Jolted by Memories

More than 50 years ago…

We were friends. I don’t mean just friends, we were glued to each other. I don’t know if it was by choice or because we were the only girls in our class of 5 in our one room schoolhouse.

Our family farm houses were a couple of miles apart so it was a trip to go to each other’s house but we did it regularly staying overnight whenever we could.

We each had a younger sister, too, so that had to be dealt with.

We went to different churches so we were not in the same Sunday School class but both churches had the same pastor.  One year our church started at 9 and then Sunday School followed. The next year the time was reversed.

One really fun thing about a one-room school is being with bigger smarter kids every day. This was especially good when we played another school in softball. Sometimes when the other team noticed a girl coming up to bat they would step in, expecting a short hit. I remember a time when I slammed it over everybody’s head. The next time I came up to bat they stepped back a little. I don’t know what the real difference is between joy and power.

In the winter we skied on ski’s our dad had made by soaking planks in the reservoir of the kitchen stove and then bending up the tip. A leather strap was pounded into the wood so our boots could get a grip.

Then there was ice-skating when the pond froze over. My ankles always wobbled and I fell a lot. One day one of the boys tripped me and I slammed my head on the ice. All the kids thought it was funny. I felt betrayed and scared. Maybe I was hurt badly.

There were a lot of duties at the school. We sprinkled the floor with sweeping compound when it was our turn to sweep. That red powder was supposed to get the floor clean. Then there were the black boards to wash and the water cooler to fill, not to mention emptying the pail that collected the waste water full of spit and who knows what.

We had hot lunch, I guess, in that there was a round metal basin with water in it that was balanced on an electric hot plate.  We could bring meat and potatoes, or anything we wanted, in a glass jar and heat it in that pan.

The lucky kids had store bought bread with bologna. I had home made bread with home made apple butter. I still remember the scolding I got when I complained. The teacher heaped shame on me as she rehearsed the work my mother went through to bake that bread and make that apple butter. I wondered how I could be so terrible as to wish for store bread with bologna.

Anyway, back to my best friend. We loved doing everything together but we were very jealous of each other, too. Whose hair looked the best? Who was the most popular with the boys? Who got the best grades? Who did the teacher like best?

After we graduated from 8th grade we went to the consolidated High School. Now there were 51 in our class instead of 5.

I wonder why we didn’t stay close friends, but somehow we each made other friends or else didn’t have any depending on the month.Yesterday I learned my friend’s husband had died last week. I called her. We have hardly seen each other in more than 50 years but somehow we know each other well.

Best friends need to get together she said.  Come sleep at my house.

We are making plans but as I remember our childhood I miss knowing who I am. What a jolt!

Have you recently reconnected with someone from your past? What memories did it bring back? Share your stories with us.

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3 Responses to Jolted by Memories

  1. monique says:

    This is beautiful and so true. Camp friends are that way for me…I can go years without seeing them, but when I run into one of the girls I spent so many carefree summers with, it all seems to come back.

  2. MaryAnn Rice says:

    It is More than 60 yrs my dear friend since Selmer School and piano lessons and all the great memories that are coming back. You were my bestest friend not only by chance but by choice. As friendships go it was you and me against the world of farmers daughters, country good times and pickle patches..

    I am jolted by the memories you recall and endless others are flowing through me as i write.this. I remember bike rides to CaroL W’s with big shepherd dogs nipping at our heels, milk weed pods transformed to elegant ladies pendants, and softball, (I was a real athletic clutz), hide and seek in the wood cubby hole in the school , practicing cheerleading with Ilona and the day the broom caught on fire in the boys outhouse. Just a few of many many many wonderful times together.

    And yes we did slip away some what in high school. And we were competitive through all the years but always in a good way. But I think on my part it was not the new friendships that I and you developed as we went through school that were the cause.of us drifting.

    It started on 8th grade day when I first saw that green pontiac convertible pull into The ball park with several handsome young men inside..The driver was dark and had a duck tail hair cut and leather jacket and white tee shirt..OUr eyes locked for a long moment. I forced myself to look away and mumbled “Hood”. It all begn there, Roselyn,. It was 2 years before we started dating but from that moment on I think I knew he would be my pal and soul mate as time went on. In the future I would watch and rewatch the movie “Grease” and smile. I think I should watch it again real soon–just for the memories.

    And so he was my pal, husband, lover, soul mate, teammate. We spent 53 years together–48 married. 2 children and 5 grandchildren. But he left me in April and we all miss him. But then one day, like a miracle, my phone ran and it was you, Roselyn. My first and dearest girlfriend calling to comfort me — as did several other old friends.

    During sorrow there were intense tears of joy at the renewal of these friendships. And a realization that Dave was sending a message for me to be strong and move on. So I will try to do so.

    I hope that our past friendship will reblossom. And AS my grandaughter would say. “Lets have a sleep over ”

    True friends are forever

  3. Roselyn says:

    Thanks for adding your memories. Can you believe we are really having a sleep over for our 50th class reunion. I remember seeing pictures of a 50th class reunion in the Iola Herald and it was all old people. I think I will buy some new pajamas. I am really looking forward to restoring our friendship. Much more important that why we have not been in contact is that we are now. I hope we inspire others to go back to childhood friendships and rekindle them. There is a richness that only comes with friends who knew you then.

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