It’s a sad fact of life that no friendship is guaranteed to last forever. Even our closest friends who we can’t imagine our life without can gradually become just memories of the past.
That was the case for Steve Morris and Joe Whitehead, who were best friends as kids, growing up in South Beach, Florida. They remained close into adulthood and even embarked on a cross-country road trip together in the ’70s.
Somewhere along that trip, they stopped and had a fun night out at a bar. At some point in the evening, perhaps sensing that the good times wouldn’t last forever, Whitehead proposed a plan that would reunite them at the same bar 40 years down the line, no matter where they ended up—with the help of a dollar bill.
They promised to meet again in that bar in 40 years.
“I remember Joe reaching into his wallet and pulling out a dollar, and he tore it and I got my half and he got his half,” Morris recalled to CBS News.
On one side of a dollar, they wrote the current date.
And on the other, they wrote the date they would meet up again in 2016.
Sadly, it ended up being perfect timing, as the two men quickly began drifting apart. Whitehead moved away shortly after their trip, and the best friends lost touch.
But Morris always kept his dollar.
“Saved it for 40 years,” he told CBS.
He never forgot the date written on that dollar, and when 2016 came around, he knew he had to fulfill the promise. However, he had no idea if Whitehead still had his half of the dollar or even remembered.
“If he ever even cared, I didn’t know,” Morris said.
Still, Morris was committed to returning to that bar on that date, even if he had some serious doubts that Whitehead would be there to meet him.
“Those odds have got to be astronomical,” he joked to CBS.
Maybe they were. But little did Morris know…Whitehead had kept his dollar all along, too.
So when 4/4/2016 finally arrived, the two friends were ecstatic to see each other at the bar.
“I’m so happy to see you,” Whitehead tells him.
“I’m so happy to see you, too,” Morris replies.
Like Morris, Whitehead may have had his doubts about whether the reunion would really happen—but he took that leap of faith.
“It means so much that he had the same thoughts,” he told CBS.
“I just went under the broad assumption that since I did, he did.”
The long lost friends sat and had some drinks, just like they did during their youthful road trip. They reconnected—and literally reconnected their ripped dollar.
“I think if you’re the real Joe, you’re gonna have the other half of this guy,” Morris joked, bringing out the dollar.
The dollar that miraculously inspired a long-overdue reunion was finally whole again.
But then, it was time to rip up another dollar!
“I already have a dollar bill,” Morris says.
Being realistic about their ages, they decided not to make it another four decades.
Instead, they wrote 4/4/2017—only one year later.
But hopefully, the two won’t be strangers in the meantime. If there’s one lesson the old friends took away from all this, it’s that you don’t really need the dollar to tell you when to reach out. Any time is a good time.
“I mean, if there’s one person that you’d like to talk to, go back and talk to them,” Morris told CBS News, growing emotional.