just finished a two-day reading of them and I was stunned by the verbosity, by the hubris, by the near-constantly changing moods, by the pie-in-the-sky dreams of freelance writing, of candle shops, of joint projects, of publications we would create, thus confounding those around us and spewing forth political dicta (fine word - dicta) that only we were wise enough to see.

Ah, youth.  But as Tom noted there was also wild, crazy, zany humor in these letters, overinflated talk of our use of booze and drugs (We were Hunter Thompson before Hunter Thompson was cool!), paranoia about what the government knew about us in the godawful Days of Nixon.  But always talk of love, of brotherhood.  It is rare in these days of movement around the country for two men, youngsters growing old, to maintain a friendship over 43 years.  But we have.  Over time we have gotten together for adventure (who can forget that Democrat Mini-Convention in 1974) and just for fun. As one friend of Tom's used to drawl:  "Beeee-zaaaahhhrrr!"

I shall maintain possession of these crazed documents for the time being.  As suggested by Tom when he sent them back to me "whoever lasts the longest should have the right of possession."  Thanks for hanging onto them, buddy!  (Actually he said something more like "If you die before I do, these had better come back to me!")

(Kinda sounds like a love story, don't it?)

Which brings me to today's Gratuitous Critter photo.

"Two old lions growing old but staying in touch"


  1. What an uplifting posting. And the terrific picture of the two lions, ambling along, swapping tales of antelope and gazelles they have gnawed.

    Perfect. Thanks.

  2. Great story Bruce. You're both lucky guys to have such a lasting friendship.


  3. How lucky you both are to have had this friendship. Here's to both of you! Cheers!

  4. Aw that's great! Boy I would cringe to read some of the letters I've sent in the past. I was just as random & strange back then!

  5. As an avid follower of your blog as well as Tom's, I love these glimpses into the old days (those exciting days) of journalism.