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May 17, 2018 By Tom McKinney

Good Friends Are a Treasure

With the recent passing of a friend in Orange County, I thought about the great memories we made together with her husband, who died several years ago. I did not realize when I moved my family to Orange County in 1975 that we would make lifelong friends.

My wife and I had gone to a new church in the summer of 1976, and, as we left, a couple of parishioners spent several minutes with us. During the conversation, Warren asked if we were football fans and I said yes. He invited us to join a Monday night gathering to watch football and enjoy a light dinner and wine. We had a wonderful time and bet a dollar for each person for the score at the end of each quarter. Later, we decided to put money aside for a gala dinner at the end of the season. This was the beginning of our 40 years of friendship with the Newalls. We all liked football and baseball and attended many games together. The Newalls already had a large circle of friends and we were included in many dinners with their friends and, of course, Monday Night Football games as well.

I had access to some lodging in the desert and Mammoth Lakes, and we all liked Dixieland Jazz and spent wonderful times in both places for many years. We also added Pismo Beach to our jazz list and attended twice a year for several years. We have two daughters and their youngest daughter was the same age as our youngest. All four of us attended the weddings of these daughters. Even though we didn’t always agree on politics and religion, we remained great friends.

One thing I will forever remember is that Aurelle told me many years ago that if I was ever out late and had been drinking to call her and she would come get me no matter what time it was or where I was. This was real friendship! Aurelle was also the person we depended on when we had to provide a contact other than family in case of emergency.

Several times she responded to one of our family problems when we were unavailable. On certain holidays, when our daughters weren’t coming for a visit, we were invited to dine with the Newalls. Although they have now both passed on, growing older reinforces memories of good friends — which are indeed life’s cherished treasures.

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