Sun, Feb. 23

2011: Boomers talk about their best friends

Kids raised in Jerome. Submitted by the Jerome Historical Society.

Kids raised in Jerome. Submitted by the Jerome Historical Society.

Best friends are one of life’s greatest gifts. They listen to your problems, they offer solutions, you listen to their problems and offer solutions. We learn and grow together.

That’s why we asked our focus group what they most admired about their best friends. Here’s what they told us:

Sense of humor – “My elementary friend was a sweetheart with a great sense of humor. In high school, my best friend was shy, smart, and tall. Although she was shy, she had a super-silly sense of humor and was totally boy-crazy – just like me.”

Cut-up – “In elementary, my friend and I were all about fun, laughter, and cutting up. In high school, my best friend and I were all about belonging to something, and not getting beat up. He was also a help with girls.”

Loves to laugh – “In elementary, my friend lived a couple of blocks away from my house, and was a tomboy like me. In high school, it was a cheerleader who had perfect silky straight hair, perfect complexion, and a straight-A student with a red convertible Volkswagen who rode horses on weekends and loved to laugh.”

Cub Scouts buddies – “My Cub Scout group was my pack of good friends. We attended the same school, and have stayed in touch all these years.”

Camp Fire friends – “In elementary, I had lots of friends and maybe not really a best friend. I loved my Bluebird and Camp Fire Girl group, and we all did so much together. In high school my very best friend had to get married and drop out of school. It broke my heart, and we tried to keep our friendship together, but we no longer had very much in common.”

Loyal – “In elementary school she was outgoing, popular, fun-loving, and smart. My high school friend was smart, pretty, loyal, but lacked self-confidence.”

Sports participants – “In elementary school we had a group that played sports together all the time, which I would describe as being like the Little Rascals on television. In high school they were in a band with me.”

Shared blame – “My best friend in elementary was the one I could always blame for getting me in trouble. By the time I reached high school I ran out of friends on whom to lay the blame.”

Popular – “In elementary we kind of traded off being friends with different groups. In high school she was popular, and I vicariously enjoyed her popularity. She was fun to hang out with, and her parents accepted me like a second daughter as I spent lots of time at their house. She was kind and smart and funny. I have great memories of times spent with her spending the night, playing the player piano and singing, or riding around in one of our cars.”

Had a car – “He was the same best friend in elementary and high school. He was the first one to have a car – two years before I did – so it was good to get around in.”

Shared activities – “In elementary, she was very shy, and I had to learn how not to hurt her feelings. In high school, I didn’t have just one best friend…I had a great friend in each area – church, art class, high school clubs – that interested me.”

Integrity – “My best friend in elementary and high school was the same guy. He was quiet, thoughtful, and of high integrity.”

Imagination – “My elementary best friend was tiny and dark-haired with a little freckled snub nose. She was full of imagination, and had a home and yard that encouraged our creative games. She also had a much higher threshold for scary movies and stories than I did. I frequently was frightened out of my mind by her and her brother, who liked to jump out of dark corners at me.

“In high school, my best friend and I were on the swim team together, and would ‘carbo-load’ on chili burgers and fries before a meet. Her folks gave her a Camaro for her 16th birthday, and she was the envy of all.”

Opposites – “In elementary, my best friend looked the opposite in just about every way. She had translucent white skin, blonde hair and big blue eyes, dressed beautifully, and had delicate hands with long fingernails. I had deeply sun-kissed skin, dark brown hair and eyes, and badly bitten fingernails. I guess it was just a case of ‘opposites attract.’

“In middle and high school I had the same best buddy. We spent every day after school at her house studying and listening to her older sister’s Johnny Mathis records. We had a little group of gals who ran around together, sat at the same lunch table, and liked boys. It never caused any trouble among us, though. I wish I kept in touch with her after graduation, but as things go, everyone got busy with living their lives.”

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