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Cam Marston on An Old Friend Coming to Visit

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A friend from college visits tomorrow night. He’s on his way through Mobile and I can’t wait to see him. He’s sold his Houston home in this ridiculous real estate market and is sitting on the proceeds until the market gets back to normal. He’s bought some sort of four-wheel drive Mercedes RV custom manufactured by a company called Jayco. He and his beagle are off to see the world, working from the road, living in his RV. I’ve offered him a bedroom, but he said No, Thank You, he prefers his new mobile bedroom. He just needs a level spot in my driveway. He will, however, he said, partake in some of my whiskey.

After catching up on friends and family and business and such, we’ll probably start telling and retelling the college stories that we share. The same ones we’ve told many times before. They’re now over thirty years old and have been embellished many times over the years. These stories left the truth behind many years ago and now boarder on the supernatural. And tomorrow night, we’ll add to them. We’ll probably laugh until our eyes water, like we’ve done in the past, but it’s been a long time since we last did it.

Every now and again I’ll launch into a college story in front of my children. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. They’ll stare at me, wondering how I have the gall to discipline them for missing curfew if I used to do things like that back in the day. Well, it’s because of these things I did back in the day that I have the gall to discipline for missing curfew. I know too much.

My oldest child is a freshman at Ole Miss. She listens to these stories and maybe wonders why things like this aren’t happening to her in college. First, my college experience was in New Orleans, a city which lends itself to sensational experiences. Second, I’m not sure people can get away with that stuff anymore. They’d be reported to someone, and it wouldn’t be good. And, frankly, I don’t want my kids doing the things that I did in college. I was foolish and dangerous and reckless, and my friends and I and all our college crowd are lucky just to be here. Maybe kids today do that type of stuff, maybe they don’t. Maybe they do and my daughter doesn’t tell me about it and, frankly, that’s what I’d prefer.

Either way, a wonderful old friend is coming to town tomorrow night, and I simply can’t wait to see him. We’ll trot out the old tales and we’ll add more chapters to the already sensationalized stories, and we’ll laugh and we’ll bend an elbow. I’ll try not to hug him more than once, but I’ll probably fail. And I’ll make sure my kids are well out of earshot as he and I settle in and get started.

I’m Cam Marston, and I’m just trying to Keep it Real.

Cam Marston is the Keepin' It Real host for Alabama Public Radio.