“Now me and you, we’ve known each other
Yeah ever since we were sixteen”
“We liked the same music
We liked the same bands
We liked the same clothes
Yeah, we told each other that we were the wildest
The wildest things we’d ever seen”
“There ain’t nobody, no way, no how
That could ever understand me the way that you did”
“Maybe you’ll be out there on that road somewhere”
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
According to “The Rolling Stone Files” by Parke Puterbaugh, “Bobby Jean” is an ode to Bruce’s longtime friendship with Miami Steve Van Zandt. Here’s my attempt at a message about friendship to my longtime friend, Cheryl Ann.
“Now me and you, we’ve known each other, yeah ever since we were sixteen.”
For the sake of my reflection, a slight edit is necessary. Cheryl and I have known each other ever since we were five. We met in kindergarten in September of 1977. We were drawn to each other…a bond similar to that of a magnetic force. From 1977 until 1986, that’s kindergarten through eighth grade, we wanted to spend every possible moment together. Throughout those formative years, we built a special relationship. It was one of trust, loyalty, concern, affection, and respect. We both wanted the best for each other. We always had each others back. Often times, words weren’t necessary. We were so synchronized. Cheryl and I didn’t have siblings. We didn’t need them because we had each other. And we never had a fight!
““We liked the same music, we liked the same bands,we liked the same clothes. Yeah, we told each other that we were the wildest, the wildest things we’d ever seen”
Whether at a CYO dance, roller skating party, or on a class trip, we were stuck together like glue. We gave meaning to BFF long before it was popular. BFF was our way of signing those hundreds of notes (and yes, we passed them around during class…oops)! We really did like the same music, same bands, and same clothes. And, even during those gawky years of 11 through 14, we thought we were the wildest and not to mention, hot stuff despite wearing those awkward Catholic school uniforms.
Unfortunately, after our eighth grade graduation, Cheryl and I were pulled in different directions. We attended different High Schools and Cheryl moved out of town. It was heartbreaking and sad. She was always on my mind though and I often wondered what was going on in her life. Cheryl was very much part of me and growing up. Her friendship truly touched me.
“Maybe you’ll be out there on that road somewhere.”
Grade School Reunion, December 2009. Thanks to the age of Facebook, a reunion was in the works. However, I wasn’t so in the loop. I wasn’t on Facebook at the time and I no longer lived in my childhood area. When I found out about the reunion, I really wanted to drive down to New Jersey for it but I had a family commitment and scheduling conflict. I was so upset. Honestly, Cheryl was the only person I was dying to see again! Thankfully, fate intervened. My plans changed at the last minute and I found myself driving to New Jersey the day of the reunion. Cheryl was “out there on that road somewhere” and we were meant to reconnect.
The moment Cheryl and I saw each other, we embraced and picked up right where we left off. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t seen each other in 23 years. It seemed like only 23 seconds elapsed. The time apart didn’t matter. The magnetic force never lost its power. It just hit the pause button.
“There ain’t nobody, no way, no how, that could ever understand me the way that you did.”
I have such a deep appreciation for our friendship. Cheryl is a best friend for life. Cheryl Ann is my “Bobby Jean,” because she’s genuine. She accepts my good as well as my bad qualities. She’s always there for me. I’m thankful and lucky to have her in my life.
Cheryl Ann… “There ain’t nobody, no way, no how, that could ever understand me that way that you did”… and always will…Love you, my friend!