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In Memory

Dean Fera

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08/21/19 09:47 PM #1    

Michael Cunningham (Cunningham)

Dean, our fiftieth reunion is next month and I will miss you not being there with us. So many of our childhood memories are with you. The day we played basketball in front of your garage and it seemed I couldn’t miss the basket, which got you because you were a much better player than I was. Playing army at Biola College amongst the pallets of blocks there to build new buildings for the college. And a particular memory of you running through the woods by the creek in Biola College, in your underwear, behind Linda Allen’s house. We spent our years together but played different sports, so we had different friends, but regained that friendship at Cerritos College with a couple of memorable “hunting trips” to the desert and the river. Graphic memories of you drunk at the river. I remember your decision to drop your deferment before the draft lottery and when I asked you why you simply said, “Mike, college just isn’t for me.” When they drew the numbers, yours was first and within a few weeks you were gone. When you returned, I could see how war had changed you, but I didn’t fully understand how devastating it was for you. Life separated our friendship again and like so many in my life I lost contact with you. Then I heard you had passed. It took me two years to get in touch with Donnie and hear how much you had to suffer and endure because of that war. It saddens me to this day that you struggled until you succumbed to the pain. A vivid memory that will always be with me is when we were at Arlie Hutchinson. Because of the alphabetical order of seating, you and I always sat next to each other. One day you got a tack from a bulletin board and we joked about putting it on someone’s chair like in the cartoons or Abott and Costello. Then, you got called up to the teachers desk and I put it on your chair. When you returned, you sat down without looking and jumped up and yelled from sitting on the tack. But when the teacher asked what happened, you said the tack just fell on your chair. Partners in crime from then on to high school. You also had been shown the coolest way to fold a paper airplane that I still use to this day. I miss you and love you buddy. I so wish you were going to be there at the reunion...

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