Emmett Rychner and Erling Kindem: 3-year-old and 89-year-old best buddies

Posted at 12:56 PM, Sep 14, 2014
and last updated 2016-11-02 13:20:14-04


Note: This story is a follow-up on an earlier story, which you can read here.


A move is hard on anybody, especially little ones.

But a recent move was especially hard on 3-year-old Emmett Rychner, mainly because he lost regular contact with his unlikely best buddy.

89-year-old World War II veteran Erling Kindem was Emmett's next door neighbor and best friend up until Emmett's family moved away.

But Erling came to visit Emmett.

"Hey Emmitt," mother Anika asks her son, "when Erling comes do you know what he's going to bring?"

"Maybe a big tomato," responds Emmett.

As Erling stands over his garden, picking the tomatos he planted last spring with his buddy Emmitt, he reflects: "It's kind of lonely out here sometimes you know."

For now, Erling's prescription to remedy his blues is only 16 miles away, at Emmett's new house.

After a nice visit, Erling headed back home, feeling sad over leaving his friend again.

"It was good while it lasted," Erling said, "It isn't over."

"He already said he's going to stop by on Thursday with more tomatoes so we know he'll be back," said Anika.

But soon Erling and his ailing wife will be changing addresses too.

Erling is moving with his wife to their new senior apartment.

But the visits with Emmett will continue.