Deep in the recesses of my closet is an unmarked box that can immediately transport me to highlights of my past. An overstuffed, worn-out red wallet helps capture memories of my adolescent and teenage years as photo after photo spills out from that holder.
My childhood friend Debbi, who now lives in Florida, announced she was coming to New York and wanted to visit. Debbi and I have a rich history together. We met in junior high school chorus and became instant friends. We were two of the thousands of screaming fans at Shea Stadium for The Beatles’ 1966 concert. We even tried to sneak into the Warwick Hotel where The Beatles were staying while on their New York tour. We got inside, but were immediately nabbed and ushered out.
Later, we attended Adelphi University, where we became fast friends with Laurette, Debbi’s college roommate, and Carol, who dormed at Eddie Hall too. From that time to this, we have been known as the “Adelphi Girls.” Our husbands relish in teasing us about our title, but we wear it proudly.
We have shared all the joys life offers — weddings, births, accomplishments — as well as the sadness life throws in our paths; deaths and illnesses.
Recently, the four of us met in Port Jefferson. Debbi came across on the ferry with Laurette, who lives in Connecticut. Carol, who lives in Mount Sinai, and I met them as they arrived. Laughter immediately permeated the air. During lunch, I surprised Debbi with photos that we had taken when we were about 15 years old.
All those years ago, we were at Mays Department Store on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown shopping with two other childhood friends, Christine and Gerry. We wound up at Woolworth’s, where there was a photo booth. We took crazy pictures. I have treasured these images all this time, keeping them safely tucked away in that dilapidated red wallet.
Debbi was so taken with the photos that she lined them up and she photographed the lot of them with her cellphone. The photos are special. They are proof that our friendship has spanned almost 50 years.
After lunch, we went back to my house, where I surprised my dear friends with an ice cream cake inscribed “Friends Forever.” Yes, we are, we always will be “Friends Forever.” I honestly feel we have stood the test of time, and we shall remain together until each of us slips into the next world. But I am sure when each arrives at the gates, we will be directed to the area saved for the “Adelphi Girls.”
We will reunite, and we will rejoice at our good fortune to be able to spend not only a lifetime, but all eternity together.