Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Where Is My Friend

I find it amusing when I have memories from “back in the day” and then for the life of me I cannot recall what even made me think of the specific event.  I do however, recall the trigger for this memory: an old song by Helen Reddy – “Where Is My Friend”.

It made me think about a trip my friend Denise and I took when we were probably about 15 or 16 years old.  I don’t recall how we came up with the idea, but we decided to catch the Greyhound bus and travel from our town to another, which by the way was a college town, to do some Christmas Shopping.  Thinking back now, I think that was code for “let’s see if we can find where the college kids hang out and try to fit in.”  Oh, we did shop for and purchase some Christmas gifts and we did keep an eye towards the clock for the bus schedule was ever present in our minds.  I cannot fathom having to call one or the other’s parents to come rescue us because we missed the bus!  We would never have lived that down.

We dressed in the clothing of the day – it was probably 1967 or 1968. We boarded the bus for our Great Adventure dressed in bell bottom pants, peasant blouses, love beads, and wire rim glasses (mine were non prescription and I don’t think Denise wore actual glasses either).  I think she also wore a beret of some sort – at least in my minds eye she was wearing one.  Neither of us smiled for in all of our non conformity, I think that was the code of the day – no smiling, life was far too serious.

Denise had long dark hair that had a natural tendency to curl.  It was beautiful and I remember being envious of it.  She ironed it straight for our trek.  My blond hair was short. I probably looked more like one of the Beatles than a hippy chick and it was short even by their standards – non conformist that I was!  HA!  I still wear it short. It’s no longer blond, but salt and pepper now.

While traveling to Ashland, we planned (loosely) our outing.  Shop, find a college habitat haven and make our entrance.  And we did.  It was a café type establishment where college aged persons were hanging out, eating, talking, and drinking coffee.  So we too, had coffee – like that was some sort of rite of passage for 15 year olds.  I’m relatively certain I doctored mine up with plenty of cream and sugar! I don’t think I seriously began drinking coffee until I was in my early 20’s and I learned to drink it black.  I still do.  …there’s just something about the aroma of fresh brewed java!

So… where are you my friend?  Has life been good to you?  Do you remember our country walks in the spring?  Do you remember the ache of adolescence and not growing up fast enough… growing up too fast?  Do you remember the feeling of being alone when surrounded by a throng of people?  All the feelings and emotions that were the 60’s and helped us to become the women we are now.

So, here we are with adult children of our own (probably) and even grandchildren (perhaps).  Have we put away our childish thoughts and reasonings?  Have we matured into the women our mothers’ hoped we would become?   Know that I think of you fondly and wish you well.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

The Message
12 By yourself you're unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst…