I’m in a bit of a nostalgic mood. I’m remembering my zany friend Liza Ann. We met each other in kinder or first grade. She lived one block and three streets over from me. Here we are at my birthday party 🎉 I’m in a hot pink dress with white knee-high socks and she is standing right next to me in a green plaid dress with white knee-high socks. Right next to her is a friend named Pam. I think she’s wearing a “fall” hairpiece. Pretty pinafore. You’ve got to love that 70’s fashion. Everyone else in this pic are neighbors – we as kids roamed the streets in packs.
As Liza and I grew up together our parents really kind of encouraged our friendship. Left to our own devices, I am not sure we would have been friends. I was quiet and shy and loved to read and loved school work … a real geeky nerd. She was outgoing, pretty and popular. She didn’t really care for school; not the book part anyway. She was always getting in trouble for something.
In seventh grade, I was tutoring her in Literature. Her parents thought I was a good influence on her. That I calmed her down. My parents liked that she got me out of my shell doing things I would not have normally done without her bringing me along. Flashlight skate at Carvel Skateland is a particularly fond memory. We also played volleyball and softball together. And we both were in the Girl Scouts. We carpooled to and from school for a long time even through freshman year in high school. We lost touch when she transferred to Highlands.
Anyhow in case you didn’t know and I’m pretty sure you did … looks can be deceiving. It’s always the quiet ones LOL. With my help, she may have got a B in class but I got a lesson in life. The laughter and the pure unadulterated joy was remarkable. Boy do I have some stories to tell.
I would pop the screen off my bedroom window and walk down the block take a left walk about a street and a half up to meet her halfway because she had done the same. This is the middle of the night during summer break and we are walking in a neighborhood where now I would be afraid to get out of my car. Mainly we wanted to hang out with the boys that lived a few houses down from her. Yep we were certifiably boy crazy. On the 4th of July, we’d shoot fire works off down the hill into the cross street as cars were passing … crazy. Both her parents and my mom were smokers so we tried cigarettes. I’d be lying if I said there was no underage drinking because there was a little of that going on too.
One New Year’s Eve she was staying with me. My parents were at Martinez Hall at the annual NYE dance. Her parents were doing something that night too. I don’t remember what. They all decided we were old enough to be trusted at home alone. Of course we were not content to stay home … we had to go wandering around. We collected soda bottles to return and were at the icehouse getting penny candy – sour apple jolly ranchers, sweet tarts and double bubble. As we were walking back, we see her parents car. We dove behind the dumpsters to avoid being seen. Then, we hightailed it back to my house. Later she told me her parents had driven by to check on us. They saw us dancing through the living room window. I’m sure to some Columbia House record on a stereo that looked like this:
Ah to be young again. The good ole days.
As Always, More to Come …