There has never been an easier or more convenient way to get into trouble than to hang out with your best buddy. I have plenty of friends, and have had through the years, but there’s always that one pal you click with. For me, that guy shares the same name (though shortened) and interests.

And that, dear readers, is a recipe for trouble.

I met Rod in 1990. I was working at my college job and had my new motorcycle parked out front. In walks this guy asking a bunch of questions about my bike and with good reason as he had bought the same bike. So, I just met this guy but we share the same name, bike and small-town background. Interesting.

We have been friends ever since.

There have been some interesting times with Rod. We’ve ridden all types of motorcycles together and even raced together, we’ve played on football and hockey teams together and hit more golf courses than I care to think about (I still stink out lead on the links.)

You mix two guys so similar together in a potpourri of happenings and that can sometimes spell trouble. I’ll give you a perfect example: Rod knew of this guy who said it was okay if we shot our pistols out on his property. I’m always up for some target shooting so one Saturday morning we drove on this guy’s property and proceeded to let the lead fly in a semi-enclosed grove.

About 30 minutes in we hear someone behind the bushes yelling at us to drop our weapons and come out with our hands up. Sure this was the guy who owns the land, Rod yells back, "You’ll never take us alive!" Skip a beat and we hear the same frantic voice yelling at us to drop the weapons, to which Rod replies, "Never, Copper."

This goes on for a few minutes when I start to get an uneasy feeling. Suddenly, I hear sirens screaming our way. Now, I’m no rocket scientist but even I see where this is going. Rod looks at me with wide eyes as we both realize who we’ve been yelling at this whole time. We drop our weapons to the ground, raise our hands above our heads and walk out into the clearing from where we were shooting. As we step out so does one very angry Sheriff’s deputy. As he approaches he has his hand on his pistol and I’m sure at that moment I’m going to be pistol-whipped and appear on the next episode of Cops. I would not look good in prison orange.

Rod, a smooth talker when the need arises, quickly tells the deputy what we’re doing and whose permission we have as four more deputies come running in as backup. We’re then held in a tight circle of law enforcement officers as they check out our story. As it turns out, the guy who gave us permission to shoot on his land never told his wife and she called 9-1-1 in a panic. After threats of ticketing, the angry deputy lets us go. Whew…

I was part of my first men’s league hockey brawl with this guy on the ice, there were far too many late nights out on our motorcycles with imaginable consequences and don’t even get me started about playing tackle football in the mud with guys much younger than us. I think I still have a concussion.

Those, however, are all memories that make up the mosaic of a life well spent. I hope you have your own Rod to make life worth living.

Rodney Williams is the managing editor for The Anna-Melissa Tribune and the Van Alstyne Leader. He can be contacted at or