remembering Ohio & a lost friend

this is not something
I do very often
much of what transpired there
lies dormant in my memory
except for grad school
and my friends then
and the boy scouts
but occasionally
faces surface
from my undergrad days
and one in particular
came into focus
because the doctor here
thought my inflamed foot
could be gout
which it isn’t
but the word conjured up
Jimmy Burton
who actually was the first person
I ever heard mention it
since he suffered from that
among other ailments
a young man grown old
long before his time
what became of you
sleeping on the couch
at north grove c-16
playing rod mckuen albums
in the dark
playing old men on stage
being one in life
an usher at my wedding
that brillo hair of yours
almost tamed
how I could crack you up
every time I danced up
and down the staircase
at u hall
singing call me irresponsible
and pretending to be
fred astaire
with improvised cane & hat
I drove you to an audition
for a rep company
somewhere in Michigan
or at least I think it was Michigan
everything seemed to be
either Ohio or Michigan
in those days
when not in my beloved NY
the earth dark and rich
you said good for growing
corn, I suppose
and you were accepted
off on your professional acting career
in rep companies in the Midwest
or so I was told
years later by Alan Koepke
when I asked about you
I will always remember
how you cried on my shoulder
from early rejections
or how happily surprised you were
when Jody fell in love
with you
you deserve happiness
old fella
old long lost friend
and I hope you received it
there in the Midwest
acting your heart out
on the stage
that would be your life

12 thoughts on “remembering Ohio & a lost friend

  1. OK so how does a guy in Turkey, talking about life in the long ago and mad crazy loving times know exactly how I felt at the same time a whole hemisphere away. Bloody brilliant Leonard. Absolutely.

  2. I think I would have loved Jimmy Burton I would have joined him playing Rod McKuen albums in the dark, you are Leonard one of the few people on here who have mentioned Rod McKuen. My favourite, favourite of all time.

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