We met when I was eleven and she was not far behind. I think I was her first East Hampton friend, although she had younger cousins in town. She was an only child and her Dad was in the military, so they moved around a lot. But, for that summer, she was there, two doors away, at her Grandmother's house.
Marty and I were nearly inseparable. We were creative, too, in our time together. Often we were playing 'tomboy' games...like Tarzan, trying to swing on the vines in the over-grown lot next to her Grandma's house. We'd open our mouths and loudly yell, 'Ahhhh-eeeee-yaaaaa-eeeee-aaaaaah" . If the truth is known, we probably sounded more like Cheetah than Tarzan.
One day our backyard play was a trip....over the earth, through the clouds, and around the world on our flattened appliance boxes that we saw as magic carpets. Other days we spent at the beach together or in swimming pools at places where her aunt worked. Never was there a time that we dove in the water that we didn't sing "Fig-a-ro...Fig-a-ro...Fig-a- glub, glub, glub."
We walked everywhere we went. Sometimes we were allowed to walk to the Village, and Marty, with her allowance, would buy small troll dolls for her collection. Those wide eyed dwarf-like things with the fuzzy, colorful hair that stood up straight from their heads, were the only dolls that Marty would tolerate. I still liked dolls, but by that time, it was mostly Barbie dolls or other fashion ones.
As the years went by, Marty and I remained friends, communicating mainly with long, rambling letters while she lived in Michigan and later, England. She was in the United Kingdom when the Beatles sound first came to the USA. and she sent me two of their albums. The British versions were slighly different from the ones put out for the U.S. They were my prized possessions. (Unfortunately, a bad record player needle ruined them both, and they've long since been discarded. ) She eventually came back to East Hampton, and attended high school there. We were typical teenaged girls, playing records, going to movies together, discussing boys, and eating hamburgers at Speed's little hole in the wall. We had a trip or two to New York City, we went to Guild Hall plays together, and we even went to Shea Stadium for the Beatles concert. We had our times of dispute, but for the most part, our friendship stayed in tact.
It was I who introduced Marty to her husband. It was Marty who was my matron of honor when I married. When my daughter was born, Marty was standing as her god-mother. She was a good gift giver too! Not having any of her own children yet, she doted on mine, and though, when my son was born he had different god-parents, Marty gave as many gifts to him as she did for Kerry.
Since Marty's husband was in the Navy by that time, they left East Hampton. She had 3 handsome sons, and I had had 5 young ones. Our correspondence slowed down to nearly a halt, but there were occasional phone calls or Christmas cards. We'd get together once a year or so, when they went to East Hampton for a family visit. Now, since the advent of computers, we write here and there to catch up on things. We moved away from my hometown, and Marty and I live now in neighboring states. We hope for a visit in the future.
Life brings many changes our way. Childhood moves us into adulthood, and with that some major alterations occur. In both Marty's life and mine, we've had marriages, children, divorce, father's deaths and now, the caring for our mothers. Memories linger, and though we haven't seen each other in years, there is no dissolution of our friendship. When we write, there seems to be no loss for words. We've stored up much to share, and share we will one of these days soon.
Somethings are just meant to last....and this friendship with my old pal is one of them.