Michael Gehl: ‘You Got A Friend in Me’

By Mia Pitts-Hope

Meeting people seems to be never ending. You meet them at functions, college fairs, when you apologize for running into them, at brunch, church, and job interviews. It never seems to end. Most people you meet you move on and go about your day. 

A few years down the road while cooking dinner someone will ask, “Hey do you remember that guy from the Trader Joe’s that gave you a free bag?” You will say “yes,” but in honesty you will not remember. 

Yet, when interviewing Michael Gehl you can’t help to feel as though this is a person you can’t forget. Off the cuff he is charming, possesses great communication skills and as approachable as a Labrador. It made me truly wonder if his character would match his persona. It did. 

Life as an only child

Being an only child, his ability to connect with others and share seems almost unnatural, but they infuse his personality with every sentence. Both parents being loving and present allows him to care for others and speak nothing but fond memories from his youth. The only wild point of memory being when he was left alone to his own devices on the St.Louis Bridge crossing nearly seven lanes of traffic. 

Asking him about his favorite movie and his biggest weakness was my tactic to get to know him and figure out his character. He stated that he was “a pretty open book!”

Hearing that his favorite movie is “Good Will Hunting,” I saw that his claim was true with possibly some undertones and references to his current character.

Good Will Hunting is a raw, honest, open story of Will and his quest to break free from his pre-set life and use his genius to remove himself. He runs into obstacles and relies on honest, and heartbreaking encounters and conversations to help him get out of his own head. I can see how Michael clings to his person and his honesty. His greatest weakness being his overzealousness and continuous sharing of self make you feel as though he is one of those lasting impressions people who will forever be remembered.

 His friendship is exuberant and his slight jokes when speaking allow for the person to feel comfortable and not alone in their uncertainty. It is alarming how comfortable I began to feel.

His judgement free, vulnerable and kind smile allows for you to get a clear message from him. “Michael is a friend.” 

He’s the one you’ll remember

He is a person you may never speak to again, he probably will not be at your wedding or be the godfather of your firstborn son. Yet, he is a friend you will remember. Whether it was a conversation that helped you reveal something about yourself or a time to regenerate and not feel annoying for speaking too much. He is a friend. Randy Newman says in his classic song “You Got a Friend in Me.” 

“And as the years go by. Our friendship will never die. You’re gonna see it’s our destiny. You’ve got a friend in me” And that is Michael; a one time, possibly never-ending, eager, forever friend in the lightest way possible.