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March 7, 2013

Plotting Princess Pamela Stone on Sometimes Life Takes an Interesting and Unexpected Turn

Sometimes, life takes an interesting and unexpected turn. Back before Christmas, I received an email from a guy whose family lived next door to my parents when I was born. He'd tracked me down through my website and wanted to know if I was 'the Pam' who was born in Dallas and lived off East Ohio. If so, did I remember Jimmy from next door?  Oh man did I remember. He and his brother, Robert, were a huge part of those first eight years of my life.

As Jim and I emailed back and forth and swapped memories, he'd send me pictures of some of the things we did as kids. Talk about a stroll down memory lane. Robert was cool too, but he was older and ran around with my aunt and the other teens in the neighborhood. Jim and I were the youngest kids on the block and he got stuck hanging out with me. We were united in our mutual dislike of our red hair and freckles.

My dad had lots of hobbies and Jim and Robert were always in on the fun. Go-karts, fishing, bow and arrows, and even an RC plane. Once when it snowed, Daddy built a cage that we could spread bread crumbs inside. When it filled with birds, I'd pull a string from our warm seats inside the house and the cage would drop the last few inches and trap the birds. Then we'd bundle up and tromp outside. Daddy would point out the different kinds of birds and we'd get a close up look before he'd release them and set the cage up to catch more. We worked all day to catch a cardinal. Here is a picture  Jim sent of him inside the bird trap.




Robert and Jim would play cards with my family on our living room floor or in pretty weather outside on the porch. Our moms exchanged recipes. Our families celebrated birthdays. It was a great time growing up in small frame houses and just finding fun things to do. Jim remembers his dad growing strawberries, but before Jim could get them, his dad would hand them through the fence to me, the brat next door. The other day when he came to visit he asked me if they were as good as they'd looked. Ha!

We are also amazed how many similarities there are in our adult lives also, especially given that we hadn't seen each other in almost forty years.

He and his wife, like my hubby and I, dated in Fort Worth and frequented the same reastaurants and theaters.
We each raised two boys in the same town, just a few miles apart.
We both love American Eskimo dogs. He and his wife still have one.
His wife and I both had 66 Mustangs as our first cars.
Both Jim and my hubby restored two mustangs each.  A 1966 and a 1969.
Jim and I both worked in the technology field.
We all love to travel and to collect glass art. Strange, fun hobby to share.
Love the Texas Hill country, New Braunfels, and Gruene.
And best of all, Jim and I have wonderful memories of growing up in an idealistic 50s type neighborhood.

In both pics below, that's my brother Jim to my left. We don't plan to wait another 39 years to catch up. So many memories to share.




Is there someone from your past you've lost contact with and then years later reconnected? Did it feel like you were never apart?

Pamela Stone is having a blast tormenting new characters in her current work in progress. Her books are available on Amazon or eHarlequin and she can be found at both www.pamelastone.net and http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com.



18 comments:

Sylvia said...

Hi Pam,
What a great post. I grew up in the late 60's early 70's. I still keep in touch with two girls that lived around the corner. We meet up about twice a year for lunch and catch up. Loved looking at the old pictures.

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Sylvia,

Thanks for stopping by. I have a really special girlfriend who I've known since 4th grade. Not only have we remained friends, but our kids grew up together and now our grandkids.

Maria D. said...

Great post - I would like to reconnect with some of the kids I played with as a kid but it hasn't happened yet...my dad runs into some of them now and then but I never seem to...lol

Linda Steinberg said...

I was born in New York and grew up in Houston. At my 45th high school reunion, of the 969 in my graduating class, about 100 showed up, of whom I knew exactly one person. So not likely I'll relive any of my childhood memories with old friends.

On the other hand, my first serious boyfriend and I broke up in 1969, and I didn't see or hear from him again for 35 years, when he looked me up and called me. Both widowed, we lived several states apart, but we emailed, and eventually got back together. (True romance story)

44 years ago we had virtually nothing in common, but as you found with your old friend, we share surprising similarities today. I have two daughters; he has three sons. We were both married 32 years. We made a trip to San Francisco in the same year--I was pregnant with my second child at the time, and his wife became pregnant with their third. All in all, similar lifestyles I would never have predicted.

Life is indeed stranger than fiction.

VICKI BATMAN, said...

