Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Friend Ella

We met sometime after sixth grade. I had to check because it feels like we have known each other forever. We went to different grade schools so it must have been sometime in junior high or later that we became friends.

My memories of junior high are few, but I'm pretty sure we both had Mrs. Lewis for Algebra in 8th grade. Your rules are your tools, and your tools are your rules. Read it with a pencil in your hand. I'm talking to you, not everybody BUT you. Learn the King's English! We definitely had Mrs. Feltner for calculus which I never would have survived without Ella (and Ro).

We had other classes together because we were both AP, college-bound students. I don't recall exactly but I'm pretty sure we sat together when it was an option. The bottom line is that we were together a couple of hours a day, five days a week for six years. And not just any six years either. We're talking the formative years from 12 to 18.

We had a blast our senior year. We both had big parts in Oklahoma--our high school musical. Ella got the part of Aunt Eller--one of the major roles of the show. I didn't have a big role so much as a lot of little parts. I was in all the dance numbers and was Judd in the dream ballet. Ella did a great job as Aunt Eller and stole the show on more than a few occasions. The dancing was fun, but Mrs. Hodges told me to keep quiet and lip sync while everyone else sang.

We spent hours and hours and hours together at rehearsals. Later that year we were inducted into the Thespian Society. We had to perform something, and Ella somehow talked me into wearing a rabbit suit for a sketch about the the baby, the antiseptic bunny and the prophylactic pup. It all sounds so very gay to me now. Hard to believe I didn't have a clue for several more years.

Fast forward to the five year class reunion. Aunt Eller had up and married Curley, becoming in essence the first cougar in a class that contains many women that are still beautiful and in more than a few cases, even more beautiful than they were 40 years ago. We have a class reunion every five years. I haven't missed one (though there is one that I don't remember very well--but that's another story). Ella has not been back since the first one.

In 30 years we have exchanged maybe five e-mails, no phone calls, zero letters, and not one single greeting card. She'll correct me if I'm wrong--that's just one reason why I love her so much--but I'm thinking five on the e-mails is generous. You get the idea...we drifted apart.

Anyway, thanks to the magic that is Facebook, we have reconnected. We talk with each other a couple of times a week now. We're up-to-speed on the major developments in our lives over the last few decades and have been giving each other advice about situations we face today. It's just like old times, only better.

Ella, I love you dearly and am so very happy to have you in my life again. Tell B not to worry ( like he's worried--ha!). You are but one more reason why I have no business remaining...

The Crotchety Old Man

1 comment:

Ella said...

OK, you win, you make me cry over this one. I love you too (and we did attend a reunion in 1991--15 years).

love, Ella

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