12.16.2008

The BAD girls


Once upon a time, in a small Mississippi town, there lived three women who formed a circle of friendship that would stand the test of time – and death.

Being one of the three, I long ago labeled one “my best friend” and the other “my true-blue friend.” I cannot imagine what they might have dubbed me during more than four decades of agreeing and disagreeing – of good times and bad.

A male friend at my daddy’s funeral pegged us, “I can tell when you three get together, there’s bound to be trouble. You’re The Three Musketeers.” “And,” I replied, “our initials are BAD – Betty, Annelle and Daphne!”

During a visit home in 1990, I stood with these two women by best friend Daphne’s flower beds. I believe it was true-blue friend Annelle who spoke the words which made us move instinctively into a group hug – a sealing of something very special.

I met Daphne Catt, a high school teacher, when our firstborn sons were babies. I had gone to her home to invite her to Sunday School, and we began a conversation that lasted many years. Annelle Poole and I grew close when we carpooled to our jobs at St. Regis Paper Company, her in the comptroller’s office and me in public relations. She, too, had a young son. Daphne and Annelle met through me and later worked together and had fun together all those years when I was off in distant places.

It’s a silly thing, but I always said of them, “Annelle Poole has a pool, but Daphne Catt has no cats.”

Daphne died from the effects of Parkinson’s on 27 January 2003, but the circle was not broken. She and I had stayed close with long-distance calls and rare visits. It was Annelle who was her buddy through the later years and who puts fresh flowers on her grave. Annelle is the lucky one.

I am thankful for whatever stars were aligned, what miracle was wrought, which brought the three of us together.

Happy Birthday, my true-blue friend Annelle! Group hug!

PHOTO: Coffee at Daphne’s kitchen table. From left, Stanley Catt (who died 19 November 2008 , also from Parkinson’s), Dephne Catt, Annelle Poole and Betty “B.J.” Trotter. Monticello, Mississippi, 1990. (Photo by Mark Trotter)

9 comments:

FrodoSidebysideus said...

Whew! Thanks for identifying each of those at the table, Frodo was thinking to himself that she who was now being identified as the late Stanley Katt was one ugly broad.

Somehow, Frodo believes that would've made all your friends laugh.

Friendship is one of life's greatest mysteries, and one of its' greatest blessings.

Annelle said...

And I say, through the tears, thanks for the birthday wish, and all the memories. Love you

Anonymous said...

Hey B.J.,
I remember growing up and hearing about the three of you and all the fun ya'll had. Friendship is truly a gift from God. I love it when you share your personal stories. Personal friendships are what makes life worth living. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I love you, Deb
(I never remember my password, so "anonymous" again, but you know its ME)hahaheehee

Bill Sumrall said...

I've been blessed to know you for almost as old as Jack Benny was when he died at age 39. And I feel like I've known the other BAD girls as long. Here's to friends always.

Tom said...

Happy Birthday to Annelle Poole! And many more!

Good Southern Man said...

Happy Birthday Annelle!! I am so glad that you are in BJ's life. And thanks for coming to see me in some of the operas in Jackson.

BJA said...

To Frodo--Stanley Catt would have laughed the LOUDEST! BJ always has had the dearest and best friends because she IS a dear friend! Happy Birthday Annelle!

Tiny said...

Happy Birthday to your friend Annelee. And thanks to you for the grest memories you share. Friends are more precious that gold. Many a time friends have come to my rescue. I am thankful for all of them.

Thank you for sharing your great stories and thanks for being a very good friend. Where would we be without good friends!

May you, your friends, and all people in the world have a joyous Holiday Season filled with the richest blessings of love, peace, and happiness.

Tiny

Anonymous said...

BJ, God gives gifts like peace and joy and special friends like you! Faye