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Notes from the Apocalypse

Friends with Differences

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By Charles Morgan III


I have friends who have Labrador Retrievers. In some cases, they had them as children. They have them now. They’re likely to have them in the future. Labs are their favorite dogs.


I like all kinds of dogs. I really like Australian Shepherds. But my favorite breed is the Golden Retriever.


I have friends who fish mostly for speckled trout and redfish. I know people who primarily fish offshore for billfish. Lots of people spend their time in the Gulf bottom fishing for red snapper and grouper.


I like cobia fishing.


I have friends who follow college football and could care less about any other sport. Some people are like that with basketball. I know people who like the Atlanta Braves, and even though they might have a hard time keeping up with the roster, it’s the only sports team they follow.


I follow just about all major sports.


I have friends that play tennis and would never even consider playing a round of golf. I know golfers who wouldn’t be caught dead in a tennis outfit. Some people run or ride bikes. Many people get their exercise at gyms or practice yoga or Pilates or whatever else is out there.


I’ll try anything but mostly I like to swim.


I have friends, like Jimmy Patzig, who only drink beer. Many bar patrons prefer mixed drinks, some fancier than others. There are wine aficionados that consider a meal incomplete without a well-paired bottle of cabernet.


I don’t drink.


I have friends who watch television all day long and have never read a book. Some people stay glued to a laptop or an iPhone and are aware of every single “breaking news report.” Many people have wristwatches that constantly monitor their health, and earplugs that stream hip-hop music nonstop.


I’m a reader.


I have friends who are accomplished travelers. They think nothing of traipsing through several continents in a year. I also know people who go for years without crossing a county line. I tend to return to the same places year after year.


I’m not much of a traveler.


I have friends who drive SUVs. I know a few people who have sports cars.


Most of the people I’m around drive pickup trucks. More and more people seem to drive big, fancy, foreign cars.


I’m a truck guy, and I like Fords.


I have friends from all walks of life. Some of them have advanced degrees from prestigious universities, and some of them didn’t even come close to graduating from high school. I’ve got friends who are wealthy and are proud of it, and I’ve got friends who aren’t wealthy and could care less.


Some of my friends have been regular members of the same church since they were christened, and some of my friends haven’t seen the inside of a chapel in decades.


I think that the diversity in people’s backgrounds and experiences and preferences might be what makes this beautiful world so interesting.


I have friends who are republicans. Most of my friends’ parents were probably republicans, and their children will most likely follow in their footsteps. Where we live, just about everybody is a republican.


I was the kid whose father took him to vote for the first time at age six.


When he pulled back the curtain to the voting booth it was dark and quiet.


“It is your right as an American to vote for whoever you want to and to do it in privacy. No one should know who you vote for, and when you pull that lever there is no one in this booth except you and God.”


He looked down at me and whispered, “And God’s a democrat.”


So you can’t blame me.


I like it when my republican friends tell me that they don’t care about political parties and that they “just vote for the best candidate.”


I smile at them. And wink. And whisper back to them, “Me too.”


I’m a democrat.

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