LUNCHING WITH FRIENDS
This was a happy photo taken after these four South Carolina friends took me out for lunch after church one Sunday. It was either during the time I was transitioning to my new job and life in Nashville or on a brief visit back to Columbia later that year.
Karen, the friend on the far left, organized the lunch gathering and we had been friends the longest. I first met her when she was Heather’s Sunday School teacher. Later I was in several small groups with her and her wonderful husband Tony. He was from Louisiana, a wonderful cook and we shared a love of Mello Joy coffee and crayfish. Karen was always cheerful and enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with her two sisters. She claimed that I introduced her to classical music!
Pat, the friend on the far right, I got to know when I went to work for Pete in downtown Columbia. She was the office manager for his company, and it was delightful to spend time with her. Pat loved to be on stage and was often in local theater productions. We even worked up some recitations to do together and had fun practicing on our lunch breaks. Pat and Karen had known each other for years.
Alice, the friend standing between Karen and me, became a special friend the last few years I lived in Columbia. She was Canadian, very bright and well read, and a bit reserved. Her husband Paul was a Presbyterian pastor at a church on the other side of the city for a few years. Their youngest son Dean was just a bit younger than Patrick and wanted to be an actor. Years later I was thrilled to see him here in Nashville in a one-man show he wrote. Alice and I began meeting each week for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel a few years before I moved. There we had many stimulating discussions about our life stories, theology and politics.
Marian, the friend standing between Pat and me, was a lovely woman I knew from church. She heard Karen talking about getting together for lunch with me and said she wanted to be included! I was so happy she spoke up and came along.
Although I’ve stayed in touch with these friends, there haven’t been any more opportunities for a Sunday lunch together. It’s a gift to have a photo to remind me of their friendship.