A Day at Kewpees

A Day at Kewpees

 I might as well go on and confess now… It IS a holiday weekend. Maybe that will serve as a sufficient excuse. Well…here goes: I watched a chick flick with Jan last night. Actually as far as that particular genre of movies goes, this one is a good one. We watched Fried Green Tomatoes, which was released in 1991.

I saw it in the movie theater that year and liked it then. Jessica Tandy is brilliant and Kathy Bates does a good job in a supporting role.  The movie is set in 1930’s rural Alabama. It captures the racism that was such a prevailing facet of that culture. And furthermore it just shows that life in the good old days may not have been as good as we would like to remember. Life in the rural south was harsh in many ways. But most importantly it is a story about friendship.

The mutual loyalty that exists among all of the main characters is the prevailing theme in the movie. That loyalty supersedes racism, domestic abuse, and profound personality differences. It is a compelling movie. When it was over last night, I was inspired to deepen the friendships I that I have enjoyed for years. Little did I know when the credits rolled at the end of Fried Green Tomatoes last night that I would soon witness a similar kind of loyalty in real life?

I have a childhood friend who is suffering from the effects of a brain tumor. He has undergone at least two surgeries, but his prognosis is grave. We were the boys that the teacher soon separated after the beginning of a school year. Silly teachers thought that we were inclined toward mischief. He was the friend I got in a fist fight with on the playground in the 5th grade. Good ole Mrs. Shepherd made us face each other outside the outside entrance to the school before we could go back in. I was told to say: I love you Steve. And in turn he was told to say: I love you John. We would have rather been shot. But we did it.

A mutual friend of ours is reaching out to Steve during this scary and uncertain time. Scott spent the day with Steve today. They laughed and ate at a favorite downtown hamburger place called Kewpees. He took Steve out to his home for another part of the day.  It was  relaxing and fun for both of them.

Last night I was inspired by a movie that captures the value of lifelong friendship. (Even if it was a chick flick) Today I feel a sense of peace and reassurance in knowing that a struggling friend, who is over 1,100 miles away, is being taken care of by someone else in our crew. I am not exactly sure how to process the reality of a childhood friend suffering from a life threatening disease, but I do know that I am thankful for friends who know how to care. And maybe that is sufficient for today.

I found out what the secret to life is: friends. Best friends…

-Ninny Threadgoode played by Jessica Tandy in Fried Green Tomatoes

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