Childhood Friends Reconnect


Many of us have a best friend while growing up. Sometimes that best friend remains close to us throughout our lives. Other times, situations change and we drift apart or lose track of that special person.

Last Saturday, I received a most unusual and heartwarming e-mail from Tom Peay, a gentleman who makes his home in Payson, Utah.

Tom wrote that for the past 30 years he had been searching for Allen Okander, his long, lost buddy. Tom and Allen were the best of friends while growing up in Santaquin, Utah, a tiny town just seven miles outside of Payson.

When they were young, the two boys spent all of their time together, playing baseball, riding bikes and hunting birds.

After high school, Allen left for nine years to work in Saudi Arabia. The two growing-up pals lost contact with each other after Allen’s return.

It was just this past weekend that Tom’s wife decided to do a “Google” search for Allen.

And guess what popped onto her computer screen when she entered Allen’s name? A link to my Feb. 26, 2010 music trivia column, which listed Tom’s wife, Charlie, as that week’s trivia winner — and mentioned her husband, Allen.

Since the e-mail from Tom, I have spoken with both “buddies.” They have chatted on the phone, discovered they still have a whole lot in common and a personal visit could be in the works.

It brings a big smile to my face just knowing how happy these old “best friends” feel right now.

Now, onto this week’s music trivia question. Can you name the singer who recorded the 1975 hit, “You’re My Best Friend”?

This artist, born May 27, 1939 in Floydada, Fla., is a country singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is a 2010 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

He grew up in Portland, Texas, and graduated in 1958 from Gregory-Portland High School. After seven years with the folk-pop group Pozo-Seco Singers, he began his solo career in 1971, primarily singing love songs and popular ballads.

He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1976 and voted the Country Music Association 1978 Male Vocalist of the Year. He acted in the movies “W.W. & The Dixie Dancekings” and “Smokey & The Bandit II.”

From 1972 to 1992, this amazing artist amassed 56 country hits, 17 of which topped out at No. 1, including “I Wouldn’t Want To Live If You Didn’t Love Me” (1974), “I Believe In You” (1980) and “You’re My Best Friend” (1975).

Is this smooth-singing country artist A) Don Williams, B) Ronnie Milsap, C) Glen Campbell or D) Simon Cowell?

This week, be caller number four with the correct answer and you’ll win two great prizes — a CD of this artist’s top hits and breakfast or lunch for two at Laura’s Small Café. Music and food — what a great combination!

Now, let’s see how we did with last week’s music trivia question, which was: Can you name the dynamic singer-dancer-actor who sang the 1962 hit “What Kind of Fool am I?”

Was this gifted entertainer and former “Rat Pack” member A) Frank Sinatra, B) Dean Martin, C) Sammy Davis Jr. or D) Ken Brooks?

The correct answer was Sammy Davis Jr.

Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra were also Rat Pack members and highly popular recording artists of the time. Ken Brooks is a local Payson dignitary, radio personality and the chairman of last week’s “Best of the Big Band Sounds” concert.

Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Bob Chasse, who won two complimentary tickets to last Sunday’s concert, presented by the Sonoran Swing Band.

Unfortunately, Bob was unavailable to attend the concert. He later told me that his wife, Kay, was more than delighted to go with a friend and ended up having a wonderful time — even without him along. Imagine that!

Lastly, wasn’t that a great Beeline Cruise-In Car Show last Saturday? The weather was perfect. The attendance was great. The cars were dazzling. And Green Valley Park never looked more beautiful!

Have a great week, everyone.

DJ Craig

Phone: 468-1482


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