|My year book picture 1961|
|My bridal attendants in 1963|
|Dayton's photo of White Mountains of New Hampshire|
|I'm the fourth from the left and Cynthia is second from the right|
|Janet's yearbook photo 1961|
How do best friends lose touch with each other? After I got married and I moved far away, she got married and moved away too, so we were no longer living in the same town. Maybe we became so absorbed in our new lives that we forgot to look back. Or maybe after we married, we made new couple friends and our old classmates got lost in transition and were left behind. It seems to me that it wasn't easy to maintain long distance relationships back then. We didn't have email or Facebook, and the only phone calls we could afford were the obligatory calls to our parents. I guess it really doesn't matter why we lost touch. What really matters is that we have reconnected again.
I have read Janet's recent email three or four times and each read takes me back to a different time in my teens. It is 1959. She is trying to convince her older brother into driving us to Forest Lake Casino, a somewhat trashy dance hall where there was more drinking and making out in the backseat of cars than dancing under the stars. "Bucky, please take us with you," she pleads, but he had no interest in chauffeuring his little sister or her best friend even though he and I were flirting like crazy.
In Janet's email she painstakingly detailed aspects of her life for the last fifty years -- a life different from mine but yet there are many similarities. Like me she became single but not by choice. She has children. I have none. We each struggled living by ourselves, but both found the love of our lives as a result. She too has traveled the world and sees more adventure in her future as long as she is physically able. Like me she is proud of her successful career and her ability to be financially independent. Her love of reading fiction probably means she enjoys the same novels I do.
The emotions that all of these memories have aroused in me underscores how important my childhood friends still are, and that I have strong bonds with them even though we haven't seen each other in more than fifty years. For someone who never had children, I cherish and love my friends who are as precious to me as my family.