Remember your best friends when you were a kid? I haven’t a clue who the girl on the right is, but the girl on the left is Debbie Anderson. The girl in the middle, Mary Lee Moffatt. Time? It must be about 1960. And the location and occasion? It’s my home and it’s my birthday party.
Debbie and I went to church together, through the years of Primary — we were CTR pilots, Co-pilots, Firelights, Merriehands, Gaynotes and then in Mutual — Beehives, Mia Maids and Laurels. (you’ll notice some of those church names have changed through the years.) We were in Road Shows and talent shows at church. We went to girl’s camp.
Here’s the Road Show, I am the Alka Seltzer, rebelling:
This is her mom, we are at some church dinner or something. We are in the background..my face, her leg, escaping. We probably had to serve food.
We were in jr. high and high school together…1966 to 1972.
She was my only Mormon friend.
Her sister would pick me up for early morning seminary in their station wagon (I think it was blue with the look of real wood on the side.) I stood at the end of our driveway, waiting for them to swing by.
It looked something like this:
I made my own breakfast – Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast — “makes milk a meal” yea, right. Because it was dark when I got up, I called the weather report on the phone, so I could dress accordingly. Later my parents found out those calls were not toll-free. Ooops. I only went to seminary for about a year and a half.
Debbie was a song leader in high school, I was the serious student and loved athletics — but there was not much in the way of sports for girls in those days. There was a program called Advanced Sports. I played some volleyball after school. And I studied.
I’m the only girl in pants, it must have been one of those special days, “Pants Day for girls”. Otherwise we always had to wear dresses.
Debbie is the blonde on the left –
I have been wondering why I moved to El Dorado Hills. The business thing was a bust. My nest egg is gone. My daughter and granddaughters are back in Orange County where I used to live. I have been wondering for a year now why I am here. (We are planning to move back south.) But I have wondered, why have I been here?
Could it be to reconnect with a friend? Turns out I moved a few miles from Debbie.
Debbie always helped me get going, so-to-speak. ”Come on Deila, you have to go.” She would write in my yearbook every year, “Don’t forget to come to church and mutual!” and then apologize for being a “snot.” (Hey, I understand, I belonged to one of those families, my dad was “inactive”, meaning he didn’t go to church — I honestly didn’t know any better, I was the cultural Mormon.)
She used to give me a Christmas present and birthday present every year. She would hand it over to me and say, “if you don’t like it, give it back to me, cuz I want it.”
I never gave it back.
She had a nice home with a pool and lots of kids in her big Mormon family. And all her cousins lived nearby — it was a clan.
We took sewing together in high school with Mrs. Hiroshima or something like that (I think it was Hayashi). We got in trouble for talking. Debbie became a professional seamstress.
I recall she always had a Ding Dong in her lunch bag. You know, those Hostess things with chocolate, kind of like a cupcake, but wrapped in foil?
I am comfortable around Debbie, we share the same religion, a similar past; she says whats on her mind, she tells it like it is. There’s no guessing what she thinks. .
Maybe that’s the only reason I moved up here.
We’re still friends. I still need a friend. And I am not very “friends-y” — I have a low social need.
She’s not high maintenance either. That’s nice. Some friends keep track of who called who, how many times you forgot to call-back, etc. She is busy with her grown-up kids and life, so there’s no demands, she’s forgiving. But even after 40 years, it seems like yesterday, our friendship that is. The 60′s, they are long gone.
But, actually, my mom still has that Swedish wooden chair in the photo. She’s a saver.