We were known as The Three Musketeers – Julie, Paula, and Lauri (me). Our journey began in the 2nd grade when I moved to Tuttle, OK and joined Julie and Paula in a split class of 2nd and 3rd graders. Yes, half the room was 2nd graders and half the room 3rd graders. I don’t know how the teacher managed it, but it was common practice then to manage class sizes. Julie and Paula welcomed me in and we were fast friends and still are today. It’s one of those friendships we can pick-up any day and feel like we were together the day before. We haven’t lived close in location for many years, but our hearts are still close.
I have many treasured memories of the adventures we created growing up in a small town. We were all three church girls, attending different churches with our respective families. I was a Baptist girl, growing up in the First Baptist Church of Tuttle. Paula’s family attended the Nazarene church in town and Julie was a Methodist girl. The benefit to this was if one of our churches was offering something fun, we were all there!
Our small town was a Footloose town, literally. There was actually a town ordinance banning dancing on public property. Yes, it’s true, though my kids can’t believe it! We didn’t have a prom – we had a banquet. How fun is that? However, we didn’t let that stop us. Not to be stifled and permanently damaged, we found a way. On Sunday nights Julie’s church – I won’t name names – hosted the youth in the fellowship hall with food and…yes, dancing! So that’s where you would find the three of us when our schedules would allow.
There was something even more exciting about this activity since it wasn’t really allowed in our town or the other churches we attend. Why is it that what is prohibited seems so much more fun? We were great girls who caused little trouble in life overall, but we did enjoy a unified rebellious streak from time to time. Love you girls! ~ Lauri
Yep, we sure danced a lot…especially for living in a town where it was illegal! We danced at church on Sunday nights, at each other’s houses on Friday or Saturday nights…it was Saturday during football season. Not only did the Sims, Inmans and Greens put up with us; we also did some turns at the Browns, the Currens, the Sharps, the Bakers…whoever would have us. We always had frozen pizza, no pizza joints had made it to town AND our famous hot sauce…a can of tomatoes, a can of Rotels, a can of tomato sauce, garlic powder and red pepper flakes, blend in blender for a few seconds ( LOTS of pepper flakes if Paula was making it!)…comfort food still. Mostly we came as singles, but when the slow dances came on we usually had one person there that we, ahem, “teamed up” with. One especially memorable Christmas, I (horrors!) did not have a dance partner and danced all of the slow dances with a poinsettia…yes, sisters, a potted plant…at least no toes (or leaves!) were stepped upon! ~ Julie
(This was a pic from that party at Mama & Papa Green’s house…..and there sits the poinsettia! You are welcome, Julie, I just happened to have this still! ~ psb)
Well I must add just an itty bit to this. I was HORRIBLE at dancing. Still am. I don’t know how many times when we were trying to learn new dances (the BUS STOP and the HUSTLE, a couple of favorites!)that Julie would say to me, “Paula, we are not marching, we are dancing. Now move your arms!” I just wish we’d had red solo cups back then….lol… ~ Paula
The upper portion of this post was written by Lauri Williams of Guthrie, Oklahoma. The lower part was sent in by Julie Green Bell of Palestine, Texas. Paula, Owasso, OK, (that’s me!) had the photos….still a perfect team!