Friday, May 12, 2006


I don't really have a home town. I will say Elko, Nevada, sometimes Tonopah, Nevada. I loved Elko, and was sometimes happy in Tonopah.

But we moved constantly due to my parent's alcoholic, low life ways (think run out of town on a rail), so there is no place where I "grew up."

Ely, Nevada, though, figures prominently in my life. I believe there is a sort of fate involved in all our lives, in the people we meet and the places we go, the things we do.

I was born in Ely, my parents were living on a ranch about 150 miles south of there. I never lived there, never even visited there until October 1970, when I married my first husband. I met him in Elko, fell in love, and we got drunk and were married in his mother's front room, by a kindly old Episcopal priest, with his nieces and nephews running in and out playing tag.

I gave birth to my two oldest children there, lived there until the death of my husband and son in August 1973. I immediately moved away.

Nine years later, I met another man from Ely, this time in Cedar City. We've been married for going on 25 years now.

Two of my husbands (there were three, but number 2 really doesn't count) were born in the same hospital as I was, delivered by the same doctor, in the same small Nevada town. Both men were born and raised there and graduated from the same high school. I moved all over the country and ran into them in separate towns.

That strikes me as strange.

Another coincidental relationship in my life is that of my first best friend. Jennabelle. I am the only person to still call her that, her mom used to, but she passed away. We were best friends in grade school, I wrote to her as we moved. We always kept in touch. When I was a young widow, I went to visit her. We had the exact same towels!

These weren't ordinary towels, either, they were patterned. Not a huge deal, but it was striking to me.

Many years later, she moved to Seattle and went to nursing school, made a life. And my son went to a submarine base outside of Seattle, where he died. Jennabelle and I had never lost touch, but it was almost eerie that she was right there. I leaned on her as I traveled back and forth, navigating the mysteries and heartache of that time of my life.

We're still in touch, not best friends, but we keep in touch. Who knows what life has in store for us?

My Friday quiz questions are:

Where were you born?

Did you grow up there?

What are your memories of that place?

Who was your first best friend?

Are you still friends?

This weekend I'm going to slog over and get my mother for the day on Mother's Day--I asked my family to leave me alone for the day. Maybe I won't go get Mom, maybe I'll have my kids go visit her as their gift to me. Hmmmm.......sounds tempting. I will forego the cheesy talks and dying pansies in aluminum foil and watch Brokeback Mountain while Bill goes to church.


danithew said...

Where were you born?

St. Charles, Illinois.

Did you grow up there?

No. We moved away from there when I was four years old. I grew up in White Plains, NY.

What are your memories of that place?

I can hardly remember much from my experiences in St. Charles, Illinois. I remember that the people across the street had a horse and that I got in a little bit of trouble for feeding that horse without permission.

Who was your first best friend?

Dave. I met him the first day of kindergarten.

Are you still friends?

It's been a little while since we've had contact, but I think so.

a. nonny spouse said...

Where were you born?
On E Street in front of Smith's in Salt Lake City. My parents were en route to the hospital.

Did you grow up there?
Well, since it was a street, not exactly. My parents moved to a west-side suburb of Salt Lake when I was three months old.

What are your memories of that place?
It was a new development when my parents moved there, and everybody who moved in was roughly the same age with kids who were roughly the same age. There were about 300 kids in the primary, so there was always somebody to play with.

Who was your first best friend?
Alex and Ann who lived across the street whose dad was from Mexico and whose Mom was from Romania. She'd yell, "Alex! Ann! Sock and shoe!" from their porch and we'd hear it no matter where we were.

Are you still friends?
They moved when I was six or seven. I have no idea where they are today.

annegb said...

Is St. Charles near Chicago? I had a really caddish and fun boyfriend from Chicago. He was a pilot.

White Plains figures in a book, I think, a guy, no that was Arkansas.
White something else, it was a really good book, though.

You are so brief about your friend. I guess that's a guy thing.

Is White Plains pretty? I'm trying to talk Nick and Sarah into going to Seneca Falls to school so I can visit Palmyra.

annegb said...

Nonny, don't you wonder about your friends, where they are? I go and hunt up old friends, it's basically been a good thing.

What did she mean--Sock! Shoe!?

danithew said...

Too little info about my bud Dave, eh? Okay, here's a little.

The way Dave and I became friends was pretty simple. The way I remember it, I went into kindergarten for the first time and saw him standing over by the radiator at the back of the room. I walked over and said "Do you want to be friends?" From that time until about sophomore year in high school we were close. He wasn't LDS but he joined our scout troop for quite awhile. We enjoyed all sorts of adventures and talked about all the stuff friends do.

We got to a point where we could finish each other's sentences and wouldn't even bother to do that. One time we were walking home together with another school friend and after awhile he expressed frustration because we were talking so quickly and in such a random pattern that he couldn't keep up. After we stopped laughing and talked about it we realized that since the two of us knew each other so well, we just didn't have to bother with the normal conversational transitions.

One random memory I'll never forget is walking around with a boombox while helping him do his paper route. For some reason I still remember us listening to Led Zeppelin's "You Shook Me" while doing that.

Darnit Annegb. You're getting me to a point where I'm going to have to try and call him on the phone.

Starfoxy said...

Where were you born? Prescott Arizona
Did you grow up there? I certainly did. I often wanted to move to someplace else, but I was stuck there.
What are your memories of that place?Everyone knew at least one of my siblings so I could never meet someone who didn't have a preconcieved notion of what I was like. It gets frustrating. Also it was full of rich older folks who didn't like kids.
Who was your first best friend? Mike. His mom and mine traded babysitting. I can't remember not knowing him.
Are you still friends? Yes and no. We remained friends all the way through his mission, but our friendship often had distinctly romantic overtones. We didn't end up marrying eachother and continuing a close friendship would be improper. We're still friendly and are always glad to see eachother. We have great pictures of us as toddlers though.

tinkertyme said...

