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New church friends perfect for making things and games

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This column is more about close friends and how they played an important part in and my families’ lives.

This week I want to tell you about one of the highlights of my wife, Peggy, and my life’s, was the time soon after we had moved into the four-room rental home owned by Mrs. T.E. Bobbitt on South Main Street in 1957 — three years after our marriage and living in the garage apartment at Beddingfield Funeral Home on South Main and Elm streets (now Bright Funeral Home).

The existing highlight was learning our Wake Forest Methodist Church had a new family which had moved into a Woodland Avenue home here. They were Bob and Anne Gettys and their young son, Steve.

We got to know them and we became close friends — eating weekend meals, alternately together, each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

And another thing, we learned Bob had a Sears home workshop that was “just crying for us to start a project.”

Well, we gave in to the temptation and we started making an African oak coffee table from the plans given in Bob’s book. Oh, yes, it was a lot of work, but much less because of the tools to make things happen.

I began to look forward to each weekend to work on the modern-designed table, and because of Bob’s experience and mine all through high school, we seemed to be making the table in record time. The table was big and heavy.

I took it home to start the sanding and painting it completely black. After it dried, I painted the table with white wood filler and wiped off the excess. The finish is beautiful.

We admired their new color TV, which encouraged us to get one of our own. We would never be satisfied without our first color TV which we acquired from a store in Youngsville.

Oh, did we ever love that TV and especially with using our new coffee table in front of the sofa to hold our dinner plates. We soon learned all of the great stations and became glued to that Zenith TV like it was going out of fashion.

But wait, we never realized the coffee table sharp edges and we learned the hard way when one of our boys fell against it while playing and his screams of pain could be “felt” by all of us.

We “fixed” it with a heavy quilt thrown over the entire table.

Has the table lasted? You would be correct if you answered in the affirmative and said yes; for 62 years and in fact just last week we put it up to make more room in the den.

We joined Bob and Anne each weekend to either play board games or cards even after they moved to Franklinton in order for him to carry out his job as manager of the mill next door to their home.

Bob and I got real noisy when we “fought” hard through checker games, and the wives joined us for Canasta card games requiring at least four people.

Yes, Bob and Anne were great friends for us and we all had many hours of fun together before they moved away to our sorrow.

Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, invites comments at 919-556-3059 or