Remembering Louise and Doris

Published 10:03 am Friday, May 10, 2013

I lost a great friend from my high schools days, so I had to put on my black “funeral suit” and go to visit her huge family gathered in Tryon from all over.

They were spread all the way across the front of the church, even without most of the grandkids. Good to see them all together again . . . there was one of Birch and Janie’s kids in almost every grade at Tryon School when we were there.

Louise Arledge was the only girl to volunteer to be added to my dance book at prom, and one of the few who took any notice of me at any time. The first wedding I ever attended was her’s to Fred Powell, older brother of my best bud Davey. I never thought Fred was much to look at, and since I am also not, I was much encouraged by his marrying one of the prettiest girls I knew.

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Both of them were active in Tryon First Baptist for many years; Fred even let me teach his Sunday School class a few times. When Louise became chief guide at the history museum, she was on my case continually to come to church more often.

She made no attempt to be polite about it or soften it . . . she was serious as she looked me straight in the eye and told me!

At the museum one day, she was telling some of us about her recent trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras and all the beaded necklaces she had accumulated during her visit. I piped up with, “I know how you ladies get those necklaces . . .” and you should have seen that church lady back pedal and try to convince us that she did not get hers . . . Got her goat once, anyway.

I learned today that I am just one of legions who came to love that tall, lanky gal who always let you have it straight, and sometimes with both barrels. Easy to love her, but not easy to live up to her standards. Good mothers are like that. Thank God for them.