Thursday, December 27, 2007

Friendship -Through the Years

Today I ventured out of the house - into the damp cold that makes my joints ache twice as much as they were already doing to me - for a special occasion though. I met up with three of my old friends from my school days for lunch!

Although I did take my camera with me, the girls stated very emphatically that NO PHOTOS today. Reluctantly, I conceded to their wishes for the time being. Perhaps at our next get-together they won't be quite as camera-shy.

Two of these friends have been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. Well, actually, one is my oldest friend. My friend Kate and I go way back -and I do mean WAY back there too! We grew up two doors apart and now, as adults still live two doors apart -except that she now lives in a house across the street and down from me.

My friend Rose now, she's been a part of my life since the summer between 1st and 2nd grade when her parents bought the big old house next door to my family's home. It is probably a toss up whose mother was more like a second mother to me - Kate's or Rose's -because I practically lived at both their houses when I was growing up.

Rose comes from a very large family - 13 children - 11 girls and 2 boys -and my kids are now related to some of Rose's nieces and nephews too as my ex-brother-in-law was married first to one of Rose's nieces. Kate's family was a bit smaller - only five children there. But for me, as an only child, I reveled in being around either of both of these girls when we were kids because of there being lots of other kids around most of the time then.

The third member of our group is Linda - who grew up in a small neighboring town - Winburne- which is about five miles from where Kate and I live. (Rose now lives just on the outskirts of the village where Kate and I reside.) Kate and I first got to know Linda when we were in elementary school through the summer Vacation Bible School programs we all attended for two weeks every year immediately after our regular school year ended. When we entered 7th grade though, we all then attended the same school - the old Winburne Elementary School. We went there for 7th and 8th grades and then, from 9th through 12th grades, we attended the old Cooper Township High School. However, at the start of our Sophomore year, our township school system merged with four other townships here to form a new school district - West Branch Area School -but the first class to attend the new school together didn't happen until 1963-64.

I thought maybe I could find some old photos -along with some that are a bit more current -of all three of my good friends -just to show you have much we have or haven't really changed over the years.

This picture was taken around 1954 -in the yard of Rose's family -the house you see in the background is Kate's family home. That's Kate on the left with the light colored hair and plaid dress and Rose on the right. Judging by their outfits, I think it is probably safe to say this was most likely taken on a Sunday afternoon because that would be about the only time you would have found any of us dressed like that back at that point in time. Most of the time, we ran around looking perhaps a bit like orphans with clothes that rarely were color-coordinated "play clothes" the way many kids dress today! A whole different era back then ya know!

This picture - while not the best - is one that is fairly recent -and from left to right are three of my classmates along with the gentleman who taught Pennsylvania and Ancient History when we were in high school. Pictured here are: Art Askey, Durvin Wick, my friend - Rose Little Wick (she is married to Durvin) and on the far right, our teacher, Thomas Wertz. Mr. Wertz also happens to be the older brother of our friend Linda, who met us for lunch today.

This photo was taken at our class reunion in 2002 and this is my "oldest" friend, Kate - my life-long friend is more accurate and probably sounds a little nicer to say it that way. In the background, you can see Rose on the left and the lady to the right of Kate is Romelle Turik (I can't recall her married name right now) but Romelle's older sister is married to a cousin of mine on my Dad's side of my family tree.

Although I knew I didn't have any photos of Linda from when we were in grade school, I thought I at least had her senior photo in my picture collections here. Well, I have it but something has happened to it in that the photo will no longer open for me. Bummer! But I do have this fairly recent photo of Linda and a former co-worker of hers. That's Linda on the right, with the dark colored vest and you can take my word for it that she has not changed but very, very little over the years!

And, lest someone see this and think -gee, why didn't I include some old pictures of myself too - hang on to your hats folks, I'm doing that here next! So brace yourselves for some shockers.

This would be me - in first grade! Now, isn't that just too cute though? And those who know me will look at that and wonder, what the heck happened to her over the years. Hard living, folks! That'll do you in every doggone time ya know!

I have very few photos of myself - for obvious reasons - I do not like to have my picture taken at all. So this one is a fairly rare one -and "relatively" recent too. The guy standing by me is one of my good and dear friends from the days I worked as a waitress at the truckstop in Snow Shoe - a long, long time ago! His name - Gerald Peter Pfahl - from over near Scranton. Gerry - or "Oink" as was his CB handle - drove tractor trailer for Consolidated Freightways until they shut down a few years back. He was one of the biggest practical jokers around too but just a heck of a nice guy, overall.

And, finally - just for grins and giggles - I thought I'd close out with this picture. See any resemblance there between this little girl and the first grader pictured just above? Yeah -this is my little Princess, Miss Maya, who does look a lot like me in many of the old photos I have here. And, for that matter -so does her Aunt Carrie and her cousin, Alex - you definitely can tell we are related and furthermore, you can also tell that it is coming through from my Dad's side of the family as well!
That's enough of a trip down my own little memory lane -and a bit of a future glimpse for you too!

Oh -almost forgot this - the"girls" and I decided we are going to make this a monthly event now - getting together for lunch on the last Thursday of the month at the "Key Largo Restaurant" near here. So any others from our class that might be reading this -mark that on your calendar and come out and join us - noon sharp that is - last Thursday of the month! We'll be there as the "Keeping In Touch" (KIT) Club!


Vic Grace said...

Nice to see a full front face of who I have been communicating with over the last 18months (I think it is that long). Wonderful to have such friendships.Vic

Lifecruiser said...

Wow, very impressive with a friendship that is life-long. Must be so nice. I've no one of my childhood friends any more and I hear that others don't either. Don't know why every one splits up nowadays. I guess life comes between and people moves around too much, both within Sweden and abroad.

I love old pictures, they're showing so much history. The surroundings, dresses and hairstyles.

You were very cute and yes we can see the resemblance!

Palm Springs Savant said...

You were a cute first grader! This was a really sweet post.

Linda said...

You know something, you look just like I pictured you would! How nice to finally have a face with the blog, though!

Old friends can be the best, can't they? And getting together with them is always a good time - even if they won't let you take pictures!

terri said...

I am amazed that you've kept up friendships from your childhood. I have one friend whom I've known since first grade and we stay in touch, mainly because she dated my brother in law for 9 years. All the rest moved away at some point in my life and we lost touch.

I really enjoyed your trip down memory lane. I can especially relate to dressing like a "rag-a-muffin" as my mom would say. We also dressed up for church, but ran around in hand-me-downs from my boy cousins most of the time, for playclothes and also had different, more suitable clothing to wear to school.

Theresa said...

One of the fun things about blogging for me are the trips down memory lane. Its fun to see pictures of myself and friends and wondering what were we thinking!

So nice that you all kept in touch, although hard not to for you and Kate. The "oldest" or longest frienship I have only dates back to 10th grade.

Minnesotablue said...

I think it is rare that folks have childhood friends. I know that I don't even recall friends that I had when I was that young. And ditto! You look exactly like I pictured you.

Dianne said...

What a lovely lunch that was. And the photos are great. I especially like the 1st grade photo, made me want to go find mine.

Patois said...

I love the idea of your monthly get-together. Having grown up all over as a military brat, I've no childhood friends. I will live vicariously through you. Love the photos.

Saedel said...

Wow, nice photos! Little Maya looks like you!

Reading this post and looking at the photos remind me of my family and friends in the Philippines. Haven't seen them for like 4 years now!