Growing Up In Waterford, PA


Lunch with Bill
by the late Herb Walden

Fort LeBoeuf Class of 1956

I have known Bill Canfield since he was Billy and I was Herbie. And while most of you who know him may think first of his athletic ability, I tend to think initially of a crazy kid with a bottomless stomach!

One day, I gave Bill a ride home after school. He asked me to "C'mon up and have a sandwich." Now, I'm not a big eater. A candy bar after school was enough to last me until supper. A sandwich was the furthest thing from my mind.

But I couldn't turn down that invitation. In my eyes, Bill had attained the status of one of those few-and-far-between high school celebrities. And he was asking me to come up for a sandwich! Me! Mr. Nobody! Goodnight! He might as well have been someone like John Wayne! And you don't tell John Wayne you're not hungry when he thinks you are!

So, up I went. I sat down in the kitchen while Bill gathered the "fixin's." It was a struggle, but I did manage to get down a baloney sandwich. I don't remember how many Bill put away. Anyway, I was full. I mean Thanksgiving Day full! After all, I had just eaten lunch a couple of hours ago. So had Bill, but that didn't seem to make any difference to him.

I thought I'd done well until Bill poured us each a glass of milk. You know those iced tea glasses? The big ones? The ones that look like they might hold two gallons? Well, the glasses Bill set out were like those. Only Bigger! I had never seen that much milk in one place at one time! And I practically grew up in a grocery store!

Bill drank his milk as though it were in a shot glass. I worked at mine for a half hour or so. I finally got it down, but I really don't know where it went. I'm sure my entire gastro-intestinal tract was filled to capacity before I saw the bottom of the glass, (a sight more thrilling than anything I've seen since).

I thanked Bill and sloshed down the stairs before he offered dessert. Chances are that would have been a couple of pies and another glass of milk!

I was in a state of blot for a while thereafter. I am afraid that it might be permanent, but I started to return to normal after a couple of days. But it was worth the discomfort, because I got to have lunch with a celebrity!

So if you're reading this, Bill, please stop by if your ever in the Albion area. We'll have a glass of milk for old time's sake. I personally know a cow who lives nearby!

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