I am the blond--taller and bossy and my sweet gentle friend Edie is the--smaller one.
A Forever Friendship is Born.
In small towns of America many make friends for life; and I was lucky this happened to me. Since my mother remarried I left my country farm life behind, but never for long because my precious Grandmother Knight was there waiting for my return.
This little town was quiet and boring until Edie and I became next door neighbors. We were the same age; five years old and she was the best friend anyone could have growing up in a small town.
Did a Mean Step-Grandmother Control Me? Not a Hyper Five Year Old.
We lived in my step-father’s house shared with his parents, so I did not consider it my home. Papa Jernegan was a sweet person, but Grandma Jernegan and I did not like each other from the beginning. When my mother went to work Grandma wanted everyone silent so she could read her Sunday school lesson. (She did not seem to practice the good words---she talked the talk, but did not walk the walk.)
I Tried Being Good to My Step-Grandmother
Quiet and be still were not in my vocabulary, but if I disobeyed my punishment was sitting on a box with my nose in the corner.
Yes, she was mean, until she could use you to rub her back with alcohol; which I did. Until, one day my little hands got tired of rubbing and the alcohol slipped out of my hand and spilled down her back. It ran into an area that gave her the power to scream and shout and do a little dance all the way to the bathroom.
I laughed until my sides hurt, but then I ran and used my tree climbing skills to scoot up the China Berry tree in the front yard because I knew what was coming next.
Great Plans Ended Badly
When Edie and I met we bonded for life; but to her parents’ dismay because I led her into mischief as Edie followed me smiling.
Her father had a hardware store in our town, and he granted her permission to walk up town to see it. Edie came over one afternoon to invite me to walk with her.
And, as usual after lunch Grandma Jernegan was taking a nap, and being a sensible person to not disturb her beauty rest; I ask the back steps if I could go and they said, “Yes!”
And, the best part; Edie heard them too! So off to town we went to visit her father’s store. Her father was nice most of the time, but he was very strict with Edie and her sister. I am sure they saw me as a menace for Edie.
Well, long story short when I returned home from our wonderful afternoon of visiting her father’s store and every other store in town, except the drug store where my mother worked left us feeling happy and tired.
As it turned out we did see my mother waiting for me on the back steps with Grandma Jernegan on the porch crying her crocodile tears.
I Talked to My Angel Grandmother Knight about My Experience
I tried to explain to my hysterical mother that I got permission to go, but she would not listen. And, what hurt the most; I could not play with Edie for a week and I had to take naps after lunch.
I did not speak to Grandma Jernegan either because she smiled when I received my restriction of not seeing Edie.
I told my precious Grandmother Knight all about the horrors of living with Grandma Jernegan. And, she had tears in her eyes when I finished. This was when I learned to never tell her anything negative again; and I didn’t. I learned to make her laugh instead; I only wanted to make my Angel happy.
Strawberry, Polly and the Old Blind Alligator
We stood on the porch to climb on Strawberry’s On Edie’s sixth birthday her present was a horse named Strawberry. He was so gentle he let us ride him together and sing while we did it. I felt he was a gift to me also; our sweet Strawberry.
One day Edie and I decided we would run away riding Strawberry, but first we had to pack our paper bag with goodies while Grandma Jernegan took her afternoon nap. It was a perfect day because her mother was playing cards with her girlfriends a block away. I decided I would take Grandma’s parrot Polly with us since he never got out of his cage unless he went with me.
I got Grandma’s favorite bacon so we could feed the old blind alligator at the old boys club by the town pond. And, I got one of Grandma’s walking canes for Polly to stand on and some sunflower seed for him. I took two pieces of cornbread for Edie and me and a pint jar of tea. She brought her mother’s chocolate candy her daddy gave her for their anniversary.
We Began Our Journey
Edie behind riding bareback with me in front with Polly on the walking cane shouting Bobbi, Bobbi. That was all she heard all day from Grandma Jernegan so that was what she liked to say. We tied out sacks on us with a belt and Edie rode behind me hanging on.
It was such a lovely Florida afternoon it made us six-year old girls forget our worries for a while anyway. We went six blocks to arrive at our runaway place. We laughed and sang all six blocks and waved at all the nosy neighbors who stood on their porches watching us in amazement.
Finally for a peaceful day we arrived, I put Polly in a little tree by the pond and Edie sat on the ledge to watch me feed the alligator. I opened the expensive bacon, and I knew it cost a lot of money because Grandma Jernegan told me how expensive everything was that I ate.
I climbed down on the little Island in the middle of the pond to feed Old Gator, that what we called her. I placed the bacon all around the edge of the small Island to wait for our friend, Old Gator.
Everything was happening in sequence, as we hoped. Polly was now singing in her tree and Edie was watching me eating her mother’s chocolates while we waited.
Two Five Year Old Girls were Happily Enjoying the Day
Old Gator walked slowly out of the water and came on the bank to hungrily began to eat the bacon, she was so happy for something good until she switched her big tale which surprised me and knocked me down. I got up laughing just in time to see my mother before she screamed and Edie’s father before he came in the pond after me. Well darn, I thought our happy day ended fast.
Bottom-line if the preacher’s wife had not called my mother and her father we planned to return home before my mother came in from work. This was the beginning of mine and Edie’s displeasure with annoying and nosy church women who lived on our street.
Restriction Followed Me Around Like a Thunder Cloud
The word “Restriction” I am sure would be on my tombstone if I had died young because it seemed it was my middle name. I was a hyper child who loved action and adventure --everything that I missed being with my Grandmother Knight because we made our adventures on the farm—I missed her so much.
Edie and I were on two weeks restriction or so they thought. We met secretly in the huge Bamboo tree in their back yard. We could squeeze in the middle of it and no one could see us as we planned our next adventure.
The most embarrassing moment in church was when the preacher said, “Remember little girls should not run away from home.” And, he looked at me as his nosy wife turned around to stare as well. He preached about Jonah running away from the Lord.
Our Hiding Place
I told Edie that afternoon in the Bamboo tree that Jonah did not live with Grandma Jernegan or he would not flee from the Lord; and we laughed so loud until her sister Judy found us. We thought our hiding place was over, but Judy did not tell on us, and we used it many times to hide.
There is nothing like a friend for life, and if anyone who reads this has a friend like Edie; be good to her or him. Edie and I had many adventures together all the way through high school and I will share more with you and visit again if you enjoyed reading this one. Thanks.
Written in 2015.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Barbara Purvis Hunter
Barbara Purvis Hunter (author) from Florida on April 07, 2021:
That is great news.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 07, 2021:
Hi PurvisBobbi44 thank you and all good in my world.
Barbara Purvis Hunter (author) from Florida on April 06, 2021:
I hope everything is wonderful in your world and you are well and safe.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 06, 2021:
Friends are so worth having in our lives and when you have one as good as that nothing can change that. Thank you for sharing your hub.
Barbara Purvis Hunter (author) from Florida on April 05, 2021:
Thanks and I hope your world is safe and a joy to live in It is great to still have childhood friends. Edie and I always had adventures which I led her into.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2021:
I enjoyed reading about your shared times with Edie. Please do write more! I have a couple of long-term friends who are still alive. Sadly, one of them has Alzheimer's, so we can no longer talk about the old days.
Barbara Purvis Hunter (author) from Florida on April 05, 2021:
Sorry about your friend--I know how it hurts to not be able to talk to a friend.
My friend Edie and I have many stories to tell and some is better left untold.
I hope all is well in your world.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 05, 2021:
A friend like that is to be cherished. I had one, my best friend for over fifty-five years, who just died two years ago. I still think about him daily, and his memory gives me comfort.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.