Close to Nowhere
It’s so nice to see old friends whom you haven’t seen in a long while.
Memorial Day, I drove to Colletta’s Italian Restaurant in Bartlett, Tenn., and met one of my oldest and dearest friends for lunch.
Cecelia and I were best friends from seventh grade on. We met at Humes Jr. High School (yes, Elvis’ old school) and went through high school together.
We saw each other a lot after school also. I have pictures somewhere of her son Scott and my son Kris, who are roughly the same age, sitting under a Christmas tree when they were babies.
Cecelia and her family moved to Chicago, Ill. and of course, we fell out of touch. This was before Facebook and texting, and it was harder to communicate.
But we had memories – lots and lots of them. As Cecelia said, “We weren’t bad, we were mischievous.”
One of my favorite memories involves a grocery cart. We were hanging out at the Krystal that was across the street from Sears Crosstown. A friend, whose name I cannot even come close to remembering, was with us. He was a skinny, blonde guy with a wonderful sense of humor. We loved him dearly.
That particular night, Cecelia and I were riding around in the grocery cart, up and down the streets, while our friend pushed us.
I don’t remember how we both got in the cart at the same time. I don’t remember how we got out. I do remember rolling down the asphalt laughing like loons.
Cecelia’s poor mom, Mrs. Avent, had to put up with a lot from us. On weekends we would hole up in Cecelia’s living room, sometimes with her older sister Sue, sometimes just us. I had one of those suitcase-looking record players and we had stacks of 45s. We both loved Otis Redding (all of Motown’s music actually). Otis had a song that he’d put out just before he was killed in a plane crash -- “These Arms of Mine.”
Mrs. Avent told me (laughing thankfully) when we were older and grown, that she nearly went nuts listening to that song, over and over and over, on Friday nights.
One of my brother’s and a grandson-in-law’s favorite recipes came from Mrs. Avent -- cheeseburger casserole.
Cecelia’s sister Sue and Sue’s daughter Rhonda came to lunch with us Monday. It was wonderful.
Family reunions, when you love the family, are so fun.