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  • Writer's pictureRuss Newton

A Friend I haven't seen in 40+ years!

John LaBreche

John LaBreche stopped by yesterday for dinner and conversation. I met John at the home of Steve Nashold back in 1976. He went to Edgewood High School, the rest of us went to Lafollette. The Nashold's house was a "safe" space for a group of us teenagers. Not that we came from unsafe homes, but a home we felt welcome in. The house was usually in a state of controlled chaos and revolved around the mother of Steve, Julie. She was always perched at a kitchen chair at the head of the stairs, with a cigarette in her hand and always willing to talk with a teenager. She was wickedly intelligent and was willing to chat with us about anything in depth. She guided many of us in our path to adulthood, not just her brood of five children. But back to John. We played soccer together after high school in a city league that had sprung up for a couple of years before I begin my path to my career by moving to Washington DC. John is very much in touch with his empathic side of his personality so it was a touching moment for him. I understood it, my diagnoses hits pretty hard the first time someone hears about it. But we had a good time. I made him my locally famous lasagna and he said he enjoyed it. And we caught up on the past 40 years as well. Hard to believe it but I felt like I dominated the conversation. Next time I will be silent and listen to John more! But it was nice to see him again. He lives pretty close by and was willing to help me in any way he can.

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