Friend #172: Tory (and Dan)

Friend #172: Tory
Date and Location of Visit: Wednesday October 12, 2011, McAlister’s Deli, Republic, MO
Known from: High school marching band
Last seen: 1996-ish?

Memories of Tory: Tory was a good friend in high school.  We became friends when she started giving me rides home from school after band practice.  She was two years ahead of me, which could sometimes make a difference in high school, but it never did with us.  I always appreciated her matter-of-fact attitude and loyal friendship.

About our visit: I was thrilled to even get to see Tory and her husband Dan.  I had seen on Facebook that they were on vacation for two weeks in Florida, and I worried that I would miss them.  But they got into town the previous night and met me on their lunch break on the busiest day of their week in the midst of playing catch-up from having been away.  So our visit in Republic, Missouri outside of Springfield, was very efficient.

I got to meet Dan for the first time, though my parents actually went to Tory and Dan’s wedding.  He is a youth pastor at a church in Republic, and Tory works in the office.  Needless to say, they love what they do, and they also thoroughly appreciated their vacation.  We really didn’t waste any time catching up on life and our families (Tory’s parents were heavily involved in band, and I knew them well).  We talked about faith and spirituality and talked about their work with the youth.  They have a very solid community through their church, who have become their family in many ways.  After lunch, I got to see where they work, and then they had to get back to work.

We definitely needed more time, but I’m grateful for the time that we had.  And I still got glimpses of my matter-of-fact friend.  At one point, someone at the restaurant was getting Tory a refill on her beverage, unsweetened iced tea.  The woman called across the restaurant to ask what kind of tea, and I think before she even got the question out, Tory shouted, “UN!”  I started laughing because it was such a distinctly Tory moment.  And she looked at me and said, “Yep.  I’m still me.”

After my visit with Tory and Dan, I drove the 60 miles to Joplin to see how everything was going since the tornado.  I could not believe what I saw.  I got some video footage, which I’m trying to edit and will post.  Stay tuned.


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