Extra Special Favorite

One of my best friends, Ann Kelley
One of my best friends, Ann Kelley

We’ve all got people around us who we feel are special, and one of them is Ann Kelley, who I have known since 1997. Abby and I feel that she is one of our favorite friends, and today we were privileged to spend the day with her and hers. She lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with her husband Bob. They love to entertain, so we got together for this Memorial Day.

Years ago when Ann and I were both still single, we tapped each other repeatedly as sounding boards, and for advice about our romantic struggles. Oddly, we were never attracted to each other, and that may have enhanced our relationship.

Ann lived in a tiny, charming old house on 17th street here in Ada, and she and I both look back on those days and smile. Back then we would stay up all night talking, or she would call me in the middle of the night and invite me to go to Wal Mart to buy dog food with her, or I would bring her fried zucchini when she was feeling down or just hungry. One night at my suggestion she burned all of her boyfriend’s letters on the front porch. That’s where I met one of our other favorite friends, Jamie.

I almost bought that house from her, and Abby and I went there on our first date.

Ann and I drove to New Orleans together in 2001, and spent the week there with my sister. She was just getting over a bad break-up, and needed the time and the space. We both had a great time. One day that week, we drove to Grande Isle State Park and played in the surf, despite Tropical Storm Allison.

Ann and I have a thousand great stories together. I don’t talk about her enough on these pages, and I don’t thank her enough for being my friend, and now my wife’s friend. Thanks, Ann.

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