Friday, June 24, 2016

The Big Chill

 That's a quote from my senior yearbook circa 1971. Today, in a little church in Davidsonville, me and the group of ladies I lunch with are gathering to say goodbye to one of us.

She and I went waaaay back. We went to highschool together. She was just a few pages away from me in the yearbook but world's away from me in popularity. She was one of the cool kids. I was not.

That's me trying hard not to look as silly as I felt. Yes, I had Morticia Adams streaked hair. Didn't everyone?

My friend and I didn't just share the same high school, we taught together for 20 plus years at the same school. One year we even taught first grade together.

When I got the call that our friend was gone I had to dig out the yearbook and take a slow stroll down memory lane. It shakes you up when you lose a contemporary. How can someone so alive just a few weeks ago when we met for our last lunch be gone so quickly? She had been ill, we could see that but she chose not to share and we respected that.

The yearbook had little to offer for answers to the age old dilemma of what's it all about.

 1971 was a confusing time to be alive. There was the war. It hung over our heads and weighed heavy on our hearts. We all knew someone who went and didn't come back.

 We were boomer babies who felt the need to rock the boat only we weren't sure what boat we were supposed to be on.

We faced the world we wanted to change without fear as long as we had a cigarette in our hand and a stash hidden where our parents couldn't find it-and I don't mean the kind of stash you're thinking of.

The world was changing but not fast enough for the trail blazers. You have to admire this girl's guts. Nothing was easy back then. There were barriers to be broken everywhere you looked. We had to have a sit-in just to be able to wear pants to school.

Dig those groovy go go boots. I had a pair.

This was one of my best friends but when we went out I had to pick him up and drop him off far from the eyes of anyone who would notice a white girl and a black boy together.  We were just friends who shared a love of art but Daddio would have tanned my hide if he knew. It just wasn't done.

My first kiss. I was a very late bloomer.  He says he wants to join the Hell's Angels in his yearbook quote. I see on Facebook he's retired from Amtrack. Tee hee... I got in my first (and last) fight ever at school defending him from a guy that took exception to his long hair. They sent me home for the day. 

My last big highschool crush. He didn't know I was alive. I tore the pocket off his blazer and slept with it under my pillow. I probably still have it around here somewhere.

My one and only claim to highschool fame was that my Grandmother is also in the yearbook. Who else can say that? She was the Attendance Secretary. You know I couldn't get away with anything. I was in trouble all the time. Having Grandma right down the hall all day was no fun.

Our lunches certainly won't ever be the same again. I was making tons of soap for the one scheduled in July. She loved my soap. I had made some just for her. No, nothing will ever be the same. 


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of your friend's passing. I graduated in yearbook pictures resemble yours a lot. I have heard of a few friends passing too. I live halfway across the country from my high school and I'm out of the loop for most news though. I have learned to try and not take anything or any moment for granted...getting a pacemaker this year has taught me that. I try to enjoy each and every day and to tell my family and friends that I love and appreciate them.

  2. I am SO sorry for your loss. What a fitting post to remember your friend.

    Yes......we are coming to the age where WE are losing friends more often than we would hope.

    My thoughts are with you today.

  3. Condolences on the loss of your friend. It is hard saying goodbye and it never gets better. (((Hugs)))

  4. I am so sorry for the liss of your friend. Your post is spot on this morning. Took me back to the same memories. I really don't look back with fond memories of high school. Girls are cruel and I was in and out of the "in " crowd. Fortunately I loved band, choir, and theater. We have a 47 reunion coming up and I'm thinking about going. Some people I haven't seen in 47 years. And unfortunately, like your friend, some won't be there. You are in my thoughts.

  5. I'm so sorry. I do the same thing when I hear another one in my class has died; go through the yearbook and just spend time remembering.
    (I sat in a sit-in to demand the right to wear pants, too!)

  6. Condolences for the loss of your friend.

  7. Big hugs to you Deborah. She's certainly smiling down to you from Heaven. Thanks for sharing her meaningful life with us. SOmetimes an OBIT is so limiting and so unpersonal. I love to know something REAL about the person. She sounds lovely

  8. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost two friends a few weeks apart a couple of years ago, both in their mid forties and both from cancer. Such short lives.
    Sending you a hug,

  9. I'm sorry to hear this. I'm glad you took the time to share with us though, and if she was ill, I'm glad she is not anymore.

    The trip down memory lane was lovely and oh so familiar! :-)

    I'll say a special prayer for your friend and your group as well. Take care.

  10. I'm very sorry for you loss. One of the scariest things about life is that it's ever-changing. But it's also the most exciting thing about it. Old friends leave, but new ones come along - and each is special in their own way

    (and you were a beautiful teenager - not surprising because you are still beautiful)

  11. So very sorry for your loss. I too lost a friend this year, only 50, to cancer. Life is so cruel for some, she leaves behind a 13 year old son.
    Your trip down memory lane made me smile, especially about your crush's patch!