I check my phone voice messages infrequently because most of them don’t require answering. They either aren’t for me or have something to sell I don’t need or a vote for somebody I don’t know. So last week when I cleaned off all the messages I got an amazing voice mail. “Hi this is Ron LaRuffa, how the hell are you after all these years. I’m living in Melbourne, Hon what is our number here……..?”

I hadn’t seen Ron in maybe 25 years, possibly more and the last time I saw him was a rainy day in Florida in his apartment with his girl friend. We were in the Marines together and had lost contact until he tracked me down somehow at that time. He is originally from Brooklyn and when we were young we had some wonderful fun times together. I served most of my military time in the reserves in Brooklyn as a Morse code radio operator, nothing very glamorous or dangerous although Brooklyn in those days was no picnic.

One of the few benefits about getting older is that you can be surprised and pleased by a phone call like the one I received. The last I heard from him, I think Ron was working at a Home Depot maybe in Fort Lauderdale. He had worked for construction contractors when he had lived in Brooklyn.

Here is the back and forth emails with some edits.

ME- “just got around to a bunch of phone messages and I was surprised and happy to hear from you. Last time I saw you was on a rainy day in FL. I think you were married to a Russian girl or at least going out with her. How ….did you wind up in Melbourne???
Are you living there or just visiting.
give me a complete update. I’m still a working stiff, Otherwise health ok just getting older and balder each year!
Best- PK

RON-Hey Pete,
Glad I kept your phone number all these years, happy to hear you’re alive and kickin. That Russian girl you met is not a Russian she’s an Israeli and we’ve been married for over 20 years and been living in Melbourne for over 16 years, we have 4 sons between us and three grand children. I just paid over 60 bucks to see you which include the pop corn (I remember when I could see you for free). I’m still working and completely bald and lie about my age. ( I look 55 maybe 56) Melbourne is a great place to live, come down for a visit and I’ll show you all the sights
G’Day Mate, Ronnie

What more fun than finding an old friend you thought had completely disappeared off the face of the earth. It’s that internet that does it every time.

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