Derek’s best friend is Andy. Andy’s parents never minded feeding Derek when he showed up at mealtime, but Andy’s dad hasn’t ever invited Derek to join them on a hunting trip. When they were in fourth grade, Andy helped Derek sneak in through his bedroom window, and that’s how Derek (and then Nate) got chicken pox.
I thought at first that Nate’s best friend was Russell, but when I realized Russ isn’t dependable enough to be a true friend, I found Hiram, known to his buddies as “Hi Ho Silver” because his last name is Silberman. One year Hi and Nate got into trouble setting up a haunted house for Halloween. When I find out what happened, I’ll write that story.