Copyright © Bruce A. Holt. All Rights Reserved. (Comments are welcome!)
Before I continue with the move back to Utah, I have a little more to say about my time in the Chicago area.
I was not popular in high school but, then again, I was not exactly unpopular either. I was a bit of a geek but made friends with those who were also a bit geeky and, maybe because I participated in football my freshman year and was injured, I got to be friends with a few others.
Ronnie Davis, Bob Manley, and another (name withheld), who ended up being my best friend in high school, were a core that I hung around with until Bob moved. I collected a few others here and there. I found a few more after high school who were not part of the crowd I ran with and they remain good friends today. I was able to see a few in October 2017 at an All Years Reunion in Lisle, Illinois. I thoroughly enjoyed that trip! These friends are people whose friendship I will cherish for life.
I am still in touch with my best friend from those days. He, however, found the courage to be the person that was always inside, hidden. He is now a transgender she and we remain very good friends. My wife has taken the place of my best friend but I am pleased I still have that friend from the past who is becoming, day by day, more of the person she was meant to be, against all the prejudice still in existence today.
The Church became a more solid party of my life in Lisle. I grew in responsibility in the Aaronic Priesthood. I made several Church friends, too. I learned to keep the two worlds apart. I learned to keep things hidden when people would not understand them because they belonged to a different part of my world. This “skill” was used later as I learned more and more about Joseph Smith, Jr. and the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I began piling up a heavy load on my mental “shelf” (a term used by many former Church members to describe setting aside uncomfortable issues to be dealt with later, even until the afterlife).