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Friends from our Childhoods

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:58 pm
@edgarblythe,
I haven't a doubt about that, edgar.
But you don't need this sort of crap, that's all.
(And you've been through more than enough grief recently, I know.)
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 08:07 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Has anybody kept up connections with friends of your childhood or youth?


very much so

my best friend of the past 35+ years married one of my best pals from grade 1. we stayed in touch over the years and get together at least once year since, well, 35 years ago. stayed in touch with a couple of others steadily. connected with a couple of kids from the old neighbourhood through facebook. it's been pretty damn awesome.

hamburgboy stayed in touch with part of his grade 1 gang. Still talks to a couple of them on phone every now and then - they've been best friends for 75 years, even though they haven't lived on the same continent for over 50 years. It makes me happy to hear about those calls. Those boys have had a friendship that is just marvellous.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 08:39 pm
If we fudge it a bit and include when I was in the Navy - I left there at age 22 - I made friends with a really great guy, who presently lives in South Dakota. We exchanged some emails just today. We have not been face to face since 1968.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 09:02 pm
I've had 2 really close friends, one disconnected his brain with a shotgun after we returned from South-east Indo China, the other was a meter-reader in Pueblo, he was beat to death with a hammer by a customer when he went to shut off his gas.
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 09:16 pm
I'm friends with someone from first grade. We knew each other then. She moved and was in a different school. But we reconnected in junior high, and we stayed friends through junior high, high school, college, and beyond. Then we drifted apart. Now we're friends again.

Yes, we made pacts and promises. We had secrets. We still do. I'm glad that she's back in my life.
0 Replies
 
ragnel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 09:28 pm
@dyslexia,
My heart goes out to you.
dyslexia
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 09:37 pm
@ragnel,
thanks but all is good now, I have my best friend; Lady Diane.
0 Replies
 
ragnel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 10:45 pm
When I first started school I made friends with a girl I thought was an angel. She had grace, beauty, and a beautiful temperament. I found out she had survived a severe bout of rheumatic fever and her mother stressed on me that she needed to avoid too much activity, stress, etc. I made it my mission in life to care for her, she was something previous. We went everywhere together, I did everything I could for her so that she would be safe and happy. Parents, teachers, everyone we knew, smiled on us benignly all through our primary school years. Then, one day out of the blue, she told me to leave her alone, she was sick of hanging around with me. I could not describe the pain I felt at this rejection. My reason for being was gone. But I did not cry, I did not let any emotion show. I got up and walked away. At the ripe old age of 9 I swore I would never let myself get so close to anyone ever again. We sat next to each other in class, but I never spoke to her again.

Another of the girls in our class with whom I was friends (but not best friends) replaced her as my 'companion'. When I grew up my family moved away and it was many years later, after I had decided to return to the old suburb to live that I met her when I first took my son to join the local junior football team. She was running the canteen, and asked me if I would give her a hand. That was a traumatic day. My first lover, (who had made a name for himself as a first grade player) was the coach. Luckily we had parted on friendly terms, so, apart from a bout of nostalgia, everything was okay with meeting him again.

I had been warned about the suburb's notorious home-wrecker, but did not realise it was my old friend until she told me her married name. She began to chat about all the men she had 'added to her collection', as she put it. I am no prude, but I was quite rattled when she went on and on about her exploits, but kept a smile on my face, thinking it was all very saucy but really none of my business. Then she really floored me by telling me that she had grabbed the opportunity to pretend to make friends with me just so she could hang out at my house to be near my two older brothers. I walked away from that canteen and never spoke to her again.

Those girls both used and abused my friendship while it suited their purposes. Writing this is the first time I have put these memories into words and has made me realise why I cannot show real affection any more. I do not allow myself spontaneous emotional reactions. I will not let anyone see that they have hurt me.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 01:02 am
msolga said
Quote:

I think it's a real shame that your childhood friend didn't contact you before he died.


Its not his fault. We both failed to feed and water any potential relationship. He was a social animal and I was one who treasured my privacy. As far as his wife, she was one of those women who enter someones life early and stay on. I knew her all through high school and she and Joel were always a pair, like Canada Geese. She was going to a gret college and when she and Joel decided to marry, she just quit all pretense of wanting an education beyond HS. She was one of those "REal Wives of New Jersey" (High maintenance and , in my extimate, a total yenta bitch).
So, Joel and my friendship was already on the wane (in my view) and for several years after their marriage, as I started to get involved in grad schools, I had moved on to another life.

So, Im probably more responsible for disentangling myself from Joel and his life and never had I sought to recement any relationships, partly because I couldnt really stand his wife. I love independent, smart women rather than the fainting housefrau types that spendi rails on about.

As far as my pact, let it only be said that I must reveal some embarrasing details of an incident involving the Reading Railroad, a station, and a large Buick.
I think that, Joel, had a premonition of his impending death , and since it was so swift (his wife said that he was dead when he hit the floor) all those recollections that he had involving me were some nerve ganglia emitting some enzyme that was triggering a preview of his death.
I just spent several hours on the phone with his wife and was going over some details. I am going up there in the morning to help her with some other ones and supposedly, she has some things for me. I have no idea what they are. Apparently Joel had kept this personal connection in his mind in a more accessible place than did I.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 01:41 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
Its not his fault. We both failed to feed and water any potential relationship. ...

... Joel and my friendship was already on the wane (in my view) and for several years after their marriage ....

Interesting, farmer. ... (apparently) two very different attitudes to a long ago friendship. He didn't maintain contact either, yet in his mind (by the sounds of it) your connection & your teenage pact remained so much more vivid & much more real to him. Strange then that he made no real attempt to make contact during all those post-teen years. It is almost as if he had remained nostalgically stuck in time. I can completely understand why all this comes as such a surprise to you.

