Friends never leave your heart

Taken from my baby shower in 1986
Taken from my baby shower in 1986

Today is October 29, 2011.  And it is the birthday of a high school friend of mine, Terri Hendricksen Smith. I celebrated my big birthday back in August, and always had that “dig” on her back then as I hit the “legal” age first.  Now, I just get older first, things change.    Terri and I went to Newnan High school together.  Somehow, her parents (mom Karla, and step dad Judd)  arranged for her to attend Newnan, even though she lived in Luthersville.  She and I  were brought together by our sense of humor and our love of rock and roll. We jammed out to a lot of the same rockers. To mention a few, Eagles, Ted Nugent, Bob Segar, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin.  I’m sure there were many, many more that she liked, or I liked that we differed on, but we LOVED music and would ride around and jam out. She had the coolest car ever! (Was it an RX 7 Mazda??)  I can’t even remember what it was. Tehe….but so sporty and I was JEALOUS!   However, I would love to have my ‘67 Dodge Coronet today!  It was beautiful. Custom painted, Blue with a silver stripe down the side. I had box (speakers in the back that had long wires. When parked I could drag the speakers out to the hood or trunk and really JAM OUT! The sound was amazing!  Even with the interruptions of the eight track HAHAHA!  Terri and I shared a locker at Newnan High which we kept a poster of Ted Nugent. Terri had a little rhyme about this poster. I wonder if she remembers? LOL.  Terri’s mom was a sweetheart and I always loved to spend the night at her house. Her mom was young and pretty. I never got to know her step dad well. I was sad to see his obituary in the paper back in 2007.

At the time I was friends with Terri, it was really taboo. I was a Jehovah’s witness at that time. Living with my mother….being the youngest of five, I was the last left at home.  My mother raised me as a Jehovah’s witness. It was all I knew. Witnesses believe you should stick to your religion when it comes to friends. But I had let Terri in…she was my friend. And it didn’t seem to bother her that I was of this religion.  Witnesses have some very different beliefs. This is one reason I left the religion, or cult as I like to call it. They are not allowed to salute the flag.  We shared an English class together which Ms. Andrews taught. She is known as Mrs. Landreth today. She is was, and still is known for being very strict. Either you like her or despise her.  One day in her class, it was Veterans day or some day which there was going a mass assembly out front at the flag pole to salute the flag.  When we went in and took our seats. She announced, looking right at me, that there was an assembly for a saluting of the flag. If there was one person in the class who could not go, they should raise their hand.  It took a lot of guts. But I knew I could not, with a good conscience, go. Because at that time, I was loyal to that cult.  So up went my hand. She then said, “In that case we will all stay.” UGH!  Why was she so mean??? Punishing the entire class for my conscientious objection!!! I know I turned red and did not change until the bell rang. But afterwards I stroll up to Terri. Who said to me. “Brown, that took a lot of Balls.”  I LOVE YOU, for that Terri! You just don’t know how much that meant to me. I have since left that cult, and saluted the flag many times. Ms. Landreth taught my son at NHS. I really don’t think she knew he was the son of the J.W.she tormented from the 70’s. He made A’s in her class and I think she wrote a college letter of recommendation, which is probably rare for her.

For the old school days, for the times at my place making homemade pizza, YUM. for the concerts we attended, for those hush puppies at Long John Silvers, for those crazy nights at Le Bistro watching Neal and Band play, hanging out at Connally Drugs,  for all the good times, you, me and Chris (Whitten) Cantrell!  Terri, Hope your big five O was terrific. I love you….you’re always in my heart event though we’ve lost touch.

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