Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mary Beth

A high school friend of mine just passed away and even as I type it, my mind just doesn’t want to go there.  I think the friends we make when we are young are somehow more indelibly imprinted into us.  Like putting your fingerprint into play dough.

She married a classmate and they moved away to another state and began their life anew.  I rarely saw her over the decades, but when news reached me of her critical medical condition it was like being transported into the past.  She invaded my memories and stole my thoughts.

I saw her million-watt smile and heard her infectious laugh.  Actually, there were three of us.  Three silly teen age girls who giggled over trivia, planned slumber parties and gossiped about boys.  We stayed up all night and sang to the sunrise.  We put PH’s on our blouses and wore them to school just to baffle our friends.  

We tried out for the same plays, sang in the same choir and sometimes even dated the same boy.  We played softball and volleyball and loved our cheerleading sweaters.  We studied for the same tests and liked the same teachers and got too rowdy on the bus ride home after the game.

We consoled one another over a slight from another girl—whether it was real or perceived doesn’t really matter; we were there for one another ‘cause that’s what girlfriends do. We commiserated when our grade was lower than we thought we deserved and celebrated when we scored an A.

Once in an English class the assignment was to write a story.  Her strategy was easy-peasy.  Just look up a word and be sure to use all the synonyms.  I thought that was pure brilliance, braininess, wisdom, smartness, cleverness, intelligence, genius, talent and skill.  She got an A.

At one of our many all-girl, everyone pile on the bus, no home-work allowed, cookie endowed overnights she told about putting her mom’s hair up in curlers as a special treat for her birthday. (Why have curlers always been pink?)  She said the secret to a good curl is brushing the hair around the roller being sure to get the ends smoothed down just so.  She described how beautiful it turned out and I remember thinking how much she loved her mom.  That made me feel all warm and good inside.

I guess I’ve always been a scrapbooker so I dug out one from our teen years.  We weren’t very good photographers, or maybe it was just the equipment, but you can tell we were having fun.

1. Standing on our heads just because we could.  2 Freshman swim party at Cole Camp Creek; we were trying to decide if the water was too cold.  3. Mary Beth giving a toast with a donut cigar. 4. Janet & MB at a skating party.       

1. Eating apples at Mary Beth’s house.  Little sister Kathy joining in.

2. MB not wanting her photo taken.

Freshman initiation 1 Janet  2 Mary Beth  3 Me

Remember those PH's I told you about?  Yep, still got 'em!

What’s a scrapbook without a year book.  This inscription was in our Freshman year:

“Hi Punkin’.  I wish you almost all the luck and happiness in the world.  The reason I wrote almost is because Janet, Irma and I need a little bit too!  You’ll always be my little P___  H____.
 Love always,  Mary Beth

I love you, too, Mary Beth.    Someday we’ll meet again and marvel at how fast the time has gone and catch up on old times.