Sunday, March 27, 2005

Mon Cousin


I've always been a guy who cherishes his friends and family above all else. The two most important things in my life are my friends and my family. I never feel more secure or more at ease than when I am with a group of friends and/or family.

This may be why then, that one of my favorite people in the world is my second-cousin and close friend Scott Paul Sonnier.

My grandfather Edward Sonnier had six brothers, one of whom was a man by the name of Alden Sonnier. Alden and Edward grew up, married and each had children of his own. One of Edward's children of course was my father, Steven Colligan Sonnier. Born around the same time as my father was Alden's son Alden, Jr., otherwise known as Aldie.

My father and my uncle Aldie were lucky enough to grow up together, living right next door to each other in a small Louisiana town. Some of the stories that I've heard of the two of them hanging out and getting in trouble together are among my favorite stories of all time.

Eventually though they too grew up, married and had children of their own. My cousin Scott and I were born only about two and half months apart, and have been best friends pretty much since then. As an added bonus, Scott and I both have younger brothers who are also the same age. So as you can see, a tradition has begun in the last three generations of my family for two sons who have grown up together to also have sons around the same time, who will also grow to become friends and continue the tradition.

Unfortunately for Scott and I, we did not grow up living next door to each other, but rather in separate towns about 30 or so miles apart. Despite the distance, we hung out together a lot while we were growing up. Strangely, we always seemed to mix about as well as oil and water. Anytime Scott came to my house or I went to his, somebody wound up getting hurt or something got badly broken. One time when we were around 10 or 11 years old, I guess, Scott and I were playing with this rope that was hanging from a chicken tree in my back yard. It was an orange and yellow nylon rope which had a large steel hook at the end of it, and it was hung from one of the low-hanging branches in the tree. We were standing about ten feet apart from one another, swinging the hook back and forth between us. This went on for a good while, until suddenly Scott got the urge to throw the rope with pretty much all of his might. I guess I wasn't expecting the hook to be coming at me so fast, because I missed when I tried to catch it, and it hit right in the middle of my forehead. Of course I passed out for while, but when I came to, we ate some bar-b-que together and went on playing for the rest of the afternoon.

Not that Scott was the only one who could wreak some havoc. Any time I went over to his house to spend the night, I always ended up breaking one of his toys on accident. No matter how careful I tried to be, I always managed to break something, whether it was the arm of a Ninja Turtle, the head of Luke Skywalker, or Optimus Prime's trailer.

Now we've grown up and for the time being we don't live anywhere near each other; with me still back in Louisiana and he up in the Pacific Northwest. No matter where we live, we've always remained great friends and have never really lost touch.

I am sure that one day though, we will live in the same town, and we will be found sitting out in the yard calling each other "Tex" over a couple of beers with our own sons running around enjoying the friendship, the gift that this tradition has given us. I think we owe them that much.