Hopefully, everyone reading this article has someone in their life who has been a really good friend. I have heard that if you can count at least three people as your friends, you are very fortunate. When I think of friends, I realize there are different kinds of friends.
Living in the same area all your life allows for lifelong friends. Friends from church come to mind. Since you are fortunate to be seeing them every week, little by little those friends can grow into lifelong friends.
If you eat at the same restaurant every day and see the same people at their same tables, they can become friends, too. It’s nice to have friends at lunch who consider themselves as a “Lunch Bunch.”
My sisters and I enjoyed being part of a Lunch Bunch of OWU clerical staff back in the ’80s. Also, my son-in-law has his Lunch Bunch, who like to get together at a Wendy’s and talk about farming.
You may get to know a lot of people who come under the heading of “friends of your siblings.” While I was grocery shopping recently, I noticed a woman in the next aisle over, and I thought I knew her. So, I waved and said, “Hi.” But when she started to walk toward me, I realized that I didn’t know her at all! But, she kept walking toward me and I had to say something, so I said, “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone I knew.” And she said “You do know me.” And in my head, I said to myself, “No, I don’t.”
But, just that quickly as she told me her name, then I remembered her as working in the same office with one of my sisters. Right away she asked how my sister was. So, knowing they had been good friends, I told her it would be her birthday the next day, and we were having a party at her place, and she should drop by to surprise her.
We have all known of friends from our days in school. One of my friends has lifelong friends from her days at the Jones Elementary in Massillon, Ohio. She is such a Perry Como fan that they all came down from Massillon several years ago and had a “Perry Como Birthday party” for her. She was president of her own Perry Como fan club, back in their school days together.
I am fortunate to still have four good friends from my days in Delaware City Schools. Over the years, we have gotten together at various places. The last time, (and it may be the last time), we had a “get together” for almost a week, at a house at Lake Huron. We celebrated the fact that we all had just turned the big 80.
Friends from work seldom remain friends, because once you leave a job, the friendship usually fades away. I am reminded of the title of a book, “You Can’t Go Home Again” by Thomas Wolf. I have found that you can’t go back to the office again, either. Someone else is in your chair, doing your job, and you soon realize that there is no room for you there anymore.
Friends come in all ages. In my first real job just out of high school, I worked with a lady who was 22 years older than I. She was the very nice person who took me under her wing and taught me everything I needed to know for my new job. She also taught me the ins and outs of the politics that ran the place.
Her name was Ruth Scott, and I have always wanted to write something about her. Everyone who starts a new job should have a “Ruth Scott” to meet them at the door the first morning. Ruth passed away a very long time ago, but I will never forget her friendship. If anyone reading this remembers Ruth, I would love to hear your memories of her.
Every once in awhile, if you are fortunate, an old acquaintance can become a good friend. I have a good friend who is a writer, whom I have known for almost my entire adult life. And we have lived just a block away from each other. Our friendship grew when I realized that she needed someone to get her mail from the post office last winter when we had all the ice and snow. So, I started getting her mail for her, and once we started talking about writing, we haven’t stopped yet.
Be sure to let your friends know how much you appreciate them, whether they are old or young, lifelong or new, near or far. I doubt if the “Ruth Scott” of my life would ever believe that, 60 some years later, in 2020, I would be writing about how she “took me under her wing” and made my life at work such a good place to be. I
t is with tears in my eyes that I sit here typing my memories of Ruth, who taught me how to order from a menu, always have a good time no matter what I had to do, and to not let it bother me when people made fun of me because I didn’t drink or smoke. This paragraph about Ruth is an example of how long a good memory can last!
I hope everyone has lots of good memories of lots of good friends you have had over your lifetime.
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.