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Long-time friendships make for happy memories

PAULETTE BALLARD
Guest Columnist

Following my knee surgery in April, I had to stay at the Brian Center for nine days for inpatient physical therapy. During my stay there I met one of the permanent residents, a lovely 86-year-old lady named Zella Ramsey.
For some reason I was drawn to her, and we began talking each day while waiting for our therapy to start. After we completed our therapy session I went to her room to continue talking with her because I found her to be so friendly and interesting.
As we talked, Ramsey told me a lot about her younger years and her best friends. I asked Ramsey what was something in her life she would never forget and she told me it would be her two best friends, Vertie Dellinger and Evie Pearson.
They grew up together and if one of them did something, all three of them did it. They had an inseparable friendship. While she talked to me about all the things she and her friends did, she showed me a picture of the three of them in a frame on the windowsill in her room. The picture was taken when they were very young women and before any of them were married. She said she treasures this picture.
In later years, the three friends always went to a dance on Friday night. Their husbands would go with them to the Saturday night dance. Ramsey said she had never been on a dance floor until she was 50 years old. Her favorite dance was square dancing. The first time she tried it, she couldn’t get back to her chair to sit down because she fell in love with it. The friends found their passion in square dancing.
“I wouldn’t take anything for the friendship I had with Vertie and Evie,” Ramsey said. “You know you have good friends when the relationship lasts for 70 years or more.”
Paulette Ballard collects interesting, funny and unusual stories from people in and around Lincolnton. If you have a story you would like to submit for her column, e-mail it to pballardnc1029@yahoo.com. In the subject line type “For your column.” Include your name and phone number for her to contact you.

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