StoryCorps: Almost 50 Years On, Longtime Friends Have Each Other's Backs Greg Klatkiewicz and Gary "Zooks" Bezucha have been friends since 1972. At StoryCorps, the pair talk about how their bond has carried them through good times and bad.

Their Nearly 50-Year Friendship Stays Strong Thanks To Simple Gestures

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Time again for StoryCorps. Greg Klatkiewicz and Gary "Zooks" Bezucha met in Madison, Wis. They were physical therapy students in the '70s. They've been best friends ever since. Greg even introduced Gary to the woman who would become his wife. Here, Greg talks about the first time they met on campus.

GREG KLATKIEWICZ: I remember seeing you in the medical library, the smoking lounge, and I used to bum cigarettes from you all the time.

GARY BEZUCHA: No, you smoked OPs.

KLATKIEWICZ: That's right. Other people's. They're the best (laughter).

BEZUCHA: And you introduced me to Janet.

KLATKIEWICZ: Yep. She was just a hoot. And I said, you know, I think Zooks would like this gal.

BEZUCHA: We started dating immediately. I owe you one for introducing us.

KLATKIEWICZ: It was always you and I and Jan.

BEZUCHA: The three amigos.

KLATKIEWICZ: We always did something wild and crazy.

BEZUCHA: (Laughter).

KLATKIEWICZ: During that period of time, I went on my first canoe trip. That was the beginning of many adventures for us. I used to like to serenade you from the stern of the canoe.

BEZUCHA: Yes. And you're the world's worst singer. Actually, you're the world's second worst singer. Janet was the world's worst singer, and then you were just slightly behind her. Yeah. You know, one of the things that sticks in my memory is all the canoe trips that we did. You kept notes of every day. And I remember you coming down when Janet was sick, and you brought one of those journals with you, and you read it.


BEZUCHA: You read to her about one of the trips that we took. And I don't know if she heard you, but I did.

KLATKIEWICZ: Yeah, I just thought it might be fun to relive that.

BEZUCHA: I will never forget that.

KLATKIEWICZ: Well, I'll never forget all the wonderful things you've done for me over the years, either, so we're stuck with each other.

BEZUCHA: I think in her memory we should go out and do something really stupid.

KLATKIEWICZ: (Laughter).

BEZUCHA: You've been a great friend. I don't know that I've ever adequately said thank you, but thank you.

KLATKIEWICZ: It's a two-way street.


MARTINEZ: That was Greg Klatkiewicz and Gary Bezucha. They remember Janet Bezucha, who died five years ago tomorrow. Their StoryCorps interview is archived at the Library of Congress.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.