1928 - Alderson High School - 1968




Alex McLaughlin - August 16, 2012

I once had a close friend and his name was Rick Hughes. We grew up together played ball, and went to college together. Back in the 1950's I rescued Rick and Darrel Light from sure jail time for their misdeeds at Elvin Keadles' Esso station. When he went to Mexico a few years ago. I was prepared to send out a rescue party if he got lost or got in trouble. A normal friend would have appreciated all of this. But not Rick.

I spoke with him just this past week and he encouraged me to eat a lot and sit around. At first I thought he was being a friend and then I realized it was almost time for the Labor Day race once again. This former friend who I had done so much for was throwing our friendship under the bus to gain a small advantage in the Charleston Labor Day 5 K race. Last year at this race I suffered the humiliation of winning the race for our age group as a woman. How much more can one man take? My greatest friend turning on me to win a single running race and the race officials trying to pass me off as a female. Was there no end to this?
I know there are those who say that I may have tied his shoes together in the races and that I might have misled him on the starting time and the routes of some of the races. While that may be true I have suffered greater indignation and humiliation from things such as tripping me and trying to get me to eat more and not train.

I have decided that I will no longer turn the other cheek. I will do like the politician who has no record and no ideas to make things better. He simply calls his opponent names. Well I started out with all the names I could think of until I found the one that would cause Rick the most distress.
(1) Rick Hughes late for dinner. No one would believe that and Rick would probably think that was a badge of honor.
(2) Rick Hughes the scalawag. I don't really know what a scalawag is. So I am not comfortable calling him a scalawag.
(3) Rick Hughes the communist. Again no one would believe this one.
(4) Rick Hughes the slowpoke runner. This would probably cause some distress but at our age we are all slowpoke runners.

(5) Rick Hughes the world traveler Rick gallivants all over to Mexico, Panama, New York. He probably supports the United Nations. But a lot of people would like to go to those places. So that is probably not really calling him a name.

(6) Rick Hughes the female runner. Now there was a time that would have been like a dagger in the heart. But last year for a short period I was a female runner and it wasn't so bad at all.
(7) Bingo. And then it hit me like a 2 by 4 up against the head. Rick Hughes the democrat. What other name would cause Rick more distress? Rick Is really a closet Democrat who has pictures of President Obama and Vice president Biden in every room in his house. Yes Rick Hughes the successful businessman and defender of capitalism and freedom is really a liberal left wing democrat. I would appreciate it if you ever see Rick passing by in a race or in any other situation that you would tell those that are standing with you, "he's a democrat. 

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