Posted by: chlost | December 7, 2011

And the stories, more precious than gold…..

Last night I had dinner with a couple of friends I have known since high school. We try to get together every month or so. We end up having a three-hour dinner, lots of laughs and much support for each other as we handle all that life throws at us.

One of the topics of conversation last night was my friend Jan. I told them that my granddaughter’s love of horses had made me think of Jan and her horses.  It was a very small school. There were only 90 students in the class, so we all knew each other. And Jan was the kind of person whom everyone knew and liked. And she was a little crazy…..there are stories.

When we were juniors in high school, Jan decided to bring her horse Mister to school. The area around the school as mostly rural then. She was able to ride him from her home to the school. Most of the students had left for the day, but there were kids there for activities and teachers who had not yet left for the day.  When Jan and Mister arrived at the school, she didn’t leave him outside, she rode that horse right into the school.

Mister was not fazed. Jan was in the saddle, coaxing him in through the front doors. When he reached those shiny hallway floors, he just kept on going. She rode him all the way down the hall to the rear exit door and continued out on to the grass. It was amazing. There is a photo in one of the yearbooks of Jan and Mister just outside the school. Luckily, the horse didn’t leave any apples behind.

If anyone tried to do that today, it would be quite a different scene. But back then, it was just hilarious. It was considered good fun. True horseplay. The story of her escapade was told and retold for years. Jan just laughed it all off. She wouldn’t even have been able to tell you why she did it or how she thought of it.

When Jan was younger, she lived in town. A friend’s mom watched from their kitchen window as Jan had the horse (already saddled and ready to ride) wait just past a backyard tree. Jan then climbed the tree, rather high, and sat on a branch. She called for the horse. As the horse came up to the tree, she dropped down from the branch, intending to land in the saddle and ride away. I’m sure she’d seen this as a stunt with Roy and Dale Rogers.  But her horse was spooked by the movement in the tree and took off before Jan could land in the saddle. The timing was not right and instead, Jan landed on the ground. My friend clearly remembers her mom telling her “I think Jan is dead”. Luckily,  she only had a badly broken arm.

I don’t know a lot of people who still keep in touch with friends from high school. Last night I realized that the great part of it is that we have so much shared history. No one else in my life would know this stuff. My mom and my sister are the only others who have shared that much of my life. The friends are better in some ways because I can talk to my friends about my mom and my sisters.

I’m feeling very fortunate today.




  1. I was sort of keeping in touch with one friend from high school, then Facebook came along and now I peer into the lives of several folks I went to school with, occasionally exchanging notes or odd updates. To be honest that about all I want from the high school crowd. College friends, the same thing. I have one friend from college I talk to and consider a good friend. The rest…. Almost like I never grew up or spent time in California.

  2. I have re-connected with some high school friends and am really glad for that. It’s nice knowing people who shared your childhood.

  3. I haven’t kept in touch with anyone from high school, so I think it’s nice that you’ve been able to do that. I’m glad your friend wasn’t seriously hurt jumping out of the tree.

  4. I have no connections left with anyone from high school, so I think it’s wonderful that you can have this time with friends from back then. Jan sounds like she had a lot of mischief in her. Those are some of the best kind of friends.

  5. I just realized everyone had sex and did drugs in high school because no one had a horse.

  6. What a blessing to still have those friends and to get together as a group occasionally. I’m lucky that I still have a few childhood friends I get along well with, but we’re spread out, and it’s only been 13 years. I hope to consider myself so lucky down the road.

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