Back in September, I posted a 10 Things entry in which I wondered whatever happened to my childhood friend, Denice. We met when she and I were around 7 or 8 years old when our family moved into the house on Kilburn Road and she lived across the street. I was a year older, almost exactly, as our birthdays were only 4 days apart. We spent our days running across the blistering road to each others’ houses so we could swim or play Barbies or jacks, or watch TV, or fight with my brothers (she had three sisters but we rarely fought with them!). As we entered our teen years, our interests turned to boys and hairstyles, and we worried more about how we looked in our swimsuits than how good the pool water felt. She knew when I got my first period, my first kiss, and my first broken heart.
At the end of high school, she moved from Tucson to Lola, Kentucky, where her family was originally from. She met and married Ray Smith and had two little boys. Since her mother still lived in their house on Kilburn, she visited Tucson a few times over the next few years, and I saw her a couple of times. We tried to write back and forth a bit, but I think Denice didn’t like to write letters and we lost touch around 1974. I gave up on the idea of ever finding her again for many years, but about 6 or 8 years ago with increasing power of the internet, I began to search for her. I googled her and her husband’s and son’s names. I even called a couple of phone numbers thinking it might be her son, but never found anyone who knew her. When I signed up for Facebook two years ago, she was one of the first people I searched for. Every few months, I search again for her and any family members’ names I remembered.
Yesterday, I did another search, trying several combinations of her name, and suddenly when I typed in just “Jimmie Denice”, her name “Jimmie Denice Goode (Croft)” living in Paducah, Kentucky, popped up first on the list. Eureka! I knew it must be her, but tentatively sent a Facebook message asking “Could this be my girlhood friend from Tucson in the 1960s?”. This morning, she accepted my friend request, and wrote on my wall, “No, I am your “best” friend forever and your “true” blood sister!!! Remember we cut our fingers so our blood would mix together. So glad to hear from you! Have never had our kind of friendship with any one else.”
We’ve already been messaging back and forth this afternoon, and I have learned that she is remarried, with two sons, two step sons, and seven grandchildren. Her mother (Opal Lee) died in 2008, but her father (Randolph) and three sisters (Randa, Linda and Sharion) all live within 65 miles of her. We have much more catching up to do, but with Facebook, email and cell phones, I can confidently say we will do just that and (hopefully) never lose touch again!