Two decades sounds hefty, doesn't it? Yesterday my friend Angie celebrated her 40th birthday. I wasn't really sure until today that she actually turned 40 because I always got mixed up about Angie's age; but indeed, Tracy confirmed for me that Angie is now 40. I don't know why Tracy and I weren't with Angie yesterday; it is really inexcusable to miss one's 40th birthday. I hope that a trip to Atlanta is in the near future, but for now, I shall gift Angie with a little photo-journey down memory lane...
Angie came on the scene as a sophomore when I began my senior year at Milligan College. I sort of think she transferred over from ETSU, but I'm kind of fuzzy with those details. I have no idea how we became friends, but she lived a few doors down from me in Sutton Hall. She had great clothes and a hair crimper. She had a blue Nissan with "AngieKaye" on the license plate, and she was from nearby Kingsport. Her high school boyfriend was named Paul, and we had many great evenings of angst together over our lost loves. Because our college didn't have sororities, we made up our own. We designed fabulous t-shirts that we thought no one could read, although, of course, we did have some Greek scholars at our college that probably could have read them. We took long drives after supper in Angie's car, and went dancing at every opportunity. Angie's dad was an executive at Aladdin Plastics, so she always got us good laundry baskets. And for reasons that are too difficult to explain, we called each other "Rowena," and so we were referred to as "The Rowenas."
Poplar Street Serenade
We rolled down the hill as the others watched on
We played in the rain and the streets as we danced
Kicking up water from the sidewalk streams
Oncoming cars flashed their headlights as we ran
through their beams.
We lay in the street and we stare at the sky
The moon on my face and the rain in my eyes
Thought of the time we've spent here in this place
Will echo and fade with the moments we try to retrace
Cool autumn air surrounds us all
The striped canvas chairs on the porch
Cradle our bodies and nurse our aching heads
from the wild time we had the night before
Warming our souls from within
Forgiving the sins of the days we leave behind
As we write another verse to the song
We call the Poplar Street Serenade
Coffee in one hand I wrap up with the other
In a tattered old quilt that was made by my mother
Swap stories of lover neurotic lament
Of hours and heart and money that we wished we'd not spent
Slump down in my chair and I take it all in
Life's silly whims I don't have to defend
With all of these people so careless and free
All drawn by the seasons and mountains of East Tennessee
I have known Angie for 20 years, and this is what I can say about her: she is kind and gentle. She has the most beautiful voice. She is funny and beautiful, and she never has a bad word to say about anyone. She is, above all, an encourager. I pray that her life will be full of the love and good will that she so abundantly gives.
Happy Birthday, Rowena. (And if it's not your 40th birthday, it's Rowena's fault.)
Monday, November 26, 2007 - Yeah, I'm 40
Posted by b-day girl (126.96.36.199)
Wow! I feel really, really loved. Your post was the best birthday present ever. Here's something important to know about Sarah: Sarah is the kind of friend that cherishes you and makes you feel cherished. Sarah loves deeply and completely.
I love you, Rowena. Thanks for always making me feel way more special than I really am!
Monday, November 26, 2007 - ick
Posted by b-day girl take 2 (188.8.131.52)
OK--one more thing: I simply can't forgive you for some of those pictures. YIKES! Was I really so hideous?
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