Missing A Great Greek Islands Travel Partner
I lost a friend the other day.
I don’t know the details except to say suddenly he was gone. I had not seen or talked with him in a while – perhaps a year – or really hung out with him for several years. But that’s the thing about life: you always expect someone you know to be there whenever you decide to call or see them again.
Unfortunately, tho, that’s not the case.
Upon hearing the sad news, at first I was kind of stunned. My thoughts raced immediately to him – Bob Laskowski – smiling and laughing in our prime hangout days. Bob had a distinctive “ha ha ha” staccato laugh and when he got excited about something the pitch of his voice would rise almost to that of him sounding like a girl.
As I started recalling those memories, and sharing a few with a mutual friend, my sadness went away and I – and we, actually – started laughing. We had some fun times with good ‘ol Bob and holding back those moments was as impossible as trying to stop waves from coming onto the shore.
My most vivid memories of Bob were of us taking the city’s beach volleyball classes in Manhattan Beach, of piling into our non-drinking friend’s car on Friday and Saturday nights to go to the dizzying number of weekend house parties and traveling together, especially of going to the Greek Islands.
It was in Greece where Bob’s true personality came out; his eyes were forever wide open – the place is stunningly beautiful and meeting people is as easy as walking out the door – and we became regulars at places like Paradise Beach in Mykonos and theTwo Brothers Bar in Santorini, where we danced on the bar every night and met some really good friends, one of which invited us back to stay at the house her family owns on Santorini the next year.
We also rode mopeds all over the island of Santorini. It must be stated neither of us had ever been on anything with two wheels more powerful than a bicycle, but we acted as if we were Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider.”
Bob, a kind Midwesterner, was a nervous traveler. He was always afraid of missing a plane, a boat or some other type of transportation. He would tap his foot, pace and get jumpy until he was seated and on his way to a destination. That always made me chuckle.
To this day, I can’t help but think of Bob whenever I think of traveling in the Greek Islands.
As I write this – thinking of more memories and things we did together – I can hear his laugh providing a soundtrack to my typing. And that’s turning my sadness into laughs.
That’s the way Bob would prefer things anyway.
Cheers, Bob, it was great to know you.