I like that quote from American writer, artist and philosopher Elbert Hubbard. Given that the majority of my truest friends are old ones it has always seemed quite fitting.
One of my besties is a woman I met when she walked in to our Grade 5 class as a new student unmentionable decades ago. Turned out, she and her mother had moved just a block away from me so our conversations to and from school helped to solidify what would become a wonderful lifelong bond.
Another was a chum from preschool through our teens. At that point, we joined ranks with four others, forming a little gang. While the years sent us in different directions, four of us try to see each other when we can. Though we don't find the opportunity as regularly as we'd like, when we do it's as if the conversation from the previous time never stopped.
All of these women knew me when I was as yet unformed, when immaturity and angst ruled my emotions and decisions. They were there for the melodramas, the mistakes and at times mild mayhem that dominated teenage life in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Through breakups and other assorted tribulations we supported each other, forgave theatrics and defended against hurtful outsiders. When silliness was required we rose to the challenge. When it was a shoulder to cry on, it was there, no questions.
Long before I read Hubbard's quote, I used to say that my childhood friends had seen me, warts and all, and loved me anyway. That special bond is celebrated in these wonderful photos: