Thankful for Friendship

In freshman year of high school, a new friend of mine invited me to sit with her friends during lunch. At the table was a tall girl, who had dumped her little box of raisins onto the table, and was taking each raisin one by one, pretended they were running across the table, then dropping them off the edge saying “AHHHH!” until they hit the floor.

This was how I met Donna Longcoy.

For almost 30 years, we have been friends. We made it through high school together, and college. We went on vacations together that featured pushing an antique car up a hill and knocking on random doors in a strange town in search of a funnel to siphon gas from said car to the out-of-gas truck towing it. We’ve been friends through fun times, hard times, guy trouble, job difficulties (we worked together for a while), weddings and funerals. Even though Donna and her husband live most of the way across the country, I am the official godmother to their 3 greyhounds, should anything happen to them.

Through most of this long journey, Donna and I shared the Monkees. With our other friend Donna Hanson, we followed “the guys” anywhere they appeared from New York to Virginia. Every tour brought new adventures, new memories, and new friends. The Monkees have been in our lives since 1986.

I dabble with drawing, and I had drawn a picture of the 4 Monkees. Over the years, one by one, I gathered the signatures of Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz on that picture. At last, the only signature I needed was Mike Nesmith.

This was a problem.

Michael Nesmith never toured with the Monkees after the group broke up in the late 1960s. He did a few select dates, but was for the most part missing. And he didn’t care much for solo tours, either, so he was hard to find. Until the past 2 years, Mike hadn’t toured since 1992. And even on these solo tours this year and last, he would not sign autographs for waiting fans—only to those lucky enough to get backstage passes.

Last year, neither Donna nor I got a pass. This year, a miracle occurred, and Donna, in the 11th hour, scored a backstage pass to Mike’s solo show in Arizona! Now, Mike had very strict rules about what he would sign. He’d sign almost unlimited items from his solo career, but only ONE Monkees item. ONE.

And Donna called me and said, “Send me your picture. I’ll get him to sign it.”

How incredible is that? She gave up her one Monkees item for me. She didn’t have to. I wouldn’t have asked her to. But she knew how long I had been trying for this, and she offered.

That is one great friend. But then, I don’t need proof of how awesome a friend Donna is—there’s a reason we’ve been friends for 29 years, after all!

So in this season of Thanksgiving, I am more thankful for my friend Donna than I can say. It is my fervent hope that our friendship will continue until our deaths—and on into Heaven, where we can rock out to the Monkees with our other friends whenever we want.

How about you? Any special friends you are thankful for and want to give a shout out to?

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