Do you remember your days in high school as being good, bad, lonely, confusing, exciting, or ones you’d like to forget? Most of us would admit that, at times, these feelings existed. But friends could ease those emotions, and their character affected us to form our identity.
I had friends in high school, but my sister, Martha, was my overall best friend. She and I usually walked back and forth to school together, unless my older brother, Tim gave us a ride. By the time I was a junior, I bought my car, and I started working at a snack bar downtown in Burlington. It felt good earning my own money, and I bought all my own clothes, gave Mom money so she could afford new appliances, furniture, and clothes. I could finally afford to buy her nice gifts for Christmas and her birthday.
Mom gave up so much to raise the four of us by herself. My father rarely paid child care, and she sacrificed so we could have school clothes, textbook rental, and school supplies, shoes, coats, gloves, and boots. She bought them, and we took good care of them, knowing she could not afford to replace any of them. I felt proud to carry my share of these responsibilities, and will always be grateful for that first job where I earned $ .75 an hour.
During my years working at this restaurant, I met some of my best friends. We all worked at this same place, and realized we had common interests. Of course, meeting boys was one of these, but laughing and joking around, dancing, singing folk songs, and dreaming about what we wanted to do in life were other interests we shared.
After work, we would “drag the strip” downtown, and flirt with boys in muscle cars, or cars, period! To “drag the strip” meant driving up and down Jefferson Street downtown, over and over again. Bonny C. had a car that used lots of oil. We had to stop and take care of that problem often. Sometimes we’d stop and take a food break at McDonald’s (15 cents hamburgers), or go to Twin Oaks where the waitresses came out and took our orders, and then brought them out to us in the car. We
went to movies together, especially movies about the Beatles. Other times we went to places and sang together on a stage while Bonnie L. played guitar.
A couple of times at work, we played tricks on guys who repaired the Coke machines, ice machines, etc., by hiding their tools. They’d go back downstairs thinking they left them there, but when they returned, the tool was laying in plain sight. One man was really rude to us, so we left him a gift in his suit jacket. We stuffed his arms with napkins before we went home. Our dishwasher said he struggled to put his jacket on, and said a string of expletives when he figured out why he couldn’t get his arms through the sleeves. He complained to our boss, so she separated us for a couple of shifts.
After a brief time, she let us work together again. She admitted we worked well as a team, and always left the place clean and spotless. Our parents raised us to do our best at whatever we did.
These friends I worked with went to Beauty School, so they practiced their training on me. They colored it, cut it, “frosted it” (similar to highlighting), and styled it with the newest fashions they learned. No one ever knew what I’d look like the next time they saw me! We seemed to spark adventures when we were together.
We remain friends after all of these years. We lost touch for a while, but reconnected after several years. At Christmas, we exchange cards and include notes that include the latest events in our lives. We vow to reconnect in person again, but we’re scattered across the
United States. This weekend my friend in Missouri and I plan to fulfill that vow, along with her husband who also was close to us all. Curiously enough, none of these dear friends ended up as hair-stylists! After all, my hair went through, they chose other career paths – teaching, business, dental hygienist, and military! I am so blessed the Lord brought these people across my paths. Their morals and principles affected me greatly, and made me much of the person I am today! Thanks, guys, for your love and friendship all those years ago, and now!!
How have friends impacted you and your character? Do you still remain close to those with whom you interacted during those important high school years? I’d enjoy hearing from you on this subject, and as always, thank you for stopping by and reading this post. Hope to hear from you soon.