Hi, Pam! the internet and email and facebook have made it so easy for kids nowadays to stay in touch. I've reconnected with folks from a youth job and love hearing what they are doing.

I have funsisters I've known for a very long time and my life would have been very said without their friendships.

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Maria. Thanks for posting. After reconnecting with Jim and realizing how close we lived and didn't even know it, I have to wonder how many other people I've crossed paths with and didn't even know it. I mean, just a few miles apart, we're almost sure to have passed each other in the mall or grocery store at least.

Linda, great story. Just a bit of trivia. Jim's wife's name is Linda, so like you and your Jim, two Jim and Linda's. And his brother, Robert, married a Pam and I married a Robert, so we have two Pam and Roberts. Funny how things happen.

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Vicki. I love my girlfriends. Sharing things with them makes life so
fun.

Jimmy said...

Pam referred to me as her brother (I'm honored) because we chose to adopt each other. Pam and I were always as family, not just neighbors. All the adults in the neighborhood watched over all the children in the neighborhood. Finding Pam and her family again is a thrilling experience on many levels and I recommend everyone do the same. You will not regret reaching out, no matter what you find. I think we all regret friends lost too soon. Don't procrastinate (like I did). Our lives are enriched by the people we know. Seeing Pam and her family again after 39 years is an exciting adventure I can't reduce to words (but you probably could).

cj said...

Great post Pam. Sounds like a nice trip down memory lane! Good times. I've moved so many times I've lost track of far too many friends. Fortunately social medial allows me to keep in contact with some of them. Hope to talk again soon.

Pamela Stone said...

Hello, big brother. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I second Jimmy's comments. It's been a wonderful experience reconnecting after so long. If there is someone in your past who is on your mind, reach out and find them. It's great to remember all those fun things you've shared.

Pamela Stone said...

Hi CJ. Waving madly.

Kathy Ivan said...

Okay, trying again since Blogger apparently ate my previous response.

Great post Pam. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane. I love connecting with old friends and reliving those memories that are so special, and making new ones.

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Kathy. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, Memory Lane is always a fun trip.

Su-Su said...

About a month ago, I woke up thinking of a childhood friend and Googled her (maiden name) expecting to not find her. But it got a hit on her father's obituary in Albuquerque which led me to her married name. I Googled that and found she was a world renowned artist living in Baltimore MD where she had home schooled 5 children!!! She remembered me well and had different memories than I did. We both remembered our two families combined an Easter egg hunt one year but she had forgotten that we peeked over her backyard fence to watch the neighbor sun bathing with no bathing suit top!! How could you forget that?!! She remembered how she learned that oranges don't bounce on carpet because "we" tried it at my house. She apologized to my mom again. Both our 4 person homes shared something in common: a completed suicide in each immediate family that bound us together forever. That was 45 years ago and we left Albuquerque then and we've never seen or spoken since. Too young to keep in touch, I guess. And both families trying to go on with life after loosing loved ones to suicide. Robin, her name, travels all over the world collecting and showing art. She and her family are Quakers (interesting since her maiden name was Church).

Pam, your memories are true Norman Rockwell images in your beautiful writing.

Interesting to know if Justin and Jeremy and our two offspring will seek each other out to relive The Dukes of Hazzards, corners (small club rooms built up against chain link fences with lawn chairs, boxes, and secure admission entrances open to a select few), a pair of 4 year old's full bodied mud bath in underwear only, and a weird noise Jeremy made, "Arn arnt "? Those are just MY memories! Wonder what their memories are?!

Fun brain stretching, really old friends, and so much fun!!

Pamela Stone said...

Su-Su,

Such wonderful memories of Denton. My boys were just talking about surprising Jeff at his new place of business sometime soon. Wonder whether they'd recognize each other. Ha.

Pam

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Pam,
That's a great post! I loved looking at your old pictures. There are plenty of people from my past that I'd love to run into. Just haven't found them yet. :)

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Karilyn,

Like Jim said, it's worth reaching out. Funny, but I've had a couple other friends who don't blog, read the blog and email me today. So cool to reconnect.

chris k said...

Golly- I'm slowly dipping my toes into the cyber networking world and just beginning to discover who all is still out there - : )

I do however have certain folks I grew up with who I wish I could find and hopefully some day will.

How fun for you reuniting with childhood friends and reliving the wonderful memories - such a great opportunity!