My childhood friend and golfing buddy Nancy Stone died yesterday of brain cancer. She told me of her diagnosis on a visit to my house, quite coincidentally on the day that I posted the following story, November 2, 2007. She was a very special lady who is now free of pain and at peace. I will miss her a lot.
I grew up in a beautiful little seaport town in Massachusetts with a biblical name-- Padanarum. The population then was about seven hundred.
When I was six years old my parents bought a home there. And on moving day, my new next door neighbor, a little girl named Nancy, came to visit.
It was love at first sight. Not Nancy--the pony she was riding. She and I and the pony quickly became best friends.
Nancy and I walked to elementary school together every day for the next three years. And she and her seven brothers and sisters were my early playmates and friends well into our teens.
Fast forward sixty years. Now retired and living in Pinehurst, I returned to Padanarum to visit my brother. I ran into one of Nancy's brothers. And when I asked about her he said: "Nancy and her husband Fred retired to Pinehurst three years ago".
When I returned home Nancy had already called and left a message. She and her husband had a house three holes from mine , walking distance, on the same golf course. There are only about forty golf courses in this area. How's that for small world!
We have played many rounds of golf together since that day. And we reminisce a lot. We even remember our secret hiding places.
And the games we played--Kick the Can, Ringalevio, Red Light, Simon Says.
Remember that old saying: "you can't go home again". Not true for Nancy and me. We do it every time we get together.