The Southfield Jay Southfield High School Southfield, MI
Issue Date: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 Issue: May 2011 Last Update: Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Sun, 14 Aug 2011 11:57:00 GMT
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Old friends: Seniors Lorenzo Patmon and Nicholas Overton have been schoolmates for their entire 12 years in Southfield Public Schools. This summer they’ll part ways for college. - Jasmine Love

There are a dozen reasons why seniors Lorenzo "Zo" Patmon and Nicholas "Nic" Overton are best friends: Grades one through 12.

The two have been schoolmates for the last dozen years. They met in their first grade class at Brace-Lederle School, in 1998. They spent eight years together at Brace and then went on to Southfield High School and are scheduled to graduate on June 5.

Their former first grade teacher, Linda Schweyer, recalls, "Lorenzo was a sweetheart, he was absolutely delightful. Nicholas was always the first to help out. And they both were amazingly caring."

Schweyer, who retired in 2005, remembers Valentine’s Day with the two boys. Along with teaching first grade, she also taught special education classes. Her students were giving out Valentine cards. Each child had to read the name on the card and then hand it out to the appropriate first grader. When it came time for the special-ed students to read their cards, they began to struggle with the names. Schweyer says before she could even get up to help the students, Overton and Patmon were at the front of the room, helping them sound out the names.

David Schweyer, husband of Linda Schweyer, also knew both boys because he taught their third grade class. He says, "Nicholas and Lorenzo were very good and bright students. The fact that their friendship has lasted so long is wonderful. I think children find good friendships a lot, but their problem is separation. Kids leave and find new friends. My advice is, don’t lose touch so you won’t ever have to wonder what happened."

"Nic was a crybaby!" Patmon recalls, thinking back to his elementary years.

"Zo was real shy!" Overton retorts, laughing.

For the people who know them both now, the words "crybaby" and "shy" really don’t apply to these popular Southfield High students anymore.

When the two were little, they had sleepovers in their gym shorts and Pokemon T-shirts, played Madden and NBA Live video games, and went outside to "hoop." In the eighth grade they played on the school basketball team. They then went on to play high school football together on the Junior Varsity team as sophomores, and then switched their interests from games to girls.

Nowadays, they mostly "chill and go to parties together," says Patmon. This includes hanging out at each others houses, watching TV, tweeting and talking about the newest girl in their lives.

Their friendship has lasted longer than some marriages. When spending that much time with another person, arguments occasionally erupt. Patmon says, while laughing, that they argue because "He (Nic) can get irritating."

Overton says they sometimes argue because "He (Zo) acts dumb."

Patmon and Overton recount one time when they actually got into a brawl. Overton says, "We were younger and a bunch of kids were at Zo’s house playing when he got mad."

Patmon chimes in and says, "I was trying to go somewhere, and they wouldn’t leave my room."

Overton finishes the story by saying, "Zo ripped my hoodie trying to get me out of his room, so we started fighting."

They say no punches were thrown, but they wrestled on the floor until their friend Shaun Covington broke it up.

Karla Crum, who teaches math to many seniors at Southfield High, says, "I had both Nic and Lorenzo in my third hour Pre-calculus class during first semester. I remember I had to move them away from each other because they talked too much. They are both silly kids but always respectful."

Overton and Patmon have a unique friendship. The relationships of teenage friends are infamous for their short lifetimes, and theirs has lasted a dozen years. Theirs has lasted so long because, "He’s loyal," says Overton. "He keeps his mouth closed."

And "We trust each other," says Patmon.

The guys are splitting up for the first time since they were 6 years old because this year they will both be heading off to different colleges. Patmon says he’s still undecided and Overton has plans to attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall. Even though they will be apart, they plan to remain best friends and stay in touch.

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2 COMMENTS - add your comment below
5/23/2011 10:58:29 PM by Cierra Rowe    
This story is heartwarming. It really shows how strong a friendship is and that it can blossom over time. 12 years of friendship is a long time, and I'm 100 percent positive that attending different colleges won't keep them apart.
5/23/2011 7:47:01 PM by Cheyenne    
Awww. This is such a cute story!
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