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Arlington‘Old School’ column: A gem

‘Old School’ column: A gem

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by CAROL McEWEN, for the Sun Gazette

I am blessed with many friends. One is from junior high school; others are more recent, and I like to think that my adult daughters are my friends, too.

But Liz Golden is special. As she turned 96 on March 25, I thought about how lucky I am to have her friendship and what I like about her.

You might ask, “What do you have in common with someone old enough to be your mother?” And I say, “Plenty!”

First we both love to read. Whenever I’m looking for new reading material, Liz is my go-to girl for advice. I swear she’s read every book on the planet that’s worth reading and REMEMBERS THEM ALL.

And speaking of suggestions, she never steers me wrong, with her unerring instinct for quality. If Liz says it’s a good book, it a DARNED good book.
And, then there’s her encyclopedic knowledge of movies. Here’s a typical conversation.

Me: “Liz, I remember a movie I saw years ago with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. Do you remember the name?”

Liz: “Oh, that was ‘Houseboat’ which came out in 1958 and was directed by Melville Shavelson. It was very popular, but wasn’t nominated for any Oscars.”

Also, my pal never walks past a dictionary without stopping. She keeps one at the ready, near her kitchen table, and has been known to jump up mid-meal to check a definition. She tells me that when she dies, she wants me to remind her kids to put “She went to look it up” on her tombstone.

Another shared passion is libraries. Liz goes frequently (when possible), not just to check out books, but also to BE there, smell it, and soak up the “vibes,” as they said in the 1970s. Not surprising for a girl who made all A’s through school.

And then there’s her memory. We were recently comparing notes on a tourist site we had both visited called the Church in the Rock. I claimed it was in Australia and Liz, ever the diplomat, said, “Well, maybe there are two. The one I saw was in Finland.”

Of course, that razor-sharp memory got it right. I chowed down on serious crow and said, “When you die, will me your brain, please.”

Besides all these qualities, the nicest one is that she always says just the right thing and is kind to a fault. Liz laughs at my jokes, even the not-so-funny ones, and claims to love my columns.

They broke the mold when they made that girl.

A belated happy 96th, Liz Golden, and many more!

A resident of Arlington for 40+ years, Carol McEwen sells real estate when she’s not imparting deep insights or sparkling wit in this column. You can reach her at carolwrites4fun@gmail.com.

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