Quote:
As far as my pact, let it only be said that I must reveal some embarrasing details of an incident involving the Reading Railroad, a station, and a large Buick.

Say no more. I think you most likely can't meet your end of the pact. Or it might be unwise to. Or you'd prefer not to, at this stage of your life. (I have a very vivid imagination! Wink )
Quote:
I just spent several hours on the phone with his wife and was going over some details. I am going up there in the morning to help her with some other ones and supposedly, she has some things for me. I have no idea what they are. Apparently Joel had kept this personal connection in his mind in a more accessible place than did I.

Yes, it does sound like it, farmer. You are obviously quite surprised to learn this. And why wouldn't you be? So very long ago & no contact since.
But, it still doesn't mean that you are under some sort of obligation to do something now, years & years later, that you really don't want to do, wouldn't you say?
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 01:57 am
I am not in facebook and I have not tried to find any old friends from childhood or youth.
Even though I have moved around a lot I have been able to keep in close contact with my friends from childhood, schooldays and also later in life.
We keep in contact by e-mails, letters - preferable - and telephon and try to see each other on regular basis.
Some have disapeared out of my life by death or by getting old.
Some of the friendships go back to our parents being friends and we have kept it going.
It is so nice to make new friends, but there is nothing like someone you have known all your life and can share the same memories with.
With new friends there is often so much to explain, with old ones just a few words will do.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 02:21 am
@ragnel,
Geeze! Have you ever been able to trust anyone since?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 10:44 am
@roger,
I didn't know what to say when I read your childhood friend description last evening, Ragnel.

I'll add to Roger's point, Geez Louise! (I hope one of them wasn't named Louise.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 11:24 am
@farmerman,
Cool, I was thinking "Cremation of Sam McGee" and there you go and refer to it. I didn't realize it was widely known. (It's treasured around here.)

I think I made pacts... I'm "blood sisters" with at least one person. I don't remember many of them though which is not good. I'm not still in contact with many people. A few, sporadically. The last time I saw one of my best friends from childhood didn't really go well and I feel badly about it. I had just moved to Chicago and had a newborn (~2 months old) and was generally uncivilized -- at that point I was talking to my husband and the (nonverbal) baby on a daily basis, and that was about it. Hadn't yet really met anyone in the area. She was in town and stopped by... she got lost and was a good two hours late, which threw things off re: the baby (E.G. was out of town? at work? not in the picture), and the baby was fussy, and I had a terrible time dealing with the baby while also trying to understand this old friend, and it was kind of a mess. (Plus I was in classic harried-new-mom mode -- yay, my socks match, there's my sartorial accomplishment for the day -- while she was in high-gloss professional mode.) Nothing terrible happened or anything, we were happy to see each other, she was nice and understanding (and I was understanding re: her being late), it just was generally unsatisfying.

We haven't connected since then, would like to try to find her again (she's not on Facebook, or at least isn't visible).

Condolences on the loss of your friend, farmerman.

(You know about the concept of happiness "set points," right?)

One further thought as I re-read your post, I have had intense friendships as an adult, too. I tend to be a serial BF'er, which is to say I've pretty much always had a close friend with shortish gaps, just that close friend changes, mostly because one or the other of us move. (I stay friends with everyone who was ever a close friend as an adult, starting at 18 or so, but when you don't see each other often it's hard to maintain that level of closeness.) About to Skype with my most recent close friend, who moved a few months ago. Skype helps, but...
George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 12:20 pm
I think it's grossly unfair for anyone to hold you to a boyhood pact.
0 Replies
 
John Trenor
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 12:55 pm
@farmerman,
I think it’s wonderful to stay connected with childhood friends, especially because there are so many sentimental memories attached to the people who made them happen. An individual’s childhood takes part in shaping who they are.
In my experience it is much easier to stay connected with friends do to Internet, however it only satisfy the basic principles of friendship.

Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 03:38 pm
Of the five greatest friends I had in my earliest days..
My blood sister, she died in grade three of a bad heart. I can't remember her name and I always feel a tinge of regret when I think of her.
Frankinay - Met her in kindergarten, she swears I taught her to read in english??? - I don't remember that either. We go for breakfast twice a year.
Jules - gorgeous, got preggers in grade 10, had a second one five years later before she married a guy who held me as a baby - I have the picture to prove it, he's slimy, rich, owns pawnshops and weighs 400 ish pounds. My daughter is best friends with her 3rd, a boy who's gay (Mom and Dad aren't aware of it), the kids have gone to school since day one at a French immersion school and hang here exclusively, unendingly... I used to see her at school functions, a cursory hello then and again.
Lee - married a guy in the military, lived out of country, came back and got all squirrely when her husband had an online affair. She borrowed some stuff and never heard from her again.
Jen moved away. I tried to help her with finances and stuff. She cut me and a bunch of people off and I haven't heard from her since either.
I have a friend who is still friends with her whole kindergarten class. They all grew up together, no one moved until after highschool. Most of them regularly go on trips, camping, music festivals to this day.
Odd.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 04:56 pm
@Ceili,
Theres a book in there Ceili. I see a story of how all those lives and their separate adventures come together like "Bridges of Toko Ri"
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 04:58 pm
@sozobe,
Funny thing was, we tried doing the bllod brother thing but neither wanted to cut ouselves intentionally. SO we spit on opur palms and called it "Spit brothers"

Even kids could wiggle around the rules
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2010 04:59 pm
@farmerman,
I'm a pushover for those kind of books. Or am I? I read Toko Ri, but don't remember it. I also like books that cover a situation of a family from all the different people's point of view, Oscar Lewis' Children of Sanchez, for example.
0 Replies
 
 

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