If this was a fictional story, it would make a good move. The fact that it is true makes it even better.

Wayne and I met at the Marine Barracks at Naval Station San Diego in 1971. We became fast friends even though he made every attempt to scare the pants off of me in his silver 240 Z, one of the first ones sold in the US.

In 1975 he enticed me to return to San Diego to attend Western State College of Law and tried to get me hired at Food Basket as a stock clerk. It didn’t work out but my first wife Marlene and I lived with him and Shari while we went to law school for a while. When I realized that I couldn’t stand being a lawyer, I moved back to Chicago with Rachael and lost track of them for 34 years.

He found me on Facebook in 2009 and we learned that for thirty years, I was looking for him on the East Coast and he was looking for me in Chicago and that we both lived in California during that time. I tried to get up to see him for the last half of the year and finally made it on June 25th of 2010. He was being ordained as a Presbyterian Pastor in what I call “Kempton 5.0” his newest incarnation.

These are the photos from the weekend. It was as if I had not left and 34 years had not passed. It was extraordinary and very emotionally satisfying.


Wayne has a neat license plate that tells all the kids names because he is a very proud Grandpa. It takes one to know one.