Blessed to have a friendship for 73-plus years

By Sharon Reynolds - Guest Column

Sharon Reynolds, left, and Judy Tomlinson.

Sharon Reynolds, left, and Judy Tomlinson.

How many of you can say you’ve had a friendship for 73-plus years? Not too many of you, I bet.

Judy and I have.

We first met in the nursery of First Church of Christ, Scientist here in Lima, both of our families being Christian Scientists. Judy was Judy Tomlinson and my name is Sharon Reynolds.

Judy lived on Spencerville Road and attended the Shawnee schools. The house I grew up in was on West Wayne Street directly across from the Dairy Queen and I went to Lima Junior and Senior High. So we had the Spartan/Indians school feud to occupy our activities for our school years.

I loved spending time at Judy’s house because it offered a lot of open space, trees and grass to run around and play. There was a majestic willow tree. … we spent a lot of time in our pretend house under its branches, tying back the soft flowing branches with hair ribbons, sleeping under the stars, singing to our dolls. Overnights were fun because, you know, just being at someone else’s house was always an adventure.

Judy’s aunt and uncle owned Spyker’s Restaurant downtown. At that time the restaurant was located on Elizabeth Street, and Judy and I both put in hours of labor cleaning tables, washing pots and pans, peeling apples and potatoes, and getting our first introduction to the fine world of feeding others.

Upon graduation, I went to Columbus for a business education at Bliss College, where I met and married Larry Knowlton. Judy stayed in the Lima area and began her work career. We both sent our special fellows off to Vietnam and were grateful that they returned.

One clear memory we shared was a Saturday that I came back to Lima to visit. I spent the night with Judy at her apartment on Market Street and we spent hours futzing around with makeup and messing with our hair to take some glamour pictures to send to our men in the service. What a hoot! We have never been women who spent a lot of time being glamourous, but that evening was hilarious!

Judy met the love of her life, Carl (Skip) Cater, a widower raising three daughters. She was selling life insurance at the time they met and she said “He took me instead of a policy.” They just celebrated their 45th anniversary! They spend a lot of their time these days in their camper and fishing, riding golf carts, and spending time with grandkids.

Judy has worked as a courier for many years, driving all around Lima and this part of the state. She seems to know everyone everywhere … if we’re out for lunch these days, there’s always someone yelling hello to her.

Years passed, I had two daughters, three grandchildren, and came home as often as possible to visit my Mom and my brothers. I worked primarily for attorneys and got really good at what I enjoyed doing … transcription. Then in the late 90’s I got divorced, and moved back home to Lima. Here I’ve spent the past 10-plus years working for two terrific psychologists.

Judy and I were not good letter writers but we kept in touch by phone. These days we don’t see each other as often as we’d like but we keep in touch by phone and can easily bring up memories to share. In fact, sometimes it’s easier to remember what we did back in the 60’s and 70’s than what we did last week (chuckle), but still it’s fun to have that friend who can roll back the hands of time and remember the experiences we’ve shared.

Sharon Reynolds, left, and Judy Tomlinson. Reynolds, left, and Judy Tomlinson.

By Sharon Reynolds

Guest Column

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