On my way out west, I’ll be stopping in Austin for several days to visit my old pal, Sharon. No, she’s not old but our relationship is. Friends across time and space, we call ourselves.Sharon and I think we first met in 1st or 2nd grade at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota circa 1964.
Our classroom seating was probably alphabetized which would have put our desks right next to each other. Not only were we classmates, we were neighbors. Our families lived on the same street. Both our dads were officers – hers a fighter pilot, mine a missile- man.
Sharon was that friend who made you laugh so hard your abdominal muscles were sore the next day. I’m happy to report …. she still makes milk come outta my nose!
We lost touch in about 6th grade when my Dad retired from the Air Force and we moved to Alabama in 1969. Her family later moved to California then Texas.
Fast-forward 32 years to 2001 and the age of the internet. I had just discovered militarybrats.com and began entering the names of all my little military pals to see if there was a match. There was Mary Lundy, Karen Cussenberry, Nancy Wells and, of course, Sharon. A match! I emailed her right away. She remembered me as well as I remembered her. In her first response to my email she said, “I seem to recall some recurring mischief with an Easy-Bake Oven”.So began a correspondence that continues to be one of the highlights of my life.
After reconnecting, we made plans to meet in 2 months in Minot. We wanted to get reacquainted (we had a lot to catch-up on) and also to visit the base, our former homes and school.
It would require another post to describe what a wonderful trip it was. The nice people now living in our houses allowed us to tour both homes. What a thrill! The colonel who lives in my former home took our photo in an attempt to replicate the only one I had of Sharon and me from our childhood.
My dad took this photo in the summer of 1969 at our comic-book stand in front of my house. That’s Sharon’s little brother Jeff, probably our only customer, giving me his milk money.
Since our reunion trip, we have visited each other’s homes. And now I get to see her again in a few weeks! I just gotta remember not to drink any milk.