BEST BUDS don't do Hallmark cards. Don't do long hugs. Don't show up at the door with Godiva chocolates, Terms of Endearment and a box of Kleenex.
So when a best bud is really hurting, his pal is kind of stuck. There's a lot of shuffling feet and, "Dude, you know, if you need, uh, whatever," and awkward slaps on the back.
But when Aiden McGuire's best friend, Mike Sayre, lost the sight in his right eye to congenital glaucoma, leaving him only 15 feet of fuzzy vision in his left that could go any day, Aiden was determined to do something. Something that would stay with Mike, who'd been through more than 100 eye surgeries, forever. "He's my boy and I'm his," says Aiden of his buddy since first grade.
So the 26-year-old ad copywriter began writing letters, and every one of them started with, I'd like to tell you about my best friend, Michael Sayre.
He asked the New York Yankees if they wanted to help one of their most manic fans actually see a game up close while he still could. I'd like him to experience the game like never before, to walk on the field, sit in the dugout, hear the dirt crunch beneath his feet. And the Yankees arranged for them to have two of George Steinbrenner's personal seats.
He asked JetBlue if it would like to help them get from their hometown of Syracuse, N.Y., to New York City, and the airline mailed two free round-trip tickets. He asked the swank Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan, and management comped a $1,000 suite.
The thing is, everybody has a best friend, and everybody Aiden contacted wanted to help. Sometimes he didn't even have to ask. A limo driver in Syracuse, Ron Curcio, heard the story and it moved him. He'd lost his best friend to cancer just weeks before. "Let me drive you guys to the airport," he said.
So on June 29 Aiden showed up at Mike's door, with Mike thinking that they were going to take a six-hour bus ride to the game, stay in some crummy hotel and take their place in the nosebleeds, where Mike would try to see what he could of his beloved Yanks through binoculars.
Instead, Aiden said, "I got bad news, Mike. There's no bus trip."
"Shut up," Mike said. "You're drunk."