A highly personal and moving true story of friend ' ship and remembrance from the New York Times bestselling author of Duty and Be True to Your School
Growing up in Bexley, Ohio, population 13,000, Bob Greene and his four best friends ' Allen, Chuck, Dan, and Jack ' were inseparable. Of the four, Jack was Bob ' s very best friend, a bond forged from the moment they met on the first day of kindergarten. They grew up together, got into trouble together, learned about life together ' and were ultimately separated by time and distance, as all adults are. But through the years Bob and Jack stayed close, holding on to the friendship that had formed years before.
Then the fateful call came: Jack was dying. And in this hour of need, as the closest of friends will do, Bob, Allen, Chuck, and Dan put aside the demands of their own lives, came together, and saw Jack through to the end of his journey.
Tremendously moving, funny, heart ' stirring, and honest, And You Know You Should Be Glad is an uplifting exploration of the power of friendship to uphold us, sustain us, and ultimately set us free.
Friends from kindergarten means friends forever, so when he discovers that his old buddy Jack is dying, Greene drops everything, rallies the rest of their gang, and sees him through to the end. With a four-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 31, 2006
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Excerpt from And You Know You Should Be Glad by Bob Greene
WE WALKED SLOWLY TO AUDIE MURPHY Hill.
It's at the corner of Ardmore and Elmýthe north edge of the small front lawn at 228 South Ardmore. HeýJackýused to live in that house, when we first became best friends. We were five then; we were fifty-seven now, standing next to the lawn, next to Audie Murphy Hill.
"It seemed so steep," I said to him.
"Well, we were little," he said.
This was toward the endýthere would not be many more of these walks for us, the months leading up to today had taken their tollýbut every time I came back home to see him, we made the walk. He wanted to.
The slope hardly rises at allýit's not really a hill, at least in the eyes of grown men. But in those years when he and I first knew each otherýthe years just after World War II, the years during which the fathers of the families in the town had come home from Europe and the Pacific, had bought houses on streets like this one, had started to settle back into life during peacetimeýit had felt to us like something out of Italy or North Africa. We would charge up that slopeýup that placid piece of grass on that safe Ohio street in a town where only 13,000 people livedýand, sticks in hand, sticks standing in for rifles, we would pretend that we were Audie Murphy. The most decorated combat soldier of the Second World War.
"Maybe the new owners of the house leveled off the lawn," I said to him now.
"No," he said. "This is how it was. It just felt steeper."
We were still on the sidewalk. I was trying to see what was in his eyes, without him knowing I was looking. Fat chance. He always noticed everything.