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Strangers throughout life, yet growing together.

I’ve lived in the same house my entire life, all 21 and a half years. I live down the street from my junior high school. Park Junior High contains a quarter mile track and field, basketball courts, and two tennis courts. I was into athletics as a kid so I often ventured to the school to run, play tennis or basketball.

As far back as I could remember, there was always an elderly man in a Santa beard who sat on the track and played catch with his Golden Retriever. He was often accompanied by other people with their own dogs. Although those friends or family members were often substituted by other people, the bearded man always remained.

I cancelled my gym membership a couple months ago, so my only means of exercise would be outdoors on my own. Thus my junior high school, all but two minutes within walking distance, provides a medium for me to get my heart rate up and my swole on. Well can you believe it; the gentleman is still there with a young looking Golden Retriever.

I might have confused him with another elderly folk because his dog was definitely younger and his fur lighter. But there exists the possibility of him having a new dog… it’s been a decade and a half since I’ve seen him, after all. Needless to say, he was with a couple other folks one time, and they sat in the exact same spot throwing the balls and watching their dogs retrieve it. A sight indeed.

I’ve never once said hi to them; I’ve never once said hi to him. We’ve been strangers throughout my life, yet I grew up with him. I’ve never introduced myself to him, and perhaps I never will. But the thought of him seeing me grow and physically change as a person is heartwarming.

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