Thursday, January 19, 2012

Remembering Long Lost Childhood Friends

Jennifer Wilson and Me, 1982.  King City, Ontario
I have been thinking a lot about two of my childhood friends that I lost contact with when I moved from Oak Ridges, Ontario to Fort Frances, Ontario in 1978.  My two very best friends at the time were Jennifer Leigh Wilson and Robin Craig.  I traveled back to see them a couple times after I moved in the early 1980's.  I often think of them and wonder how they are doing.  I have tried looking for them on Facebook and Google, but when I look up their names, many people with those same names come up on the list so I am discouraged and not sure where to begin.

I went to a webpage called, How to Find a Childhood Friend and I have already exhausted those options. It's been over 30 years since I last saw them, so their names may have changed.  Maybe they are now married with different names, maybe they moved.  I am not sure where to go from here.  I'd like to tell you a little bit about Robin and Jennifer, and maybe, one day, they will search their own name on Google and this post will pop up!

Robin Craig
 Late 1970's Early 1980's, Oak Ridges, Ontario

I first met Robin when she babysat my brothers and I.  We quickly became very close friends.  The fondest memories I have of Robin (who was about 3 years older than me) was that she lived so close (I lived on Maple Grove) and we practically spent every free moment together.  She didn't live far, and all I had to do was go down the street a ways and cross over to another short street.  In the winter there was a small skating rink really close to her house.  I remember looking forward to reading "Jaws" together, which made an exciting time for our sleepovers.  We enjoyed recording music on cassette tapes from the radio and writing down the lyrics.  We also really loved playing Monopoly together.  Robin introduced me to french fries and gravy at the local mall.  She made me fall in love with music, and we enjoyed singing and dancing with "The Defranco Family".  We loved the song, Heartbeat, It's a Lovebeat.  Click here to hear that song - from 1974!  She and I both loved making scrapbooks, my favourites were Charlie's Angels and John Travolta.

Jennifer Wilson
 Late 1970's Early 1980's Oak Ridges, Ontario.

The greatest thing about Jennifer was that we were the same age and we had the same last name. I remember practicing how we might sign our names, using big swirly "W"s.   We used to ride our bikes all around the neighbourhood. She lived across Young Street, near a lake, and she had a nice, big dog.  I remember if her dog Riley was outside, and he was supposed to go back in the house, she would call out, "Dad, call Riley" and her dog would run back inside even if her dad wasn't home.  Jennifer had a big brother.  I had two little brothers.  We enjoyed riding our bikes around the neighbourhood on garbage day, looking for treasures.

Robin Craig, August 1982 (Ontario)

I hope that one day I can reconnect with my two childhood friends. They have a special place in my heart and they are like family to me. I'd love to know what they are doing now.  I hope they are well and enjoying a happy, healthy life.  Is there anyone from your childhood that you wonder about?

(If it so happens that Robin or Jennifer are looking for me, my maiden name is Angela Wilson, and I went to school at Oak Ridges Public School.)  

Here's to wonderful childhood memories!

Angela Gentile

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