“I won’t grow up- I don’t want to go to school- Just to learn to be a puppet-And recite a silly rule- If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree-I won’t grow up, won’t grow up, won’t grow up- not me! Lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Oh, Peter Pan- if only we could fly.
So on a Monday morning, as summer begins, we get ready to head home. “There’s no place like home,” especially when it’s the place where our journey began. So enter- The Juila’s – group of childhood friends who traditionally meet for lunch or dinner, several times a year.
The Julia’s, as we call ourselves is an acronym for “Just us Ladies into Aging. Yes, ladies it is now in existence for several years and going strong. We know we are lucky, and not surprised at how good it stays. We are holding court some fifty odd years later. We skipped rope together and through time, haven’t skipped a beat.
We sit down, look at the menu, (although we know too well what we are ordering) and first off- make sure we are all doing well. Phew!
With a most blessed familiarity we put quarters into the jukebox of time. Oh, listen they’re playing our song. “Could this be magic,” as we traverse through “the tunnel of love,” down in Palisades Park. In spin the bottle like fashion, we kiss hello and reluctantly hug good-bye. We tie the laces on our saddle shoes and shine the penny that will prominently shine thru our Weejuns. Hello Debbie Lark.
We bring to mind the tenor of our childhood homes. How my dog Cuddles barked all the way through Laura and Luke’s wedding. We talk about how Mrs. Dietz’s brownies were the perfect chaser to our Rutt’s hot dogs. Jill’s house down the shore comes to mind and I get nostalgic as I recall listening to “On the Street Where You Live,” at Gail’s house- because Dickie Kane lived on The Boulevard too. Hey do you think Mrs. Bromberg still chews Wrigley’s spearmint gum as she still sits knitting away? We look over to Barbara and eulogize Daren Scott- may she R.I.P. Wow that’s a rough one.
So with an ironclad grip, we hold on to this moment. We make our way through the not so ripe and in this case,incidental cantaloup and cottage. We come to recount our primordial beginnings. Early friendships, first kisses and walking home from school with our books held together by thick red rubber straps.
“We had a moment, just one moment. That will last beyond a dream, beyond a lifetime- We are the lucky ones- Some people never get to do all we got to do- Now and Forever- I will always think of you! Carole King- you got that right!