Sunday, June 17, 2007

Born Friends

In previous posts I have told you about growing up in Northern California. I actually moved to Yreka when I was three years old and had a built in group of friends all waiting. We were born friends. Most of our mothers were friends before our birth and it was a natural in a small town that we would all become friends. What a person doesn't know at that age, and if you don't ever move away, these are the faces and people you will spend the first 18 years of your life with, and what an amazing experience.

You also don't realize till later in life how important these people are to you. Above is the photo of most of us in Mrs. Newton's Kindergarten Class. I was lucky. This is a group of small people who you really want for lifetime friends. Kindergarten was amazing, once I stopped crying that is. I was scared. I started when I was 4 1/2, having never been to what is now commonly called pre-school. We had stay at home Mom's. This fantastic group had been play mates and birthday party friends. Now I was in a strange place with a stranger in charge. It was flat out scary. My first memory of school was half way through the year and the day Mrs. Newton announced to the class "Isn't it nice that Janice doesn't cry anymore." I had been crying non stop for months. That teacher deserved a metal. My first boyfriend was Jim B. I saw Jim B. last week and all these years later we look at each other and laugh over this time. He arriving at my front door for Valentines Day with the biggest heart shaped box of chocolates a girl could ever wish for. While his mother and my mother smiled at each other over the tops of our heads. In the second grade we had Miss. Lilly. I have heard Jim tell the story of the day he kissed me on the cheek during the Pledge of Allegiance, and Miss Lilly picked up the yard stick and cracked him over the head, never missing a word. Most of us girls joined brownies about the 3rd grade. I still have pictures of us in our little uniforms. Some of the school pictures through out the years show us still in scouting. My new friend from Dunsmuir was Fran. She moved to Yreka when we were 8. Her mother along with mine became our scout leaders. There were others but I can't remember them all.
I remember play times with Susan T., Nana W. Danny B. They were not called play dates, they were just playing outside after school. The other activity I did was take tap dance lessons. My father alway referred to me as 'half step' cuz I was a half step behind the rest during dance recitals. We went to day camp in the summer, swimming lessons at the pool run by Sheryl's mother. Every day at 3 pm the pool would be cleared for us to get out and lay on our towels to prevent us from getting polio. It was a frightening time for this illness.
Other kids joined our class during all of grammer school. They moved from smaller towns into the 'city' of Yreka and stayed to finish our the school years. Alas, I lost Jim as my boy friend around the 4th Grade when the girl I was most afraid of took him away. We laugh so much about this today.

Mother has told me so many times when I was in the 5th Grade Mrs. Lange would call her saying she didn't know what to do with me. Mother said if she heard Mrs. Lange say one more time ' Janice just doodles the day away' she was going to move me to another class. I think a few other mothers heard the same story. We went on to finish grammer school and graduate to Yreka High School. My father had attended school here and the building was still standing. (amazing, huh Dad ?) My new locker buddy was a friend from Grenada who had come into the 'city ' to high school. Evie and I remained locker buddies for the entire high school years, I beleive. She joined our group of life long friends.

The social life went into full swing in high school. How could anyone be expected to study when there were football games, basketball games, drill team, and so much to do. We would go to the old gym at noon and pour change into the juke box and dance. Life was good!! The afternoons that we raced to Sondra's house to watch and dance to American Bandstand after school. There were White and Gold's Year Books and getting as many to sign your book as possible. Not only do I have mine I have my Dad's White and Golds. Mine still sit here in the studio on a shelf, and every so often someone mentions a name I have to look up.

After graduation, most went off to college and a few of us choose to get married and have children. I choose the last. All in all we are a lucky bunch of people. We have all attended the reunions, and somewhere along the line about 10 years ago decided that wasn't enough. We needed to see more of each other. So about every 2 years we meet at Daralyn's home in Yreka. We laugh, we talk, we remember and we hug alot. What a group and what a lucky person I am to have them around.

The second picture posted is Fran, Susan T. and myself. I have several group shots of this kind. I also have one of me in my LIME green satin accordian shirt. Jim S. and I laugh when we think of us wearing those in public even. And yes, I still have my accordian even.

This is just a small part of the years of us that were 'Born Friends'.

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