Today, April 5, is the birthday of Mavis Dunford, my best friend after I first moved to Calgary as a four-year old. I lived downtown in a old house at 901-10th Avenue SW, and she lived next door.
We started school together but were never in the same class, although being neighbours, we constantly visited back and forth, and played endless games of skipping, hop scotch, jacks, and “wedding” which involved our getting married to one another on my veranda with Mavis always the bride because she had long hair. We enlisted her siblings to fill in other roles, and celebrated the event with Neapolitan ice cream provided by my mother.
Then we each moved to another part of the city, and while we didn’t lose track of one another until I started university in Edmonton, the friendship was never quite the same.
Nevertheless, every year on April 5 I remember that hers was the first birthday I celebrated outside of my own family. I wonder how she is, and I do a cursory search for her on the internet. This has become an annual event for the past 10 years or so. I have even posted messages on the alumni site for Western Canada High School, but without success.
This year, being retired and all, I had a bit more time to dig around, but still no luck. She has disappeared – married, moved away, died—who knows?
If you are out there, Mavis, Happy 69th Birthday, old friend. You can still be the bride.