My friend Joe

Joe was the new kid in the neighborhood. His family came from New Jersey. Joe’s family moved to a new house on my paper route.

I noticed Joe while I was delivering newspapers on his street. He seemed to be about my age. I wondered why I hadn’t seen Joe in school.

Somehow I found the courage to ask Joe, “Hey kid, don’t you go to school?” “Of course I go to school. I go to Saint Joseph’s”, he replied. I asked, “Is that a school where the teachers are called nuns?”

By now Joe had become tired of the conversation. I think he thought we were never going to be friends. He was wrong.

We were as different as two kids could be. Joe was from New Jersey, I could not have found New Jersey on a map. He went to Catholic School, I went to public school. Joe loved the New York Yankees, I loved the Saint Louis Cardinals.

We learned to like each other. It wasn’t easy. One day I invited Joe to accompany me on my paper route. He agree to come along. The next day he was waiting for me to ride along again. It was very few days that Joe didn’t “help” me deliver papers after that.

Joe and I became buddies. We did everything together. We went to movies. We played baseball, never on the same team. He was a Yankee, I was a Cardinal.

Joe started public school in high school. We were finally able to go to school together. At public school, Joe was everyone’s friend.