Another Groundhog’s Day has come and gone. This is a special time of year for me. The dates–February 1 and 2–have special significance. It was forty years (!) ago yesterday (Feb. 1) that Robert and I began living together. In 1974 we had already known one another for eight years. We became good friends long before we became “a couple.” That friendship was the dearest thing of my life. When we became lovers it was a natural extension of the bond between us, a bond that grew and grew. He was the love of my life.
Groundhog’s Day? Well, anyone who knew us in the 80s and 90s is aware that Groundhog’s Day was Robert’s favorite holiday. Each year he would memorialize the event by mailing Groundhog’s greetings to all our friends. Long before there was email there was snail mail. Robert would write the card–a rather esoteric report on the world at large– and I would edit it. Then it was off to the copy shop. One year we sent out close to 200 “Groundhog” cards. We would fold, stuff, lick and stamp the envelopes. I suppose we were able to produce a mailing list somehow. I think back to those days of eight inch floppy discs that actually flopped and could hold next to nothing in terms of data but they were “State-of-the-art” to us and we somehow made them work.
Today, Groundhog’s Day, I heard from several old friends who remembered those oddly charming cards. They are missed, just as Robert is missed.
So, in honor of all that, I present a picture of Franklin Fred. He showed himself back in November and I can’t recall if there was a shadow or not, just an anxious dog who wanted to chase that groundhog in the worst way. Groundhog’s Day was Robert’s favorite holiday because in February 1978 we were visited by two young folks from Arkansas, pot farmers visiting the nation’s capital. It was a bleak period in our lives. After fifteen months of legal access to federal marijuana the feds had managed to lure away Robert’s doctor and close down the program that provided him marijuana. The young couple had read about Robert’s dilemma and arrived in Washington with a substantial amount of prime Arkansas marijuana. In exchange for a place to stay Robert received a gift of medical marijuana that would carry him through the next couple of months–until his lawyers were able to re-instate Robert’s prescriptive access.
Those were incredible days. We were blessed with the gift that keeps on giving, the love of good friends. And that is what Groundhog’s Day means to me. Thank you all. ❧