A group of 70 something Black men have stayed friends over the years after meeting in Kindergarten at Garfield Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The group began with ten boys in 1946. Although three members have since passed away, seven still keep in contact Arrington Dixon, 77, Hudie Fleming, 79, Ronald Chase, 77, William Hutchins, 79, Orlando Lee, 78, James Strickland, 79, and Norman Thomas, 79 according to Because Them We Can.
In 1988, after the men who enlisted in the military returned home, they decided to meet together every month on the second Thursday. Now 31 years later the men still meet and have fellowship every second Thursday of each month. In a recent meeting, the men were surprised by the son of one of their members Bill Lee.
“This day and age we’re more connected through social media but not as much through neighborhoods. Most of us don’t know our neighbors or the people around us. We’re connected but we’re not really connected. We have a lot of surface relationships. But I think it’s important for us to understand friends and the importance of the village. I’ve known these guys all my life. They’ve been at all the gatherings. They’re not just tight with my father they’re tight with my family,” Bill Lee told the news website.
“We wanted to have some cohesiveness as a group. See what things we could do together to help the community and each other,” Lee added. The men realized together, they can make a difference.
“We started career days. We had doctors, policeman and nurses going back and trying to better that school,” Lee said