A special time for ‘Friday Lunch Friends’

Published 7:30 am Saturday, May 7, 2022

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It is Friday lunch time. You might have seen them at one time or another, six older women, making their way to a table at one of Andalusia’s restaurants. As they find places to sit, they’re chatting, and smiling, perhaps helping each other with a coat or finding a niche for a cane or a rolling chair.

Their appearance and their laughter sometimes attracted attention from others enjoying a meal close by. These women are old friends. They know lots of people in town. It was not unusual for acquaintances to pause to speak with them upon leaving the restaurant.

If the weather was pleasant that day you might even have seen them, the “Friday Lunch Friends,” as Helen King calls them, leaving, a restaurant never suspecting that there would be no more Friday lunches for a couple of years. Or, maybe never. Or that their number would diminish to five. Amidst the smiles and warm feelings of friendship, everyone paused a few seconds in memory of the late Frances Ptomey. Someone once said “It is a blessing that friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by doubling our joy and dividing our grief.” All five who are left have sweet memories of time together with Frances.

The Pandemic changed lifestyles. For almost two years, the Friday Lunch Friends did not meet. Each missed those Friday afternoons. They kept in touch by telephone. Then on April 22, Helen’s 100th birthday, they gathered on the lovely patio at the home of Frank and Jan King to celebrate a joyful reunion and express their love, admiration and appreciation of Helen.

In addition to Friday Lunch Friends Emogene Colvin, Helen Griffin (accompanied by her daughter Laura Darby), Lucy Martin and Nina Keenam, several friends and family members dropped by, adding to the merriment of the occasion.

The three lovely hostesses, Kathy Little, Helen’s daughter; Cathy King, and Jan King, daughters-in-law, served the group a delicious salad luncheon, followed by a dessert of cake and ice cream.

As a special reminder of the gathering for each friend, they placed the gift of a group photo on a stand of the friends along with a cookie iced with flowers and the number 100. Nobody knew when that photo was snapped one Friday at Tabby D’s Family Restaurant how treasured it would become in the future.

How true is the saying, “A true friend is the gift of God, and he only who made hearts can unite them.” The luncheons were a special time for the Friday Lunch Friends, blessing each one.