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Memorial Day (May 28, 2007), a very personal one: I've opened an old bottle of Scotch whiskey in memory of my friend Arthur. I met Arthur, a retired senior officer, on the East Coast in early days of my immigration to US because our daughters were classmates. He became my first American friend and the warmth of our friendship was never matched in over twenty years of my immigrant life. We spent many hours together fishing along the Long Island Sound and chatting along a good whiskey. After our geographical separation, while my family moved across the continent, he sent me the one-gallon bottle of old Scotch whiskey, in special wrought iron casing, which he inherited in 1950's but which was in his parents possession even before the World War II. We were to open the bottle on his next visit. I didnít perceive how unwell he was at the time when he arranged to visit our home in Colorado; he died just days before the flight. On this Memorial Day, here on the West Coast, I've opened the old bottle of Scotch whiskey in memory of my friend Arthur.

in memory of my friend Arthur

Edgar Albert Guest : A Friendís Greeting

I'd like to be the sort of friend that
you have been to me;
I'd like to be the help that
you've been always glad to be;

I'd like to mean as much to you
each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine,
to me along the way.

I'd like to do the big things and
the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray from out your skies
and leave them only blue;

I'd like to say the kindly things that
I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul
the way that mine you've stirred.

I'd like to give you back the joy
that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need
I hope will never be;

I'd like to make you feel as rich

as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours

with you to lean upon.

I'm wishing at this time that

I could but repay
A portion of the gladness that
you've strewn along my way;

And could I have one wish this year,
this only would it be:
I'd like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me.

from Collected Verse of Edgar Guest,

Buccaneer Books, New York, 1976.

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