Tuesday, December 23, 2014
In Memory - Jeff Kling
On October 25, one of my childhood friends, Jeff Kling, passed away from cancer. Jeff may have been the first friend I ever had.
I haven't seen Jeff in over thirty years, but I have strong, fond memories of him and our childhoods together. Our neighborhood had a bunch of kids of approximately the same age who all got along really well. We rode bikes, played on swingsets, went swimming, shot BB guns, climbed trees, trick or treated, had sleepovers and did pretty much everything you can imagine kids doing in the suburbs of a small town in the 1970s. We transformed one of the empty lots on our street into a baseball diamond and often played there. We dug holes deep into the ground, covering them with plywood to make forts. We had epic stick sword fights in the woods behind our street. We made home movies, first on super 8 and then on our primitive, black and white, wired VHS camera, all of which were terrible, hilarious, and awesome. We had plans for an epic home movie remake of Star Wars, but never got around to making it.
Jeff wasn't a big kid but he loved sports, especially baseball. And he was really good at it. I was much more of a nerd, into Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, and so as we grew older, our interests diverged. But I have always had fond memories of Jeff, even when we dropped out of touch. His Mom has been trying to get us together during one of our visits to Indiana but we haven't been able to arrange it. Unfortunately, we ran out of time.
Here we are, probably around 1970 or 1971. I would be five or six years old. From left to right, Rod, Me, Jeff, his brother Dave, and my brother, Mark.