Friday, January 13, 2006

I Miss Steve Lester.

Steve Lester and I go back to about Sophomore year of high school. He quickly became one of my best friends and remains so to this day. After an unsuccessful first year of college, Steve joined the Air Force. Several years later when I enlisted in the Army and got stationed in Germany, I was very fortunate that Steve also happened to be stationed there. For much of my time in Germany I would ride the train about 3 hours and hang out with him on weekends. Sometimes we would travel, sometimes we would just hang out at the pub. But it was always a welcome respite from the day to day Army crap. One of the best trips we took was my first year there - we drove all the way up to London to meet up with my friend Angela and her sister for New Years:

It was a great road trip. We got to go through the Chunnel (English Channel Tunnel that connects France and England) which was a cool experience. Hell, Steve even ran interference with Angela for me while I hit on her sister - now that's a true friend...

Many of my favorite memories of Germany involved Steve. One night as we were arriving back to his place, the downstairs neighbors were having a birthday party. They invited us over and so rather than hit the Irish Pub as usual, we ended up spending the night partying with them. It was a fun night - they were drinking some delicious German Pils and we decided to do a little "cultural exchange", so we brought down some Sam Adams and had them try it. They were quite surprised at how good it was too. The funniest part of the night was that one of the daughter's boyfriend who was stone cold drunk kept grabbing Steve's ass all night. He tried to get me to switch seats, but I ain't stupid! Here's a picture from that night(click to enlarge):

Anyway, Steve's time in the Air Force finished a few months before I left Germany and he ended up getting a job with the FAA and he's currently working near Cleveland. I miss him quite a bit. He was the ultimate buddy to hang out or to travel with. He's about as friendly and easy going as anyone I've ever known, he's always up for anything and - here's the best part - he never complains about anything. That's so important when you travel because you know that something is bound to go wrong. But, like me, he just goes with the flow and makes the best out of every situation. He also has a razor sharp wit and I usually spend most of the time cracking up at the stuff he comes up with. He has a great outlook on life and is always a joy to be around. In short, I always enjoy my time hanging out with Steve. I wish the hell he were still here.

Luckily, Europe made enough of an impression on him that he tries to come back at least once a year or so. More often than not it's to attend Oktoberfest, but he usually tries to slip in a day or two down here hanging out with me and the wife in Venice:

I look forward to and enjoy those times more than he probably realizes. Even the wife enjoys hanging around him too and looks forward to his visits. The last time he was here was this past September (as regular readers may remember). He and some of his buddies from work came for Oktoberfest and spent a couple days in Venice where I showed them around a bit. As usual, we all had a fantastic time. Hopefully another visit is in the cards for 2006...


Anonymous said...

That was a very nice and flattering blog entry. I appreciate the kind words and am glad to know I am missed. I in fact will be in Europe twice this year. I am going to Paris this March/April for about a week. Then, I will be back in Europe this September for 3 weeks. I plan on being out your way that time. More details to follow! Oh, by the way...POLO!

Rik said...

Awesome dude, hopefully we'll still be here (job is up in the air right now).

You know, I contemplated doing a series of blog entries dedicated t osome of our "adventures", but I think most of them are better left alone, LOL...

PS, Frick says hi