Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beth...the Beginning

As I've stated previously, I don't have many photos from my childhood because most went up in flames when our house was struck by lightning (and subsequently, burnt to the ground). I mention this specifically, for this particular post, because it pains me not to have any other picture of me and Beth together. This is the one - one snapped at my seventh birthday party.

Pictured (from left): Me, Ericka Couch, Lisa Smith, Beth Fruechtenicht

But back to the beginning...

I don't remember the exact moment that I met Beth. This feels strange to me because my memory during this time is pretty vivid and detailed. Our first encounter though, had to be in Kindergarten - Miss Crouse's pm class at Indian Village Elementary School.

Beth was everything I was not - blond, perfectly proportioned, well-off, and she had the ideal parents. Her mom Sharon - I'm not sure what she did (I assumed she did something for a living) - was possibly, the nicest woman I have ever met in my entire life time. Her dad Tom - was a very important man. A state representative...involved in lots of local Fort Wayne important things...

And so having Beth as my friend should have seemed strange and out of place. But it wasn't. I can't explain it. She was like another world to me, but one that accepted and embraced me for who I was.

Beth and I did have lots of things in common.

First, we were competitive. Some of that had to do with physical co-location (we both had the same teachers K-4). But most of it had to do with me, wanting to be like Beth. She was smart, and every chance I got, I would go head to head with her in academic situations. That ranged from seeing who could get the higher grades on the spelling tests to seeing who could progress quicker through our reading books (i.e. Rainbows, Fiesta, Rewards, Panorama, Kaleidoscope, etc...)

Second, we were both Girl Scouts. We started out as Brownies and then we 'bridged' over to Juniors. Beth's mom, who was one of our leaders, was there the entire way - teaching us the Girl Scout Promise and helping us earn our badges (yes, I need an entire series - just on Girl Scouts!).

Third, we were both labeled as boy crazy. While I was a bit more forthcoming with who I had a crush on (Tom Stinson, Lewis Mastin), Beth was a bit more cautious about revealing who she liked since most of them seemed to live close to her.

Fourth, we were both fans (and active players of) tetherball, kickball, and four square. I could always count on her to play any of these at recess. Sometimes though (at recess), we would just hang together and talk about 'stuff'. Stuff could be - toys, dolls, boys, other girls, teachers, homework - basically nothing was off limits.

Beth and I were thicker than thieves for five years. In those five years - although I've said that we were very different from each other - we both ended up experiencing a lot of the same challenges (and heartbreaks).


ida said...

heck i think i had a crush on tom stinson at one time. so long ago. lol good post. reminds me of a girlfriend i had in waynedale elementry.

Anonymous said...

Beth Fruechtenicht, WOW. I moved into Indian Village in '76 and lived down the blvd from Beth. I remember my brother, Stan, and Joe Perjack(?) discussing all the finer points of Beth while listening to the Kiss song. I used to hang out with her brother a little, but it seems they moved a few years later. Do you remember her dad's Avanti car?

Did you attend Elmhurst?

Enjoy the memories you trigger. Ft. Wayne is a great place to be from!

Tom Stinson...I had two sisters who swooned over him. All I knew was if I wanted to impress the lady folk, I better act like Tom.

Blvd Monkey

Anonymous said...

wow the drinking buddy is my Dad...

Which you probaly dont remeber me?