There’s something really special about having friends with whom you share a common history.
Today’s the birthday of one of my best friends. I first met her in 3rd grade when I changed classes. In Mrs. Giddens room, our desks were in the 2nd row from the windows (huge, tall windows), mine in front of hers. Since I was new in there, I was feeling kind of alone and intimidated, and let me tell you, no one stays feeling lonely with Judy around. She is one of the friendliest persons I’ve ever known. Nobody is a stranger around her.
(This is the truth: even in a city the size of Tulsa, she’s always running into people she knows when she’s out shopping or at a restaurant.)
Classes at Mingo were small (we averaged about 20 kids per grade), and we were classmates for the next 5 years. After 8th grade graduation we all had to decide if we’d go to Tulsa or Owasso for high school. She chose Owasso (a small town about 3 miles from where she lived), I went to East Central in Tulsa. But we stayed friends and “ran around” a lot together our senior year. Within about a month of each other, we each met the men we would marry. Of course, Judy and I were the same age; both of the guys were Viet Nam veterans and about the same age, too. She had 3 sons, I had 2.
My husband just shakes his head in puzzlement when she and I get together because time stops; we joke and laugh. The years melt away.
And the memories of really good times flow: go-go boots, roller skating at The Wheel, me guarding her on the girls’ basketball team, slumber parties, watching in wonder as she and Carol danced the latest dances (the Frug, the Monkey, the Jerk), running into the bathroom between classes and ratting (backcombing) her hair, class trips, walking to Roy’s Dairyette or Mitchell’s or Carnathan’s for lunch, cruising around Brookside (and miraculously staying out of trouble – Oh, Lord, Thank You!). And so much more.
I heard my first 45 r.p.m. record at her house: “Something Stupid” by Frank and Nancy Sinatra and so when I got my little portable record player, it was the first record I bought. It’s still one of my favorite songs. And whenever I hear it, I’m 11 years old and with my good friend at her house, hearing it for the first time.