When I was a little girl my best friend was Joan. When I was in kindergarten and through junior high and high school we were still best friends. The friendship started when my grandmother and her grandmother were friends. That in turn, helped Joan’s mother and my mother be friends, so it was just natural that we would know each other. It did help that we liked each other. We both lived in the country when we were little and when we were older, our families moved to town.
When Joan and I were growing up we took piano lessons, tap dance lessons and ballet. Those of you that know me are shaking your head in disbelief, especially my family. Yes, ballet. I did like the piano lessons though and took them for many years. I don’t remember that Joan did, but I think she took tap dance lessons longer than I did.
When we were teenagers, I was always upset because her birthday was almost two months sooner than mine. That especially was a concern when she turned sixteen before I did. She could drive before I could!
Joan’s dad let her drive his car, however he did check the speedometer and limited the mileage. Since Joan had the car, her friends had to pay for gasoline which was only fair. No one ever had any money. When that happened all of our friends always said, “Lu Anne, dump out your purse, you know you have money in the bottom.” I always had at least a dollar’s worth of change in the bottom of my purse. In the days of our teenage years a dollar’s worth of change bought four or five gallons of gas depending on if there was a gas war going on. We used to go to Kintigh’s Skelly station, which was full service. We would ask him to wash the windshield, check the oil and everything else we could think of for a dollar’s worth of gas. He never looked real excited to see us.
Joan and I lived about a mile away from each other when we were in high school. She always wanted me to walk her home and then when I complained she would offer to walk me half way home. She never “got” that I wasn’t buying it. Joan was in a lot of sports, I was in musicals and played piano for the chorus. We had another special friend, Pam. The three of us, and Sharon all palled around together.
We spent a lot of birthdays together fifty years ago and sixty years ago. When I say that, it makes me think of really “old” people that used to say, “I remember fifty years ago…..” now here I am doing it. I guess I am very fortunate that I still can. The picture of Joan was taken in her sophomore year of high school, thanks to Pam for saving it. Some of my pictures were destroyed a few years ago. Even if we can’t celebrate our birthdays together anymore, always remember that I think of you, but…I am not jealous that you are two months older than I am. What I am jealous of is how good you looked in your bathing suit.