My Dearest Amy (a.k.a. Brown Buffalo, Pinelle),
Do you know how swell I think you are?
You can't even begin to imagine.
From that first day in fourth grade when you arrived decked-out like Jan Brady, to fifth grade and our super cool club, The Stallions, to the late-night arguments in seventh grade over who broke up The Beatles, Linda or Yoko -
To sitting in Mr. Laddick's stable for hours on end with his horses while other 12-year-old girls were deciding which cute guy to have a crush on next -
To our first can of beer, purloined from your garage (Bud Light was it? It was warm, I remember that....) to
To playing football with Billy and the Shriners (was that their name?) and the time you tried to make an interception and broke my nose (I owe all my theatrical "character" roles to you....)
You introduced me to music beyond Shaun Cassidy so that - despite the pictures my sister recently posted and the fact that we were all living in the middle-of-nowhere - I could at least feel hip and outré while listening to The Ramones and Lene Lovich during the 80's, no matter my perm and enormous plastic-frame glasses.
And that day we walked around our small town dressed as Hare Krishnas just because that's what you do when you are bored and you live in a small town and you have a renegade imagination -
And swimming at the Frackville pool and then heading back to your house for Kraft macaroni and cheese and Planet of the Apes movie-thons -
And your Annie Oakley/Annie-Hallish fashion sense, and Mr. Brokenshire reprimading that if we were going to wear ties with our Catholic school girl uniforms, then we'd have to wear them tight to the throat like the boys did -
So we did -
And John Lennon and New York City and the night we called The Dakota to tell him how much we adored him and wanted to be him or marry him or hang out with him, or something.
And riding to school in Mary's Buick, listening to the Times Square soundtrack on the 8-track player in her car and hearing Gary Newman and Patti Smith for the first time.
Living with you in Philadelphia in a house full of women rugby players.
The apartment on 2nd street and boilo in the coffee maker and the night of "Rugby Players Gone Wild".
Taco Festivals and Jon driving the bingo van to many, many Grateful Dead shows...I think....I'll have to ask my sister. Her mind is has been less tampered with by time. Or other things.
Introducing me to books that the nuns never told us about.
Sleepovers and trying to steal your Frickle.
The first time I tasted Chinese food or Vietnamese food - or even ham with green beans done up PA Dutch style -was with you.
Your sense of humor and Monty Python and burying dirty Mad Libs in my backyard.
Last week and tea and fruit salad.
And the smell of patchouli.
And your great tie-dyes.
And the warmest hugs in the world.
Yeah, I know that's corny, but what the hell...if you can't be corny with your oldest friend on the occasion of her 40th birthday, then when can you be? I mean, other than after drinking a fifth of tequila or while trapped spelunking and watching the canary take its last breaths.
Anyway, you do give the best hugs. So there.
You know I could go on and on and on....
Happy Birthday, Amy.
I know you wanted to keep it quiet.
But I - we all - think you're fabulous. I couldn't imagine my life without you. And the best way I could think of to thank you for intersecting my trajectory 30 years ago, was to tell you.
And then create A BLOG with a bunch of photos of you on it and completely embarrass you.
(Go ahead. Click on all those orange words. And there's more to come. Think of it as your birthday month. He-he.)
But it is done with love.
Just be glad I talked my mom out of putting the nude baby photo of you on Service Electric Cable to run for the weekend.
At least, I think I talked her out of it.
Happy Birthday, Amy!
Josette (a.k.a Dr. Duke, Jozo)