Men remain strong friends after 55 years Featured

menBest friends of over 55 years reunited at the home of James Williams. They are Samuel Fontaine, James Williams, Roosevelt Broome, Jr., James Webb, Harold Brown, Carl Perry, Lee Carter, Nemiah Wolfe, and Robert Earl Brown.

"Every time you meet a friend, it's a different world," said Robert Earl Brown.

A group of men from East Side High School, class of 1962, celebrated over 55 years of friendship Tuesday afternoon at the home of James Williams.

The group got together and reminisced on some of their fondest memories from childhood, high school and when they became adults.

Their friendship began at the Cleveland Colored-Consolidated School, known today as H.M. Nailor Elementary School.

After graduating, many of them moved away and began their careers and families in other states.

"We all put up a sail and the wind blew each of our sails, and we went our different ways in life, and now here we are today, have come back here together for just an occasion to encourage one of our own and each other," Brown said.

A few years ago Williams was diagnosed with lung cancer, his cancer eventually went away, but Robert along with other friends wanted to have a reunion and also be there for Williams.

Williams said, "I just felt it was time for all of us to get together again, and since I had been battling lung cancer, they just wanted to come and spend the day with me."

Close friend Carl Perry said being back together is amazing and a blessing from God.

"A lot of people can't stay friends as long as we have. We have always kept in touch with each other, and for us to be together and talk about the good old days is just a blessing," Perry said.

Perry also said to see his good friend Williams doing well just made the day more special.

The group, Williams, Brown, Harold Brown, Roosevelt Broome Jr., James Webb, Samuel Fontaine, Nemiah Wolfe, and Lee Carter, all agreed that being together was a special day for them.

"Who knows when we'll see each other again after this," Webb joked.

All of the men are now retired and two traveled from St. Louis and one from Chicago.

Carter from Chicago said he was happy when Williams wanted to bring everyone together back again.

Carter said, "It's been a long time since I done seen everyone together so to be here today is just a good ole day for me."

Fontaine, who taught for the West Bolivar Consolidated School District for 34 years, said it felt good to be surrounded by a group of successful men in a positive atmosphere.

"We all go back so far, I could write a whole book. We grew up around each other and been friends for a long time, from going to Nailor and on over to East Side," said Broome, retiree from Signode Steel Strapping Company in Bridgeview, IL.

Robert along with the others said there is so many things he wishes could share about his friendship with each and every one of the men who were in the room.

"It's just a good day, and we are all just here today to encourage our good friend James and to just encourage one another," Robert said.

Robert remembers his dollar coin necklace Harold gave him in 1962 right after graduation.

"It is 2017 now, and I'm still wearing it, I've wore this for years, and it's a treasure for me because he gave it to me," said Robert.

Robert joked that every time he and Harold saw each, Harold would try and take his necklace back.

Williams said he remembers when Harold gave Robert the necklace.

"Life now is so good as if we were young again. No worries. No cares. No nothing," Harold said, laughing.

"We're here and thankful just to know we're still here, and we still answer to our name. We know who we are. We might not be jumping as high or running as fast, but we still can walk!" said Robert.

Robert said, "We've shared this brotherhood for many years, and it's a blessing just to be here."

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