I was born and mostly raised in Prescott, Arizona, too. (Do we know each other, Starfoxy? Or maybe I know one of your siblings. :-) Anyway, there's never been another place I'd rather live. If we only had an ocean, I'd never leave here! I had a trio of best friends as a child and I've already e-mailed two of them. Thanks, Annegb! You continue to touch my heart with your blogs.
(Wish I could stay home with you on Sunday. I hate Mother's Days...)

Heather P. said...

I was born in Longmont, Colorado and lived there through 7th grade. It's near Boulder, not far from Denver. I remember playing outside a lot. There was a park just down the street, and we also played around the apartments a lot. We used to call the area behind us "the dirt hills" even though it was mostly just a field of weeds and play there for hours. There were a lot of neighbor kids. One winter some of the older kids made the coolest two-story snow house. I also remember playing with toys on the front porch (Legos, toy dishes, My Little Ponies, Waffle Blocks).

The first person I ever remember calling my best friend was Natalie, who lived a few streets over. We were BF in like 4th/5th grade. I remember reading the Babysitter Club books and the Sweet Valley Twins books and riding bikes. We've completely lost contact (and I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't even remember her last name offhand).

Starfoxy said...

Tinkertyme, depending on how old you are we very well might know eachother. I'm 23, but my oldest sibling is 38. If you'd like you can email me at starfoxy7 at gmail dot com.

Amira said...

I was born in Provo and lived in Orem till I got married. Since my parents still live there, I still visit a lot. So my memories of the place are all tied up with what's going on there now.

I don't know that I ever had a "best" friend- one who would have said I was her best friend too. Michelle and Corinne would have to be some of my earliest friends though. They moved when I was still in elementary school, but I do still hear a bit about what Corinne is up to. I keep in better contact with the next set of friends, all of whom I went to junior high and high school with and whose families still live in Orem. But I really never had much in common with them. Still, we had fun together.

a. nonny spouse said...

I have too many social anxieties to dig up old friends. I would like to have a catalogue, though, just to see where they are and what they're doing.

I think their mom was telling them to put their shoes and socks on when she yelled "sock! Shoe!" but her English wasn't fantastic, so I was never sure. I was also only about six at the time, so it's pretty likely that I don't remember accurately.

annegb said...

I don't know, Nonny, neighborhoods are funny places, with lots of personality. I'm smiling here thinking of hearing, "Sock!Shoe!"

We can hear our neighbors on one side very well and one time they got in a fight late at night in their garage and that was interesting.

Off my own subject.

I love reading about you guys, honestly. Dave, guys are so cool, "do you want to be friends?" "okay" and it lasts years.

I seldom lose friends. I wrote to my second grade teacher till she died. On the other hand, I also seldom lose enemies. They grow exponentially.

Nonny, you'd be surprised what people are doing that you used to know. I actually wish I were shyer. This bull in a china shop thing is a curse.

meems said...

Where were you born? San Francisco, CA

Did you grow up there? I grew up a few miles away in a suburb.

What are your memories of that place? Well, I still go back every year and my family is all there, so my memories are all current. Mostly, my memories are about how the place used to have lots and lots of trees and canyons, and now there are wall to wall houses.

Who was your first best friend? Katie. She was my best friend from before Kindergarten through 6th grade, when she moved. She was always really mean to mean and I always took it from her. I was sad, yet relieved when she moved.

Are you still friends? No, I haven't seen her in years and years, but I know where she is because when I was driving through Oregon on vacation, I saw she took an ad out in the local newspaper with her picture to promote her business - some kind of acupressure or healing thing. I was so psyched to know what she was up to, but I didn't call her.

Ann said...

Where were you born? Dayton, Ohio

Did you grow up there? Lived there until I was almost 10, then I moved to Columbus, Ohio. So, I lived my whole life (until I was 37) within 80 miles.

What are your memories of that place? I had three brothers a year and two days apart (twins, then another the next year almost to the day). They ran in a pack with it seemed like dozens of boys. I remember on summer evenings my dad whistling at dusk to call them home. My dad could whistle really loud, and they could always hear him, sometimes from a half block away.

I remember a pond back behind our house that is now just a part of the subdivision. It had some sort of pumping system attached to keep the water moving. I guess we were trespassing.

Who was your first best friend? Susie Lantz.

Are you still friends? I lost track of Susie by the seventh grade. Last I heard, she was in Texas.

annegb said...

Ann, have you heard of Kathy Kubicina, from Cleveland? Her brother, Clayton Hartwig, died in the Iowa explosion. He was blamed for the explosion, long story.

But she and I are friends through our advocacy for change in the military investigative process. Long story.

Meems, you cracked me up. I wonder how many of us had friends who beat us up in grade school. I know I did. Jennabelle wasn't one of them, but still.

There was a girl who beat me up and picked on me mercilessly when I was 9. She still lives in the area and when I worked at Wal-Mart, I told people from her town to tell her I was going to pee on her grave.

Yup, we're friends now. She says she doesn't remember me, but I think she does. I would so clean her clock if she looked at me crosswise.

Jennabelle is now married to a millionaire guy. I am not his favorite person. Because they went together in high school and I thought he was just the most boring dweeb and I sort of had a hand in her cheating on him, which probably ended with her marrying somebody else and I think he held it against me, although he denies it.

Suck up to the dweebs, they could be millionaires.