Monday, November 02, 2009

Fifty Years of Friendship

While I was born in Columbus, GA, I was an Army "brat" so my early years were spent in various places - Ft.  Bragg, North Carolina, Salzburg, Austria, Frankfurt, Germany, interspersed with stints back here at Ft.Benning, GA and in Columbus.  My first year of high school, I attended boarding school in Cullman, AL before coming back to attend Columbus High School for my last three years.  I didn't make many local friends, except for other Army "brats" like me.  One exception was Luther Stanton, whose family was Columbus born and bred.  He was, if I recall, designated the class "most handsome" and quite a catch.  He had a great sense of humor and had a propensity to goof off quite a bit.  I took pity on him and would often tutor him  when he needed a little help with his studies.  He would always try to include me in school activities and events which I usually declined.  I just never felt I fit in.

After graduation, I headed to New Orleans to nursing school but my friendship with Luther continued.  Whenever I would be home for holidays, we'd get together and he came to visit me in New Orleans.  A few years passed and Luther began dating a lovely young Columbus High student, Beth ( her maiden name escapes me ).  They ultimately married and moved to Houston, TX where I frequently visited a nursing school classmate from Charity Hospital - and, of course, I always saw Beth and Luther.  The Stantons ended up moving back to Columbus, GA which was nice for me.  I always had my dear friends to see when I went to my home town.  Interestingly, Luther had a cousin living not too far from me in northern CA so we would occasionally get together on the West Coast. 

About fifteen years ago, when the Stantons were at their cabin on the Chattahoochee River back waters, Luther met with a debilitating accident.  He was on his jet ski when someone plowed into him, causing mutliple fractures and injury.  Airlifted to the Medical Center in Columbus, he spent days in ICU and underwent repeated surgery.  With hundreds of prayers bombarding heaven, the love of his wife, Beth, and his incredible positive outlook on life, Luther survived all surgery and osteomyelitis - and I still have my wonderful friends to visit when I'm home. 

Saturday night, they picked me up and took me over to their home for pizza and the World Series.  I got to meet the yellow lab they saved from extermination in the very nick of time.  Their
beloved, eight -year-old,   Molly, also a yellow lab, died recently, a devastating event for them.  Beth had been checking out the animal shelters for another yellow lab.  When she was notified that there was a dog at the pound, her daughter went over and met a sweet, but rather forlorn creature, who had a growth on her ear and who was infested with fleas and had ear infections.  Somehow, as Jennifer started to leave, the dog gave a bark and that did it.  Beth called Luther and the rest, and a couple hundred dollars later, is history.  Lucy, in a little more than a week, has been neutered, has has a tumor removed from her ear, has completed a course of antibiotics and is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever seen.  She loves Luther and Beth and the feeling is totally mutual!  Molly's dog spirit must have been there, playing matchmaker!

This is Lucy.  The vet thinks she is about 2-years-old.

Already, she is so bonded to Luther and Beth!


This seems like a strange way to sleep.

Now, that looks pretty comfy.

I think I am more the lap dog type...who says it's only for the pekinese?

Ohhhhhhhhhh, Beth is so soft!

Leg paralysis soon!

When Luther and Beth found out I hadn't rented a car, they insisted I take Luther's little truck to use.  What wonderful friends I have!

Here they are - Luther Stanton, my friend of FIFTY years...I cannot believe that much time has
gone by ( till I look at his white hair ) and his lovely wife, Beth

I cannot thank them enough for their love and friendship for half a century.  When we are together, it seems like we are back in high school.  In spite of our aches and pains and the white hair ( I thank the scientists at L'Oreal, etc, for maintaining mine at a color more like that of my youth ).


  1. Gloria Dodds5:41 PM

    I agree that Beth and Luther are wonderful friends. It is hard to comprehend 50 years since we were all in high school! I would love to catch up on one of your next trips to Columbus.

  2. she's a lap doubt about it !!!

  3. Beth and Luther7:25 PM

    we are speechless and glad to have such a talented and thoughful friend...very well done. Oh, yes, and Lucy snores almost as loud as Luther.

  4. such a beautiful paean to your friendship

  5. nothing warms the heart as a deep, true friendship, isn't it?

    i'm thinking, you've had friends for 50 years now, which means they've also had a friend for 50 years. beautiful!

  6. We had two yellow labs, who are now gone to that great doggy home in the sky. I miss them terribly. Our second one, Ralphy, thought he was a lap dog, too, but at just at 100 pounds, we had to convince him otherwise!

  7. You are quite lucky to have such a long lasting relationship with them..I have a soft spot for yellow lab, and what a cute dog they have..

  8. A friendship of 50 years - wonderful. I love my own golden oldie friends. I always feel especially comfortable and at home in their company, they are like family, except family I could not chose, but them, I chose them (and yes, they chose me).

  9. What a great post - and how wonderful that both you and Luther found true friendship in each other. It is the strangest and loveliest of things, meeting someone at any point in your life, and knowing, hello! here you are, my friend.

  10. You are all so blessed to have been such good friends over the years.

  11. What a nice post....

  12. What a wonderful friendship, Carmen!
    I have one friend from childhood whom I've also known for 50 years. That sounds like such an awfully long time, but that time passed actually past by in a flash! I'm sure you would agree.

    Thank you for the information about the SF Bay to Breakers race. I'm sure it is very challenging due to San Francisco's steep hills! I enjoyed visiting SF very much and hope to see it again in the future.

  13. We are so blessed as I too have friends from grade school......there are 6 of us that meet every year for a couple of days, such fun and lovely memories when we are all together. So happy you have Luther and Beth in your life, ...:-) Hugs

  14. 50 years of friendship is really special. You must have a lot of good memories.

  15. Friendship is so special especially when it is longlasting. I adored the pictures of Molly, so like my two departed yellow labs.

  16. what a very long and lasting friendship