I HAVE never had a lot of friends but the few I have had have been very good and loyal friends. I have always felt that it is better to have a few reliable friends then a lot of fair weather friends.
I met my very best friend Jim Poss when we were cabin mates at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN in 1994. Both of us had enrolled in blind sports. I have to be honest that I did not want to go to camp. Maple Lake was over 100 miles from home. I couldn't believe that my parents were making me do this. They were going to leave me there for a whole week. I was already in my cabin and my parents had left when Jim showed up. Jim was totally blind and was using a long white cane. I immediately offered to be his sighted guide. That was the start of a great friendship. Jim and I enjoyed being together and we hated to see the week end. When my parents came to get me I begged them to let me come back next summer. Jim has lived his whole life in Delano which is about 100 miles from Mankato. He was born July 31, 1982 so he was a year older then me. Like me, Jim has always been an avid computer user. We have enjoyed talking about computers and sharing our computer knowledge. We have been trying to call each other once a week and we exchange tapes and computer disks through the mail. We returned to Camp Courage in 1995 and 1996. We plan on being cabin mates again this summer.
During my years at Roosevelt Elementary school my best friend was Alexis Smith. She and I enjoyed talking to each other and hanging out together. Alexis never seemed to mind that I was blind. She was a good sighted guide and when we were in unfamiliar or crowded places she never ran off and left me stranded. Alexis moved when we were in fourth grade but we continued to remain friends and went on outings. One of our most fun outings was a trip with my parents to Valley Fair. Alexis really liked the Wave but I didn't like it. I didn't see what was so much fun about getting wet. Other places that Alexis and I have been together include the movies, birthday parties, picnics and to see a play at Mankato State University.
When I was a preschooler I had a baby sitter named Denise Jaeger. My mom would drop me off every day at Denise's house and she and I would spend our days together. Denise was legally blind like me so we really got along well. I have continued to stay in touch with Denise and now she is one of my good friends. She has a computer and often I go over her house and help her with installing programs or equipment. Recently I helped her get signed on with America On Line and we began corresponding by E-mail. Unfortunately, Denise's computer developed a virus. I spent an entire day at her house trying to locate the virus. I finally removed it but the virus had done some terrible damage making Denise's computer completely unusable.
I think that I am the type of person who will always remain a loyal and faithful friend. I am sure that I will continue to be a good friend to Jim, Alexis and Denise. I also feel that they are the type of friends that will continue to accept me as I am.
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