My memories of Martin Bradfield. Ah to be as eloquent and erudite as is my lifelong friend, Martin.
My memories of Martin are many and varied (your dad would have hated my switching tenses throughout – my apologies!):
- Getting sunburned on the beach in New Jersey together
- Martin being dared to try on one of my sisters’ bras as a teenager, and his accepting (it wasn’t a good look for him)
- Going to many Phillies games together, including our first game Campbell Kids Day, where we saw the only Major League game ever started bya pitcher wearing sunglasses – Lowell Palmer. Phils lost badly, but we did get to see Richie Allen hit a “moon shot” completely out of Connie Mack Stadium
- (a guaranteed way to get Martin to dissolve into hysterics…and me with him – get him to tell this story) Our convincing a friend – Dennis Moore – after he begged us not to, to pitch some batting practice to a bunch of us, and on the 2nd or third pitch, one of us drilling him with a line drive hit so hard, it left indents of the ball’s stitch marks on his stomach.
- His explaining some theory of drumming to his Dad at the apartment in Charlestown and his Dad listening with such rapt attention that the house could have collapsed all around them and his Dad wouldn’t have stopped listening to his every word
- Martin staying with me for a short spell at my apartment in Pottstown when he had no other place to stay and after he’d been there “long enough”, waking me up one morning in my grumpy state by announcing “Jame! Time to begin your happy day!”
- Listening to a National Lampoon album over and over and over so we could practically say the routines word for word.
- “Don’t be noxious!” “Hiyucatan!”
- The McVickars and Bradfields driving to Cape May in time for the sunrise on a Sunday morning
- Playing All-Star spin baseball
- Seeing how many catches we could do consecutively until we got bored and never came back to it. (I think we stopped at 500)
- Playing “touch” football with poor David
- Seeing how much Trevor adores him
- Arguing politics over beers for close to 4 hours at a brewpub in Devon but never getting upset or feeling like our friendship was in any kind of danger
- Watching Martin eat 10 hot dogs at one Phillies game…or ok, maybe that was me…or so Martin would have us believe
- Martin coming all the way up to Maine for Cheryl’s and my wedding
- Watching Martin fall in love with drumming as a young teen and drumming his fingers on anything in his reach, especially when listening in his earphones to a Bee Gees 8-track or cassette
- Falling in love for real for the only time with Cathy!
- Skipping organized activities at Camp Hilltop to organize our own activitiesSo that’s all I got off the top of my head. The memories come flooding back once I give them a chance to.
But those aren’t the first things I think of when I think of Martin. What I think of first is the value of a long time close friend, with me through lots of incredibly good, fun times and lots of incredibly unimaginably bad times. But there throughout. The kind of friend I can go months, maybe even years at times, without being in contact with and then when we do get back together, chattering away like we’d just talked yesterday.True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island... to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.
And I am so blessed. Thanks, Mar, for so many great times. I love you, and I look forward to another 60 years of making great memories together.