AT 86, AMA member Gladys Teske has many friends, but she still remembers the very first one she ever made. It was during the 1941 end-of-year picnic at Longridge School near Holden. After games and contests, children munched on hot dogs, potato salad and hand-churned ice cream—a rare treat in the 1940s!
As Gladys sat in the shade of the schoolhouse with her parents, savouring her tasty cone, a bouncy curly-haired girl sat next to her. Like Gladys, five-year-old Lorraine was starting school there next fall. Over ice cream and giggles, the pair immediately hit it off and decided they would be best friends when they met again in September. It’s a promise that held true through the rest of their lives. Gladys says they “chummed together” during their school years and spent entire weekends at each other’s farms. She particularly loved going to church with Lorraine’s family—the start of a faith she now holds dearly.
As adults, the BFFs both became schoolteachers, got married, raised families and even went through the loss of their husbands at about the same time. Though they settled in different towns, they always found a way to stay connected, be it a card or a phone call. “We kept our preschool promise for over 80 years,” Gladys says. “And what a blessing it has been for both of us.”