I met Dave in Kansas City the summer after graduating from college. We both moved to Kansas City for jobs after graduating from different places. I was coming home after four years in Manhattan, KS, and Dave graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. We became acquainted as my roommate worked at AT&T. Several years later, I hired on with AT&T, worked in KC for two years, and then accepted a transfer to Atlanta.
And Atlanta is where Dave and I became close friends. I moved there a year before him, and Dave bunked at my place for several months as he got his feet on the ground. For a short while, we worked in the same department and socialized with some of the people working there. We explored and experienced Atlanta as it grew into a world-class city. We both lived in Midtown neighborhoods and had a blast with the history and southern culture in places like Virginia Highlands, Morningside, Lenox Park, Piedmont Park, Little Five Points (saw Toto there) and downtown Atlanta.
As we became close, I opened up to Dave about my diabetes. He understood and shared that his Mother was diagnosed in her 20s (she received a Joslin 50-year medal.) Dave grew up observing his Mom managing her diabetes (with many of the same tools I was using when I met Dave). He just seemed to know when my diabetes would move out of bounds. Dave never judged how I managed my diabetes, but he would ask a few questions. Is alcohol ok for you? Do you need something sweet to drink? Are you ok?
In addition to diabetes, we frequently discussed various topics, including growing into responsible adulthood. We talked about dating and our female relationships – I remember when we both believed we were secure in our uncommitted 5-year relationships, only to have them both fall apart shortly afterward. We discussed work – not so much our jobs, but how organizations worked, good and bad leaders, our unique skill sets, and our dreams for contributing to society. Mainly we experienced the pulse of Atlanta – for us that meant concerts, bars, restaurants, bands (yep, Tom Grose and the Varsity), Braves games, and music festivals – including the first Music Midtown Festival.
Dave is almost one month older than me, and each year I call him on his birthday to ask how the next age feels – and any wisdom he wants to share. He’s a smart guy and has plenty to share!
Thanks Dave, for your friendship – which included understanding and not judging my diabetes – and the good times we’ve shared.