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Friends Celebrating a Friendship for more than 50 Years

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Pam McGuffey and Friends

Names of friends (as shown in picture): Left to right -- Benita Pearson Costello, Peggy Parrish Carter, Judy Johnson Petty, Sherry Petty Centers, Gail Costello Colton, Donna Watts Martin, and Pam McGuffey

Submitted by: Pam McGuffey

Years they’ve been friends: 50+ Years

“My story is about a group of friends who met way back in elementary school, some in first grade and the rest by 6th grade, and have remained close ever since. This story is about one of our friendship reunions and how we celebrate each other’s friendships and company even though we’re older, wiser and more mature …. (most of the time anyway)…

There is something special about spending time with girlfriends. It was truly special for me when a group of my friends and I got together for a slumber party after our 40th class reunion in November 2009.

(Continued Below)

Our spirits were high as the seven of us gathered for our slumber party. We were still giddy from mingling with former classmates, some of whom we had not seen for years. Several of us, who had never attended a reunion, showed up for this one. Maybe that’s because, as one of my girlfriends kept pointing out, we will be almost 70 years old at our next reunion (ten years from now)! I reminded her that I’d like to enjoy the rest of my 50s, then my 60s, then deal with the 70s.

Once we had called dibs on beds and roommates, we unloaded our essentials – in earlier days, we had Noxema, Clearasil, and retainers. Now, it’s facial scrub, wrinkle cream, and a white noise machine! Our hostess, Donna, called us back to the living room and presented each of us with a package. She made us all wait and open our presents at the same time. Squeals of laughter erupted when we saw her gifts – matching pink and brown leopard-print flannel pajamas! At that moment, we all reverted to our 8th-grade ways, scampering back to our rooms, giggling and getting into our new jammies. It was party-time!

We snacked on goodies that Donna’s mom had made, looked through old photos, re-told stories, and yakked till 4am. We all went to our rooms and tried to settle down. (Why did we ever call them “slumber” parties?) Again, the 8th-graders in us came out. First from one room, then another, giggles and guffaws broke out, more contagious than pink-eye. As daylight approached, we finally drifted off.

It was around 8:30 when we began stirring again. We were so proud of ourselves! After a few pots of coffee, we enjoyed a breakfast casserole, biscuits, cheesy grits, and fruit. I don’t recall how it started, but, soon we had congregated outside and, realizing that our old alma mater was just up the street, decided that we just had to have a “photo shoot”. Since we wanted the photo to show all 7 of us, we enlisted a neighbor lady to be our photographer. Imagine answering the door on Sunday morning to find 7 leopard-print pajama-clad women! Thank goodness, Julie Carr came to our rescue, joining right into our spirit, patiently snapping away with the various cameras we thrust at her.

We reluctantly called it a wrap as each of us headed home, back to the real world. It took some planning to make all the arrangements – the invitations, pajamas, food, and memorabilia. Husbands and children had to sacrifice for a few hours so we could be together. Our renewed spirits surely made it worthwhile! (Our next trip is scheduled for this October.)

There’s a special bond in this group of women. We have maintained our connections through all the phases of our lives – from early elementary school days through the present. We’ve endured playground bullies, first dates, break-ups, marriages, divorces, births and deaths – all the while leaning on each other – and drawing strength from our collective wisdom.

Do you have a lifelong friend? Share you Friends for Life story with us! If we use your story, you’ll get a free FFL bracelet for you and each of your friends.

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1 Doris Francis { 07.11.13 at 12:03 pm }

Enjoyed reading this so much!! I think this is so neat that you all still have get togethers.!!

2 Mike Mitchell { 07.11.13 at 11:33 am }

I very much enjoyed this story Pam. I love stories of this nature.

3 Sharon Watts Windham { 07.11.13 at 11:32 am }

Such a special story.

4 Joyce bell { 09.20.10 at 2:23 pm }

What a great story!! It took me back to my teenage years..

5 M.A. Wilkinson { 09.16.10 at 8:36 pm }

Love the story & your writing. There is something very special about remaining friends with kids from your childhood into adulthood as they know you better than almost anyone. As Cicero said, “A friend is, as it were, a second self.”

6 Vicki Schatz { 09.16.10 at 4:53 pm }

What a great story! Friendships that last a life time are truly a blessing from God.

7 Franklin L. Foster { 09.16.10 at 11:49 am }

This is a wonderful story. Although not an “insider” in your group, I have known all of you for those 50+ years and have great memories of our times at ACH. One question though: Why didn’t Donna Pat get the PJ’s from Victoria’s Secret?

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