When I climbed on my first school bus for kindergarten, the driver told me not to worry because there was a red-head aboard. Jeff Tichy then popped his face over the seat. He had loads more freckles than teeth, “Guess what?” he asked. Before I responded he said, “Chicken guts,” and inverted his tongue to show its vein ridden underside. Tichy was a multi-tasker too. In the Minnesota winter he shoved most anything up underneath his standard issue black hat. Pencils, hotwheels and playing cards would stick out from underneath. With his head warm and his treasures safe, he would stare anyone down who thought perhaps he should use his pockets.
My bus driver was right. Everything was indeed better with Tichy along for the ride. I taught my oldest the Ways of Tichy. Chicken Guts. Multi-tasking. Staring Down People Who Don’t Get You. Duke asked me last night, “Where is this guy? Chicken guts are a great way to tell if a girl is cool or not.”
I’ve been trying to teach my kids not only to say thank you, but to say thank you to a person. For example, rather than taking a delivery, slamming the door on the postman and shouting thank you to the floor. I ask that the kids say thank you to the postman and then shut the door. I’m hoping that this note somehow finds its way to Jeff Tichy from St. Cloud. I’d like to say thanks to him for being my first friend.