February 20, 2011

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories: Your Friends (Week 8)

Childhood friends - that is our topic for this week's Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey

Do you remember your friends? Who was the first person you called your best friend? Who did you play with? Were any kids mean to you? Did you have oodles of friends or just a select few? Are you still in touch with any of your childhood friends?

I lived in a small village, later a town, which was rather strictly divided (segregated). It was not segregated by race or colour or religion. It was segregated by finances. We poorer kids lived in what was called "the old area" - wartime housing built for the munitions factory workers. Dividing us physically were the railroad tracks and the highway. The richer kids lived south of this division, in what we called "the new area". Even though we were a very tiny village, each area had their own school. My friends were from the Old Area because "never the twain shall meet" was true.

My best friend was Janie. I met her in Grade 3. We remained friends all through school and into University. We're still friends to this day! I hate to tell you how many years ago that was. Okay, it was over 55 years ago. Janie and I spent hours at each others homes. We hiked into the country, caught tadpoles in a local creek, and had all kinds of wonderful adventures. We both went on to become teachers.

I also had a friend, a boy whose name I've forgotten, who I saw whenever I went to stay with my Grandma in Guelph Ontario. When I was about 5 years old he proudly showed me his bug collection. I kind of recall that my response was along the lines of "Eeeewww". He dumped me like a hot potato and we never played together again.

It wasn't easy for my sister and I to make friends as my mom had very strict rules about bedtime and not going outside after supper. So in the summer when all the neighbourhood kids were outside playing Kick the Can and other games, my sister and I sat looking out the window and wishing we could join in. But we were not allowed. Once supper was over around 6pm we were inside for the night. I did play quite a bit with the boy who lived next door, but one day while playing Cops & Robbers he handcuffed us together. (we were the robbers) We climbed up on the roof of our porch and he jumped. I hesitated and so fell, spraining my wrist and scaring myself! Sometimes we sat on either side of our shared driveway and threw stones and gravel at each other. First one to cry was the loser. I always lost.

Once I reached High School my friend circle expanded greatly. Even though old area kids were rarely if ever invited to new area kids homes, some of us managed to still form good friendships. I had tons of new area girls as friends, but they always came to my home. I was never invited to theirs. My mom was great for letting me have sleepovers - as many kids as I wanted, and as often as I wanted. No wonder the new area girls wanted to come to my place!

None of my new area female friends lasted beyond High School. Once we all went to University or College or got married, those friendships died. The only friend I still have from those young years is Janie. And that's a gift I cherish.

Tell us about your friends, either here on my blog or on your own blog. Or write about them privately in a journal you don't share - just write. Your memoirs are important and your memories will be a treasure to future generations.

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