Monday, January 20, 2014

My Friend Myrna

I wrote the following in 2007 about my childhood friend Myrna Graves Conner.  We met when I was in second grade and our family had moved from the south side to the Heights of Glendive, Montana.  She passed away Saturday, January 18th.  She was 81 years old.  I will miss talking to Myrna--we would sometimes chat for an hour about the old times and our current families.  Seems the end of an era for sure without her.

Her nephew Kent said there was probably not a day in her life that she didn't laugh and enjoy life.  I think that is true.  Always when we would talk and commiserate about being alone, she would always express thanks to God for all the many blessings in her life.  She will be missed.


The word "Heartaches" 
reminded me of my friend Myrna who I stay with when I travel back and forth to San Diego. She lives just off the freeway in a beautiful home in Manhattan Beach. This song
"Heartaches" was one of her favorites in high school when she was going through a heartbreak romance. She also loved "My Blue Heaven". Funny how songs remind you of people and places. Here she is with Eddie, a neighbor in Glendive, at our 2000 high school reunion. They were not a romantic couple but were the best jitter buggers in our high school!

Myrna had to work from an early age in Kaplan's, the dress shop next to our store Anderson's, so she missed out on a lot of the after school happenings. She was such a great clerk because she is a people person and took an interest in all of their customers. Myrna is such a people person that she had and still has friends of every age. She is everyone's best friend, with a very compassionate heart and kindness for all. She has a fantastic memory and knows all about each of us. We all think she is our best friend... and she is!

Myrna had some heartbreaking moments in her life but persevered over all. Unfortunately the "love of her life" passed away in 1993 and they did not have enough years but she was so happy those years together in Manhattan Beach. Now she lives alone with a daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters near and two stepsons and their wives and two grandsons a little further away.

Myrna had the smallest waist of all of us. We made these ballernina skirts that were a full circle and so fun to dance in. Myrna's mother worked but I remember her being so fun to be around, always laughing and joking. Myrna and her mother made this fabulous boiled white frosting and chocolate cake and the best divinity. Myrna is still a great chef today and it is always a pleasure to eat whatever she is dishing up. My favorite outing with Myrna at her church was Easter Sunrise Service and then to the basement of the church for scrambled eggs, sausage, hot cross buns and orange juice and then we would go wake up our Catholic friends...Even though we had our own church in our home on Sunday nights, I went to the Methodist Church with Myrna. Her aunt was our Sunday School teacher when we were in grade school.

A really fun adventure in junior high was to travel by open truck (We were all in the back--against the law today) all the way from Glendive across Montana to Livingston for a Church Camp.

It was really fun--here we are discussing the weighty things of the world, Raine, Myrna, Myself  and
 Eddie. On the way back to Glendive the back of my jeans came unstitched at the back seam and so I tied my fringe jacket around my waist and said I was too hot to wear it--actually it was freezing in the open truck!

We also joined LTL (Loyal Temperance League) and signed our names that we would not smoke or drink. I was probably one of the few who never did.

Written later...

Myrna called me to tell me that she never signed the LTL pledge to not smoke or drink! I didn't remember this. Mrs. Lowe, a church biddy, called and reported to Myrna's mother that Myrna had refused to sign the pledge. Her mother asked if Myrna had said why. "She said she didn't know what she was going to do when she grew up." "There's your answer!" her Mom said and that was that. And Mrs. Lowe never spoke to Myrna's mother again.

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