Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Long-Lost BFF

During the summer of 1977, my family moved to Big Spring, Texas. I started school at Kentwood Elementary a few weeks later. That's when I met Lori.

Lori remembers exactly how we first met and became friends. Which makes me feel kinda bad, because I don't. I just remember starting school and then we were friends. Lori lived a street or so over from me and I have many, many memories of us playing/spending the night at each other's houses. Her mom and my mom were our Brownie troop leaders. Life was sweet.

This was the late '70s, and Lori and I loved all things John Travolta. We could list all the movies he had been in (Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Urban Cowboy and some romantic thing he did with Lily Tomlin called Moment by Moment. And don't forget the small part he had in Carrie.), even though we weren't allowed to see any of them. Lori was lucky enough to get her hands on the Grease soundtrack, however, and we spent hours making up dances to the songs and making our parents watch them. We talked on the phone for hours, sharing crushes and talking about which one of us might marry John Travolta. We also hung out a bit at the local TG&Y, where Lori's dad was the manager. (The coolest job ever for the dad of a friend to have. We used to walk around in there like we owned the place.)

We must have also spent some time at a swimming pool in Big Spring, because every time I've heard Blondie's "Heart of Glass" during the last 30 years, I have a flashback to hanging out with Lori at a pool with a bunch of other kids. I guess the song used to play over the loudspeaker there.

I had other friends in Big Spring, but Lori was up high on a pedestal above all the others. She would have been my top friend on Myspace, if it had existed back then. Then something sad happened -- something that would probably be the most traumatic event of my childhood. My family moved away at the beginning of third grade. I knew why we had to move, and as a minister's wife now, I understand it even more. The church where my dad worked as youth minister was not working out so well. But it was a difficult move nevertheless.

As fate would have it, Lori's family moved in right down the street from our house the very week we moved away.

I made friends in the new town, but none of them were like Lori. McDonald's came out with a commercial around that time called "Best Friends" and it showed these two girls doing everything together and eventually sharing a sundae at McDonald's. The girls reminded me of Lori and me. I hated that commercial. It just reminded me of the fact that I no longer had a best friend I could hang out with every day.

Lori's family moved around a lot for a few years, and for a short time she lived 20 minutes away from me. I think that picture is from that time. I broke my arm the summer after fourth grade and it looks like we're at Lori's house. We got together when we could, but then they moved again. And my family moved far away to Beaumont, Texas.

I did see Lori again a couple of times, the last time during the summer after 10th grade. I found her again in the late '90s (this story is starting to sound a lot like what she wrote about us on her blog a while back) and just recently, found her again. She's now my Facebook and Myspace friend and I talked to her on the phone the other day. It was so great to hear her voice and listen to the same laugh she's had since first grade.

Lori lives in Boston now. We're hoping someday soon we can get together again. I'm pretty sure we're both over John Travolta, but we still have a lot of other things in common. Hey, maybe we'll even get matching clothes again!

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  • At Wed Apr 30, 08:02:00 PM, Blogger Wade said…

    Cool story - awesome picture!

    Seriously, awesome picture!

  • At Thu May 01, 04:55:00 AM, Blogger Leecy said…

    Oh my. This is Lori (aka, Leecy)

    We met in the first grade. Daniel Freshour made a smart comment about you to me and I didn't like it. I decided I would be your friend because I didn't like what he said about you. That'll show him! So I think I told you what he said and I said I wanted to be your friend. Ah to be 6 yrs old again and just tell the simple truth.
    This photo was taken at my house on Cindy Lane in Big Spring and it's dated Sept. of 1981 so we were 10 in this photo. Why do I look so uncomfortable? The dog on the couch was 'Misty' and she belonged to my cousin who was "in between homes" at the time.

    I remember the movie poster for "Moment by Moment" that was hung up outside of the Ritz Theater in Big Spring. It was quite risqué for the times and the area of the country that we were in. I really wanted to see that movie.

    We'll meet up again - sooner than later. I won't be in Boston forever. I don't think I make a great yankee.

  • At Thu May 01, 01:47:00 PM, Anonymous Juanita said…

    You have being a friend down to a science. I feel fortunate to be one of your many friends. Since you moved around so much you learned to have a friend be one. I learned that also, but I didn't keep up with them through the years. The one friend I did keep up with died two years ago, and I think of her often and miss her even though we didn't see each other for years. Julia isn't the only one who is gifted and talented in your family.

  • At Fri May 02, 01:19:00 PM, Blogger KentF said…

    Ok, I admit I skimmed a little, but I missed any explanation about the cast on your arm.

  • At Fri May 02, 01:31:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…


    Third graf from the bottom: "I broke my arm the summer after fourth grade."

    I was just running and tripped. Snapped both forearm bones in two. I don't even have a cool story to go with it.

  • At Fri May 02, 05:46:00 PM, Blogger Patrick said…

    That's it! You and I are friends. No more wasting time. :)

  • At Sat May 03, 11:28:00 PM, Blogger Wade said…

    "Snapped both forearm bones in two."



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