September 27, 2011

Women’s Friendship Month/Day: Part 1



     Women’s Friendship Month—September—and Women’s Friendship Day, September 28, provides an opportunity to review the long-term women friendships in my life.  This is Part 1 of a two-part post on this subject.


Let’s become little old ladies together- we’ll stay up late looking at old pictures, telling “remember when” stories, and laughing till our sides ache.*


     We’re all growing old as long as we haven’t grasped the alternative. That’s why I so love the Red Hat Ladies, who embrace being at least a half-century old—although the old fifty must be the new sixty-five. Society is changing.

     My women friends have accumulated through a disproportionate number of moves I’ve made during my life. I recall the first of them, ones I had as a young child in Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Kathy Boyle and Rebecca Rice, who lived on Lincoln Avenue, and black-haired alabaster-skinned Penny, who lived on Broad Street.

     I always considered that we lost touch when my mother suddenly moved us from Portsmouth to Buffalo, New York, where her new husband’s family lived. However, thinking back, the ties to these friends were severely frazzled when my mother previously moved my sister and I from my grandparent’s (Albert and Mable Walker Briskay) house at 29 Spring Street to an apartment at 108 Spring Street. The move to Buffalo was the final cut in the tie of our early life friendship.

     I cannot recall any female friends I had while attending elementary School #63 in Buffalo. In fact, my next female friends didn’t arrive in my life until I was a junior at Kensington High School. That’s when Carol Moriarty and Pat Andrzejewsky entered my life. I’ve lost track of Carol, but remain friends with Pat to this day.

     Pat and I did some outrageous things together, the worst being taking a long, long, walk. I walked from my house behind the high school to her house near the school district’s distant limits. Then we walked to the Peace Bridge, on the opposite side of the city. From there we rode a bus to the Canadian amusement park, where we walked around some more before returning to the stateside of the Peace Bridge by bus. From there, we walked home. When I told my mother what we had done she didn’t believe me. I’m not certain I would believe that story either, but it’s true.

     We had a sense of humor, too. We had a friend of mine, Michael, convinced that Pat was a set of twins, one who clerked at a department store and the other who attended college in the home economics program.

     Pat drove me to Columbus, Ohio, in the fall of 1963 when I worked there for a year. Another young woman, allegedly pregnant and wanting to share my apartment, was with us. Pat’s car broke down in the dark and eerie evening enroute.

     I didn’t develop any female friendships in college. I worked two jobs to pay tuition and, in the last quarter, housing (I had my own apartment by this time). I lived near the Kensington Bridge in Buffalo, attended Erie County Technical Institute in Williamsville, and worked at a dry cleaners in Tonawanda—all without a car. Michael was the only friendship I developed during this time, and without his help I wouldn’t have succeeded at my goals.

     It was in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, that I developed my first special friendship with another woman, Shirl Murray. We both moved into the community at the same time. She was the mother of two teenagers and I was soon to be the mother of an infant daughter first, then a son. Our friendship flourished. She was the person with whom I was with, picking strawberries in Ohio, the day Monte and I traveled to Pittsburgh to pick up Sandy. She immediately became family to my children, and was the person who would care for them if something happened to me and/or my husband. Her teenagers, Mark and Diane, embraced the children too. She’s gone now, a victim of fast-moving ovarian cancer.

     I mustn’t neglect to mention Renee, a French war bride who lived around the block from us, who is gone now, and a German war bride, Heidi, remains a good woman friend, someone I feel confident sharing my life with. Unfortunately, I didn’t know I have German ancestry back then

     During the time in Slippery Rock Borough we rented our second floor room to students. Today, one non-traditional student, Arlene, remains a close woman friend. During her last visit there was a rambunctious game of Uno between Arlene, a new friend Lois, and myself.

     To continue reading, click on Women’s Friendship Month/Day: Part 2.





Celebrating Good Neighbors in Different Communities

Women’s Friendship Month/Day: Part 2


Blogging: Does it Have Value? Part 1

Random Acts of Kindness: Pass Them Forward

The “Meow” Chorus: A cat symphony on a Greyhound Bus

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: