Every once in a while, I like to turn the tables and interview the interviewer on this podcast series. So I did when I interviewed Jordan Rich on depression, and here we are again on friendship, another universal subject. Naturally Shakespeare had it right when he opined in 1 Henry VI that, “Thy friendship makes us fresh, and begets new courage in our breasts.” I would not now be a podcaster had not Jordan said to me I could be a podcaster. So, preparing to do some podcasts with Jordan, I told him I had a “surprise “in store, not to be revealed until we got together so spontaneity would be preserved. As we faced each other to start the show I told Jordan that today I would interview him about friendship, starting with “What is friendship?” Not to spoil your listening, Jordan knocked that one out of the park. So too did he on. “What are the benefits of friendship, including health?” I made the questions tougher as we went along.
I suppose it is fair to drop a few hints to Jordan’s answers and my remarks. He agreed that Arthur Fiedler was a curmudgeon, but unlike many, one with friends. We thought many young loners are the killers who stalk our society. We agreed good friends can be apart for many years and pick up where they left off. In that vein, Jordan jokingly spoke of Sherm Feller, Red Sox PA announcer from 1967 to 1992, who would start off each new season with, “As I was saying….”. Jordan opined that, “There is always room for more friends, quoting homegrown philosopher Yogi Barra’s remark that, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.””
You might ask, ‘Which friends are closer, those in or out of your own family? ‘ Or, ‘Should one tell a friend, or anyone, all one’s secret thoughts?’ Or this universal one, ‘Describe friendship in marriage between husband and wife, and a father and his children?’ Jordan comes from a large family himself, has both children and grandchildren, and lots to say in reply. He says one of the nicest things to do is to read to his seven-year-old granddaughter. I said how much I like relating to kids, and talking to them in their vernacular as people. Jordan agreed, remarking the child then relates better to the elder.
It just may be that you will pick up some neat thoughts about all kinds of friendship listening to this podcast. We got pretty serious talking about race. Jordan says the only thing that matters to him is the character of the person. He tells of the wide mixture of race, ethnic background, language, education, financial status, what have you, among the tenants and staff at the building in Boston where he resides, and how all coexist as one happy family. He wisely opines that no one is entirely free of prejudice, or pre-judging, as he puts it. He says race should not make a difference, but it does. I believe Jordan’s way, with which I wholeheartedly agree, reduces the incidence of racial differences to close to zero.
Perhaps the best answer was Jordan’s last, his description of his long friendship since college and business partnership between himself, a Jew, and Ken Carberry, an Irishman. They split everything 50/50 no matter who brings it in, never have had a real fight. Jordan adds, “I would go to the ends of the earth for Ken.” Wow, what a union!
Jordan and I end by talking of our own ripening friendship. There is that and lots more to hear on this long podcast told seriously and humorously about a facet going back to man’s first days.
People, Always People