Friday, March 23, 2018

Sepia Saturday: Friend Bait

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

The scalloped hem of the dress in this week’s Sepia Saturday prompt reminds me of a dress that I once owned.

Wendy Slade at Melissa Stewart's party
That's MOI - first on the left
I don’t remember this dress. I don’t remember the party. Heck, I don’t even remember the balloon.

The photo is not mine. In fact, this is really a photo of a photo, but the story of how I came to have it is telling of the times in which we live.

In July 2015, my response to the prompt photo of unsmiling students was a post entitled Friends Side By Side in which I featured two newspaper clippings: one of my dad standing between two of his friends and one of me standing beside my friend for a kindergarten graduation photo. The “cute” connection between the newspaper articles is that my dad’s friend Jimmy Stewart is my friend Melissa’s father.

Several readers asked whether Melissa and I are still friends, whether we keep in touch. My response was this:
No, I don't know Melissa anymore. I don't know if she moved away or just lived in a different school district. I guess my parents and her parents drifted apart too, so after a time, I didn't see them.

Now fast forward to April 2016. I received this Private Message request on Facebook:
Dear Wendy, if you are Wendy Slade of Cradock … we knew each other as kids! I went to Mrs. Newton’s kindergarten. My Dad is Jimmy Stewart, we lived in Brentwood. Am I on the right track? …. I hope this is you, so cool! Melissa

How did Melissa find me? Well, Facebook, of course! A mutual friend LIKED this shared photo:
Anne Allen Hughes, Mary Allen McFadden, Peggy Allen Coker, Wendy Slade Mathias
The Allen girls and me 1961
Melissa recognized the girls and neighborhood. Curiosity drove her to my website where she even read OUR story and apologized for the part she played in breaking my nose. (It was an accident – no apology necessary!)

A flurry of PMs followed along with promises to get together over lunch. (She lives about 5-minutes from me!) But a different reunion opportunity presented itself. In his younger years, Melissa’s dad Jimmy had been the golf pro at Bide-a-Wee. As part of the golf course’s 60th anniversary celebration, Jimmy was invited to perform the golf equivalent of throwing out the first pitch: a tee shot or putt.

Jimmy Stewart, Wendy Slade Mathias, Melissa Stewart Miano April 2016
Jimmy, MOI, Melissa

So on a crisp morning in April 2016, Bide-a-Wee witnessed two major events: Jimmy’s celebratory putt and a reunion of friends (ok, so that second one wasn’t really major to most people). Melissa and I were both only children when we were childhood friends. Now she has five brothers and sisters! What a difference %&# years can make.

Oh, and that dress? I wore it to Melissa’s birthday party. She and I can’t agree on how old we were. Too bad she doesn’t have a picture of her cake with candles. Who knows - maybe someone else at the party has a photo. IDEA: we should post this on Facebook!

From the left: Me standing next to Melissa
How is it I'm the only one with a balloon? 

You’re invited to a reunion of blogging friends every week at Sepia Saturday.

© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.


  1. It’s nice to read about one of the great features of Facebook at a time when the company is being reviled. I’ve enjoyed reconnected with a few people on the site too. I’m amazed you got a match for the scalloped hem! What a cute dress. I have a friend with a neighbor named Rod Stewart and another William Shakespeare!

    1. I've never met anyone with the last name Shakespeare. Stewart, a few, Shakespeare none.

  2. What a great story! A true melding (welding?) of the blogosphere with social media to reactivate an old friendship. And no Russian hacker was involved either!

  3. Cute scalloped-hem dress. Perhaps the balloon was a party game prize?Reuniting with old friends you'd lost touch with is the best! I've been lucky several times with that sort of thing. Fortunately I have not lost touch with a few friends I used to play with when we were prior-to-school age. Rather remarkable and really special.

  4. What a wonderful post and photo! I, too, have reconnected with neighborhood friends through FB. However, my blog has been better for cousin connections. What did we do before the Internet? :-)

  5. What a fun story of friends reunited through photos posted here and elsewhere on the net! I love that your scallop skirt is actually and over-skirt. I wonder if you remember the color of the one below which really makes the scallops stand out. I know, that's asking a lot! It's sweet. And that is a rather strange way to hold a balloon, if you ask me! more like a football, but we know how unlikely that would be!

  6. What a great story - happy the two of you connected!