Lunchtime tradition sustains friendships

Former mission companions maintain lifelong friendships

Nothing in life is certain but death, taxes and a certain pair of former missionary companions eating lunch together once a week.

Jim Buckwalter, from left, Arlan Greening, Reid Greenwood and Reed Wade play basketball and eat lunch together once a week. Brother Greenwood and Brother Wade were missionary companions.
Jim Buckwalter, from left, Arlan Greening, Reid Greenwood and Reed Wade play basketball and eat lunch together once a week. Brother Greenwood and Brother Wade were missionary companions. Credit: Photo by Jamshid Askar

For the past 50 years, Reed Wade and Reid Greenwood have broken midday bread on a weekly basis. The duo initially forged a friendship as companions in the old Western States Mission.

Pickup in Pueblo

The Wade-Greenwood companionship launched on Dec. 26, 1958, amidst bone-chilling temperatures that reached as low as 26 degrees below zero.

On that cold day more than half a century ago, Elder Wade waited in Pueblo, Colo., to be retrieved by his new companion, Elder Greenwood. Once united, the pair returned to Denver. There they served together for six months — Elder Greenwood as the supervising elder and Elder Wade as the assistant supervising elder.

Lunches begin

The weekly lunches commenced in Provo in 1960 when, freshly returned from their missions, Brother Wade and Brother Greenwood were roommates and students at BYU.

The practice continued after college at Myers Chicken in Holladay, a Salt Lake City suburb. It was a mutually agreeable location nicely situated between Brother Wade’s employment with Granite School District and Brother Greenwood’s job at Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

New friends added

When it was time to retire, the former missionary companions added two more friends to the weekly lunches: Jim Buckwalter and Arlan Greening, both of whom were Brother Greenwood’s classmates at American Fork (Utah) High School.

With a full-fledged quartet on hand, the group also began playing pickup basketball games before eating their lunch.

Tradition continues

Although Father Time long ago dictated that competitive basketball games give way to the less-rigorous shooting contests Horse and 21, the four men still precede their lunchtime powwows by tossing around the old roundball at an LDS meetinghouse in Lehi, Utah.

In terms of eating destinations, poultry is out and variety is in. No longer is Myers Chicken their restaurant of choice, replaced now by a rotation of several Utah County eateries such as Porter’s Place and Mi Ranchito.

All things considered, Brother Wade and Brother Greenwood are embarking upon their sixth decade of eating lunch together once a week.

“I just can’t seem to get rid of this guy,” Brother Wade quipped at a recent lunch, his arm draped around the back of Brother Greenwood’s neck.

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