From left to right: My step brother, Bobby (the subject of the song, “Running to Catch Up”), Pete Nickolas and me. Pete was my first best friend. We started hanging out at age four or five. We spent a lot of time going door to door selling whatever we could come up with. Here are the things I remember us selling. Gold painted rocks (saying it was actually real gold), painted pine cones, and books we had written. We wrote a ton of books. We even carried around a big display for them.
Pete and I got really into cheesy 70s movies, pretty much any of Burt Reynolds movies. One day we had just seen the movie, “Hooper”, which starred Burt Reynolds as an aging stunt man. There’s a scene in the movie where there’s a bar fight. Burt looks at the guys that want to fight him and his friends and says something along the lines of “This isn’t a fair fight, there’s 3 of us and 10 of you. You better go get more people”. We thought that line was awesome. One day while playing in Pete’s backyard a few kids come down the alley and tried to pick a fight with us. Pete walks to the edge of the fence real cocky and delivers that Hooper line to them. This actually intimidated them and they left.
Pete moved to Kansas around 4th grade. The next summer he came to visit me. He was real excited to show me a surprise. He opened his large suitcase and there were no clothes. It was completely full of his Halloween candy from the previous Halloween (about 10 months old). We ate all of that candy and tried to stay up all night watching Clint Eastwood westerns. His idea to help keep us awake all night was, every time we felt tired, put Visine eye drops in our eyes. We tried this to no avail and fell asleep around 2am.
Later in high school Pete came to visit and my step dad got drunk and pissed in his suitcase and tried to drive the fire place to the car wash. That’s a long story. I still talk to Pete and we are still friends.
Side notes: The fish hat I am wearing was a gag gift given to my dad. Not sure why I was wearing it. Pete’s mom was the first woman I saw naked.