Unspoken Word
April 19, 2023
You May Not Know This Man. His Name is Hank Alpert.


I first met Hank when we were 6-years old at the Willets Road Elementary School in Roslyn Heights, NY. Because our last names started with letters in the beginning of the alphabet, we were always in the same homeroom class from first grade through 12th grade.

We became best friends, went to summer camp together, were teammates on the same varsity basketball team, double-dated and, basically, enjoyed a beautiful friendship until the age of 19. Then, we drifted apart.

His life went one way. Mine went another.

Three months ago, after 56 years of no contact, I received an email from him. Retired from a successful business as he was, his kids grown up, Hank was in a process that many people go through in their 70's -- looking back at their life and trying to understand what it was all about.

At one point, in his life review, he started thinking about his childhood and the people he grew up with that left some kind of impression on him. That's when he decided to call me.

We talked for two laughter-filled hours.

A few weeks later he drove from New York City to my home in Catskill, NY. It was as if no time passed. None. For five hours, we rewound the tape of our lives and marveled, remembering sweet moments I hadn't thought about in 56 years.

Hank expressed a lot of interest in my writing and asked me to send him the pre-publication manuscript of my new book of poetry, "Unspoken Word" -- which tickled me no end, especially since we had both been in the same 10th grade English class, with Ms. Kennedy.

So I emailed it to him. He read it. What he had to say is embedded on his photo above.

PS: What childhood friend of yours might it be time to connect with?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at April 19, 2023 08:11 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

“I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.”
— John Cage

Welcome to my new blog — brief ruminations on what it is that moves me (and maybe YOU, too). If any of my poems inspire you, please forward them to friends. Good muse travels fast. Or could, with your help.

About me.
Contact me.

My Books

© Mitch Ditkoff