Old Friends

When you have a store such as Country Roads, you never know who will walk into the front door. Especially when you are working the circus type environment of the International Street Faire! Yesterday I got a wonderful surprise though. My very bestfriend when I was a kid, Donna Nagel (now Kostner) came in that front door with her family! Donna and I went to school together from first grade all the way to high school graduation. That's us above when we were juniors in high school in Laguna Beach. I was wearing my high school soriety sweatshirt, "Tabu". I had forgotten all about that until I looked at this photo this morning. Sadly,I don't have as many pictures of us when we were little kids. She lived around the corner from me, and we walked to school every day together. We sat next to each other at lunch every day as well. Yesterday we were talking about how in grade school you were NEVER supposed to share your report grades with your friends. I asked her if she remembered the big tree we would hide behind to share our grades? And we laughed when she remembered. I'm sure it was my idea back then to do something you weren't suppose to, Donna was better behaved than I was!Donna's dad had died when she was only a little over two years old. Her mom Betty, never remarried, but had a great boyfriend named Hank. They always went on Sunday outings, and her and her brother could bring one friend. I always that friend and got to go to places with her family and had so much fun. My folks were the more "stay at home" type! As I was lying in bed last night, I was thinking of all the "firsts" in our young lives we shared together. The tragic things in life, things that were impossible to understand like the assinations for JFK and then his brother Bobby, Martin Luther King, events that changed our lives forever. Then I remember the good stuff we shared like watching the first man walk on the moon, or the times we spent down in AZ by the Mexican border volunteering on the Cocopah Indian reservation and learning a hard lesson about life. Having our eyes open at such a young age to the poverty and discrimination that people lived daily in the United States changed our young lives forever, in a good and caring way. We graduated high school and then both went more our separate ways. Donna went to college up in Northern CA, at the University of Santa Cruz and became a college professor. I went to community college and then to Cal State University at Fullerton. I wanted to save the world back then (and still do) and majored in Sociology and minored in American Studies. Donna and I kept in touch for awhile. I went to her wedding, and she came to my wedding reception. She moved out of state for awhile, and we lost touch. About five years ago, another high school friend got a bunch of us together. I guess that's one of the very special things about Country Roads. People can always track me down. Sometimes I want to hide, but then there are the rich and wonderful days like yesterday when friends of your heart show up. I don't know "why" I didn't have someone take our pictures together yesterday, blame it on the Street Faire! All last night I've had the Simon & Garfunkel song in my head, "Old Friends". Remember that great song?

"Old friends, old friends, sat on their park bench like book-ends,
A newspaper blown through the grass falls on the round toes of the high shoes of the old friends, Old friends, winter companions, the old men,
Lost in their in their overcoats, waiting for the sun,
The sounds of the city sitting through the trees,
Settles like dust on the shoulders of the old friends,
Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly,
How terribly strange to be seventy,
Old friends, memory brushes the same years,
Silently sharing the same fears.

Where did all that time go to, so fast, in a heartbeat? It reminds me again to get the most out of my days, out of my life, and appreciate each and every moment and never forget about my old friends!


Debra@CommonGround said...

Wonderful memories, Sue, thanks for sharing this. It's so easy to lose track of people. Glad she found you! Have a wonderful weekend.

Malisa said...

How fun! I am so happy you got to spend some time with your old friend! Does she live close by now? You two were cuties in high school! Tabu, huh? :)


ginny said...

it is too bad life pulls good friends in different directions. seems as we age this is the case - ironically, when we age is just when we need them most. here's a wish that we may all hook back up with at least one long-lost good friend . . . . .