Pat’s Bits & Pieces by Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

Friends help make the best memories

I am spending the day with my buddy April today (Tuesday) while she suffers through, yet another bout of chemotherapy treatment.
She has been through a lot lately, but seems to handle it well. It can’t be easy for her, but you would never know it to talk to her. She is a very special lady. She always seems upbeat and positive about what she is going through.
I don’t know, in fact I am pretty sure I wouldn’t handle it that well at all…I am a whiner and I love sympathy when I’m sick.
The treatment center for cancer patients over here in Midland delivers plenty of TLC. They seem all to be wonderful, caring people over here and are constantly doing all they can to make sure their patients are as comfortable as possible during treatment sessions.
I only wish there was more I could do to make her life right now a little better. April and I go way back. We met shortly after Jack and I moved to Clare in the early 80s.
Back then I was writing for the Morning Sun and selling advertising for the Review. April and Rodger, owners of Hick’s Jewelry in downtown Clare, were one of my favorite customers.
We always found lots to talk about when I stopped to see them, family, kids and the usual stuff, and soon we became friends.
Being new to the Clare area, I appreciated that friendship very much. I had gone from a small town newspaper editor that everybody knew to a newcomer in a strange town and although it was exciting to be “starting over” in a new town, it was pretty lonesome at first.
Over the years since then, we became much closer. No longer just “salesperson and customer,” We were on the Clare Retail Committee together, both on the Clare Chamber of Commerce and became more and more involved in the community together.
Those were some fun years. April, who can be crazy when she want to, came up with some great ideas for entertainment at the annual Chamber Dinner Dance. Once we wrote and participated in a “Laugh-In style skit” all about antics at the Clare Chamber office. I played the buxom Lily Tomlin look-alike Chamber secretary who was always looking for a man. April was an obnoxious bag lady who frequented the office. Neal Erickson played the suave Chamber president and the main object of my affections. It was a big hit.
Another big success was the year we put together a 1950s and 1960s fashion show complete with  poodle skirts, stiletto heels, padded shoulders, pedal pushers, blue suede shoes and even a “1930s era “zoot suit” courtesy of and worn by Al Iacco. The evening also included an excellent performance of the “Blues Brothers” played by Mark Smith and Dave Reitze. They stole the show that year.
A couple of times every year we, along with friends Julie and Pam, went on shopping excursions . What fun that was. At least once every year, we made it a weekend event for “just the girls.” Some of those trips were just a little bit wild and we sure had fun and acted crazy (I remember a performance of the “YMCA”  in the out-of-town hotel pool, and I have the pictures to prove it too).
When we talk about the “good old days” those crazy, fun times are always on the top of my list. And we sure do talk about them a lot.
Even though our “antics” are a bit more subdued these days – after all we are older now (horrors) – we still have fun together, still plan shopping trips and couples evenings out as often as possible.
And when April is back on her feet again, we just have to plan another “girl’s weekend” – somewhere there is an indoor pool, of course.

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