A peice of Friendship story

suresue592003

Explorer
Apr 4, 2004
372
1
Browns Mills, NJ
Sending a letter such as this to a family of strangers, and not even sure of the address, I was not surprised when I received no reply. Summer turned to fall with all its splendid colors as I sadly thought of my letter's unknown journey. It was similar to a journey I had taken a long long time ago. Being only six years old, it felt like the bus ride to Greenbank School would never end. Each day there and back, I would look out the window viewing a world quite different from the one I left behind each morning. Though some houses looked old none looked like mine, all weather-beaten. No town looked like the town of Friendship.

It was during these bus rides I often felt intimidated by the girls from Hog Wallow. This I blame on my lack of socialization, thus living in near isolation at the forgotten town called home. I had my first crush on a very smart little boy who wore big glasses. He always sat behind me and lived near Stephen Lee’s house in Speedwell. It was during these journeys we all were terrorized by my neighbor Alfred. Alfred was only a few years older then I, but suffered developmental disability. Understandingly, behavior problems were many. One day while turned around in my seat, talking with the boy with big glasses, Alfred decided to snatch the paper sailor hat from my head. Making this hat had caused me much grief. The project seemed to last forever and with great difficulty. My teacher whom I feared, very strict and wearing along black dress, had become impatience with me on more then one occasion. “Alfred took your hat,” was all the big eyed boy said, when I turned around and saw to my horror, the sailor hat sitting upon his head. I grabbed it with such force; I ripped it, turning anger into rage. I commenced to beating him with both fist. He screamed all the way to the front of the bus where the bus driver had instructed him to go.

For more reasons then one, this bus driver became someone quite special in my life. She appeared to save us all from “big bad Alfred,” and offered us special treats. The most beautiful lollipops would sit out in the open for all to see. We would gaze upon them and lick our lips in anticipation of the sweetness they held. Those lollipops were almost to pretty to eat, circular rainbows of color, others were cherry red and sparkled with fine white sugar! No gems like these could be found anywhere in my world of poverty. To me this lady appeared to be tall, but maybe everyone looks tall to a six year old. Her hair was brown, cut short and piled upon her head. With a smile so radiant, and jewels in hand, how could anyone ever forget her! I knew her only as Mrs. Walters, and knew her only for six months before me and my family left Friendship forever.

My mother feared raising another infant in a house with no heat. Her being pregnant, pressured my father into moving, and moved we did. Our new home was on Carranza Road and owned by Joe Conti an area fruit and vegetable farmer. Shortly after our move, I received a Valentine card from Mrs. Walters. It was a red heart with a bear baking cookies from an old black cook stove, as you can see from the copy I’ve shared with this book. On the back are words of love and caring with an open invitation to visit.
Now forty-two years later, with letter written and on its journey to Greenbank, I sought out this visitation. Knowing none of her family members, I realized this letter might land in the hands of strangers. I had only learned in March that this same lady, whom I often thought about throughout my life, was still alive and well at the age of ninety-two. It was hope beyond hope that she was still up and ready for visitors. Would she even remember me? While searching through historic books I found an address to Mr. Dan Walters. To him I sent my letter with a copy of the Valentine card. Would he think me crazy, keeping a Valentine for forty-two years? No response, days turned to weeks and weeks to months.

Just when the leaves turned to many hues of yellow, reds and browns…the phone call came.
 

suresue592003

Explorer
Apr 4, 2004
372
1
Browns Mills, NJ
I should have posted this first, but I have had difficulty previously trying to get this on here. Anyway, all comments are appreciated where this peice is concerned. I am new at writing and enjoy what others have to say. For people who don't know, I lived at Friendship for six years before the town was destoryed by fire. I am now in the process of putting together a book of all memories I have of life at this forgotten town of the pines.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,373
2,593
Pines; Bamber area
Very sweet story Sue. May I have someone take a shot at editing this little bit for you, so that you can see what it can be with some helpful work?
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,541
114
51
Pestletown
Sue,
I am not even sure how to respond. Having sat with you at Foxy's and your sharing of your origins and seeing pics of family, I am stunned. Please take Bob's advice, a little tweek here & there. Seems pretty good to me the way it is. (I profess to be no writer so I suggest good advisory).
It is a pleasant telling and while melancholy, a filling read. There are really only a handful of souls in this large online community that can share parts of their life involving places all have searched, trekked, read on, hunted, herped near, etc.
You give a gift and share just a little something, and it sings. Thank you.

G.
 

whippoorbill

Explorer
Jul 29, 2003
673
113
63
Bridgeton
Each day there and back, I would look out the window viewing a world quite different from the one I left behind each morning. Though some houses looked old none looked like mine, all weather-beaten. No town looked like the town of Friendship.

How great it would be to have the power to turn back a clock and ride through Friendship when "she was." That's impossible to do of course; stories such as yours, Sue, keep her alive. Thanks so much for sharing this emotional snippet of your history here (I want the next page now! :)). I look forward to reading your project when it is complete.

Bill
 

suresue592003

Explorer
Apr 4, 2004
372
1
Browns Mills, NJ
I can't thank you enough for your reply. How encouraging, you give me inspiration.

How great it would be to have the power to turn back a clock and ride through Friendship when "she was." That's impossible to do of course; stories such as yours, Sue, keep her alive. Thanks so much for sharing this emotional snippet of your history here (I want the next page now! :)). I look forward to reading your project when it is complete.

Bill
 
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