‘You have to be a friend to make a friend’

Published 6:59 pm Monday, October 8, 2018

Have you ever wondered how friendships are created and sustained? Growing up in Washington afforded me the opportunity to explore this question. It is something that I have thought about regularly and more often since writing these articles.

While working out recently with my cousin, Riley Roberson, I asked him how our friendship evolved even with a slight difference in our age. Riley, who is loved by everyone, just looked up at me and said, “Times change and so do situations in life.” Such a wise answer and one that I was not expecting.

Since moving back home more than 12 years ago, he and I have shared many experiences and our friendship has grown. His beautiful wife, Olivia, and my wife, Tracey, have become good friends. As their friendship grew, Riley and I have become more than just cousins — friends.

Riley was a three-sport letterman at Washington High School and one of the first conference champion golfers. Much of our discussions evolve around the 1963 football team that was one of the best in the 1960s. Names like Charlie Alligood, William Neil Martin, Billy Talley, Frankie Briley, Jimmie Buck, Mike Moore and Leon Mason, to name only a few, were members of that team. They were big before size made a difference and had to play both sides of the ball.

This class was four years ahead of my class but, still, friendships were made … Charlie Alligood and Mike Moore have become good friends even though we do not see one another as much as we wish. Charlie and I have breakfast together at least twice a week, if he and Jimmie are not fishing.

True friendships that are made will never fade away. Within my class (1967) are some of the best people on the planet, and their friendships are something I never want to lose! Their friendship has passed the test of time and is something that cannot be bought! I want them in my foxhole if the bullets start to fly.

This is the uniqueness that Washington provides, and making friends in our small town is never hard. Everyone is friendly and willing to be a friend. Like Riley, who is more than a cousin, now a trusted friend who was telling me, “You have to be a friend to make a friend and in Washington that is not hard.” We all have a Riley Roberson in our life, and I am thankful for him and all my friends!!

The best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places — Washington, NC.

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.