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"Make new friends but keep the old,

one is silver and the other gold."

This old song from my long ago days as a Brownie scout has been drifting through my mind for a few days now. On Monday, day 3 of our long weekend, I was able to reconnect with some old friends from childhood; in the course of our whole day brunch conversation I found myself talking about the new friends we have made through our Slow Travel connections of the past few years.

Let me introduce you to my old friends, left to right: Susan, Dana, Janet and of course, me on the end. We have been friends for almost 50 years, from grade school through middle and high school, onto to college and then real adult life. Dana and I met in 4th grade, then Sue in 5th grade, Janet (whose family actually knew Sue's) came to school with us in middle (then called junior high) school. Janet and I sat together for 3 years in homeroom (Schwartz, then Scott), and we also went off to UC Santa Cruz together (she played some part on my meeting David there, another story for another post). We were all Girl Scouts together for several years (Susan's mother was our leader for a time), all the way through high school in fact, so I guess we were part of that brainy and geeky clique in our urban high school, not a real athlete in the group.

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We have not been together, at least all 4 of us, for many years. Dana and I live in Southern California, and our families have been able to be close; her son is our godson. Janet lives in San Francisco, Susan the farthest away in Massachusetts. Between us we have 9 children, 4 husbands and marriages that total over a 100 years. We all have the original husbands and Janet asked on Monday if we thought that was odd, or were we just without imaginations? It seemed funny at the time. Our husbands are all scientists of a sort - faculty at colleges, medical doctor, cancer research, engineering. We have a bunch of degrees ourselves from PhD to JD to MLS, and are still working women. And it is wonderful to have people in your life who remember your mother's cookies, your sister's antics or the time Susan's father painted his pool black. We went on dates with Dana and her first boyfriend, we went on the San Francisco Peace March in '68 together. We have a lot of history and we have some great stories.

And now all the children are grown, only two left to finish college, the others out and starting careers, making plans for graduate and law school, getting married, having babies. David and I are the first grandparents, even though Dana did marry at 19, a huge surprise to all of us 60's women's libbers. Funny story there is that a few years later her daughter Rebecca, the first of all our children, was born the day David and I got married. Good excuse for missing our wedding.

Next year will be the 40th anniversary of our high school graduation. I don't think any of us have any desire to attend, but we left on Monday making plans to meet somewhere that weekend, for a long and well-deserved reunion of our own. We think we will invite the original husbands to join us.

Comments (11)

Marcia, I loved this! How great to have friends that go back that far. And also great that all have the "original" husbands! (I remember that old Brownie song too.)

How beautiful to have such long lasting friendships! It really is special to share experiences with people over such a long time.

sheri:

Great story, Marcia. Like you, I cherish my grade school friends.

This is a really nice story. Makes me miss my high school friends who live in New Hampshire. Haven't seen them since 2003.

Ah, very beautiful to have a friend for fifty years, and you have three. Good for you.

That is such a great story. I don't think I kept in touch with anyone from my elementary or junior high, and barely anyone from high school. That's wonderful you're all still so close.

I'm chuckling about the phrase "original husbands." I think it's pretty amazing that you've all kept them!

And I sang that sweet song when I was a Brownie too. :)

Barb Cabot:

Marcia, What a wonderful group of women friends. You all are really blessed. This kind of history is exception and very special, a real gift. You have inspired me to write about my best friend whom I have known since the 3rd grade. I'll start working on that blogpost soon. Great story and photos.

jgk:

What a treat! Relationships like these are priceless.

nancyhol:

What a great story, Marcia! I still have a couple of friends from junior high school too.

Class reunions are kind of fun - just people watching really. I just got a letter the other day for my 50th in 2010. I can't figure out where the years went!

Rhonda Lawrence:

Hmmm. What does it say about me and my three Iowa grade school girlfriends --we have all divorced our first husbands (or 2nd). Between us we have 8 husbands, 3 children, and we all left Iowa and live in the West --2 in California, 1 in Oregon and 1 in Nevada.

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