What's the longest you've ever been friends with anyone?

My friend Justin and I first met on West 31st Street in Cheyenne more than 50 years ago and we got to hang out and talk about the old times over the weekend.

When we first moved to Cheyenne I was 4 years old and it was comforting to have a kid my same age living across the street. Well, he was a year ahead in school and was a little older but he knew the neighborhood. Back then, we called him Chris Olsen, going by his middle name until he got brave enough to use his real name.

Justin says he thinks we grew up in an ideal time and place. In the early 1960's, Cheyenne did seem like a near perfect little city. There were still lots of small Mom and Pop shops like The Bungalow over by Pioneer Park School and Griff's Burgers on Snyder & Pershing. And there were plenty of open fields with holes to dig in and a tree where we tried to build a tree house. It could have been our own Mayberry.

When we would play in the basement, we liked to pretend we were announcers and record ourselves on the cassette recorder. I'd be interviewing Justin on the Weird World of Sports and he'd pretend to be a penguin fisherman. We had bunches of fun, and it might have prepared us to be in the entertainment world.

In high school, we went our separate ways and as I got into theater, Justin was learning about music. He was part of the Central High Band cleaning up the Cheyenne Frontier Days stall when the Thunderbird crashed at Frontier Park in 1977.

Justin Olsen used to play horrible notes on his trumpet from the upstairs window across the street when he was just starting out, but all that practicing paid off. He became a member of the elite Casper Troopers and went on to play with the First Class Band and Mister Coffee & The Grounds for Divorce.

After taking Radiology courses at Laramie County Community College, Justin became a contract worker taking X-rays in hospitals across the country. He now works in a level one Trauma Center at a hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

After knowing someone over 50 years, there sure are lots of 'Glory Days' to reminisce about. Are you having any reunions this summer?

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