Somewhere on a beach

September 2017

The Lakehead. PACI. Mr. Garvey. Cheerleading. BoBo Penner. Randall Ide. Bobby Curtola. The Neebing. Baldy. Sylvia Horn. George the Porter. Loon. Redmen. Ross Rogers.

Those were the days, my friends. We thought they’d never end. So we didn’t let it happen.

Imagine 9 energetic women well-past the age of 70, still gathering from various parts of middle Canada to retell the stories of growing-up in the Lakehead.
The “Thunder Bay Girls’ Annual” still happens, allowing the same friends to revitalize & keep laughing. It’s such a happy time to revisit early days through "mature" eyes at the September weekend in southern Ontario.

The most popular girl in the crowd during teenage years, to the one who seldom had a date remains debatable, as does the discussion on which boys were the real "catches"; Jack, Bob, Brian, Ken, Peter, John, Tom, Graham & others as well as Fort William’s exotic ones. No competition there. The weekend is primarily a retreat from life’s challenges; yet news, fresh ideas, sage advice & world problems are debated (& often resolved). Jokes & humour keep everyone relaxed, entertained & happy. Each person, intimate with earlier local history recalls phone party-lines, Shaw’s horse-drawn wagons for home delivery, CPR station, open doors, playing outside “till the lights go on”, 2 competing cities separated by a creek, the “firsts” & so much more. The tedious rules of that era, regularly shunned, could fill a book.

These regular get-togethers date back more than 25 years. For some, the friendships span a lifetime. In retrospect, the bonding was a natural legacy from the groups' families who enthusiastically welcomed each friend into their homes. By example, the value of friendship is embraced by each person to this day.
Casual yet elegant with super-star cuisine & libations unlimited, the annual venue on the water at Gloucester Pool is so “Lakehead”; loons, beavers, pine trees & all. The support of these 9 sharp women is remarkable.

With aging comes a freedom with lifelong friends, to accept our past, whatever emerges, to be frank, to be slightly irreverent on occasion & to share life’s concerns & secrets, safely. We laugh. We cry. And we don’t tell.

The group; Edith (Shaw) Bevington, Adele Kory, Barb (Young) Crooks, Marjorie Dumbrell, June (Palko) Lamoureaux, Cathy (McCormack) Morden, Barbie (Ritchie) Nattress, Barb (Panter) Turner, Liz (Reid) Worrall.

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