Every week, Andy Gullahorn goes for a walk in his Nashville neighborhood. And every week, about a mile and a half away, his friend Gabe Scott does the same thing at the same time.
They walk toward each other — and when they meet, it’s the weirdest thing. The two men clap, snap and high five. Then, they turn around and go home.
“Picking up the phone is great, but I’ve got a friend who literally will walk through rain and the snow just to give me a high five,” Gullahorn said. “And I wish everybody could feel that feeling.”
Gullahorn and Scott are musicians who met at a concert in 2000 and became fast friends. They invented this bit of silliness seven years ago as a way of guaranteeing they see each other at least once a week.
Gullahorn has a log of every encounter in his high-five journal. The journal includes the one that was nearly their last: High five No. 312.
That’s because Scott was hospitalized with a severe form of encephalitis. It caused his brain to swell and robbed him of his past. “I pretty much forgot my life,” he said.
That’s when his friend, now a virtual stranger, came to visit.
“I said, ‘Well, Gabe, this is going to sound really weird but I need you to do something for me. Give me a high five.’ And he was like, ‘Ok,'” Gullahorn said.
“When the moment happened my body just did what it has been doing for years – clap, snap, high five,” Scott said.
© Provided by CBS News Andy Gullahorn, left, high fives his longtime friend Gabe Scott. / Credit: Handout / Andy Gullahorn
That was in September. Since then, a lot of Scott’s memories have returned, but few more cherished than this silly tradition, which doesn’t seem quite so silly anymore.
“It’s really special to have a memory of something — to have something that is this consistent in my life that means this much,” Scott said.
Gullahorn has also written a song about their ritual titled, “Small Things.” It reminds us that appreciating the little things in life is no small thing, and that going out of your way for someone is the straightest path to an everlasting friendship.