Summertime was the happiest time. There was no air conditioning and in the southwest corner of Oklahoma, summer was hot. Yet, I don’t remember being hot. Dougie Hill and I were pretty much best friends. We spent the summer looking for four-leaf clovers. Something about finding a four-leaf clover in the cool green patch of my backyard yielded a feeling that the world was an exciting place and needed lots of exploring. With each hunt for a lucky clover we might discover fortune and a new adventure would lie ahead. Summer ended though. Dougie started school and I had to make my own way. I had to wait another year.
When I visited the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. years later I found him. There was his name, Douglas W. Hill, age 20, killed in action July 21, 1967. He had been medic and on that day his unit had been ambushed. Our childhood adventures and soulful connection, though, couldn’t be diminished with his early death. The cool clover patch, the thrill of our elusive quest, the hunt for something hard to find — that was true friendship and I would not let that go. Life can begin again and again and I decided one thing, a way to honor my friend. I would always seek new horizons.