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Painting by Eric Sassoon Sykes

Just a little over 50 years ago, back home in England, my friend J and I were in middle school together. We went on to the same secretarial college, both joined the local youth club and even when she moved a little further away, still hung out together.

When she left for the USA it came as quite a blow to me as, up until then, I had only made a couple of really good friends and I felt like I could ill afford to lose one. Still, we wrote to each other quite often (this was in the days before Skype or even email) and kept up to date with all the news by post.

A lot of water flowed under the bridge during the following few years and although we kept in touch I never expected to see J again.  But fate has a strange way of working and after I married my husband, who happens to be from Chicago, I too found myself living on the other side of the pond.

Now, instead of having the ocean between us, we were only separated by Lake Michigan and naturally J was the first person I wanted to go visit.  Since then it has always been a great pleasure to get together with her and her husband; they have helped us celebrate the weddings of two of our daughters. It was J who introduced me to WordPress and she has a lovely blog that I hope you will visit sometime.   jbcamera http://wp.me/1o5hW

The painting was done by our art teacher (the best teacher I was ever privileged to know) in middle school; J is on the left and that’s me on the right. The picture supposedly portrays him (as the knight) saving us from a very fiery maths teacher that we had at that time.  He gave me the painting and I’ve kept it all these years, a treasured reminder of him and my long-standing friendship with J.