I consider myself very fortunate to have so many friendships that have literally spanned decades. From childhood and elementary school friends in Walnut Creek, California to college friends I met in Eugene, Oregon, I have a collection of incredibly funny, smart and loyal friends who I wouldn’t trade for the world. And even though life is busier than ever for all of us and we don’t get to talk or get together as often as we used to (or would like), its still comforting to know there are people out there who you know you could turn to in need – and they would be there.

Kelly, Cami and I getting ready for a night on the town in Eugene (circa 1986)
Kelly, Cami and I getting ready for a night on the town in Eugene (circa 1986)

Two such people I want to feature today are my old long-time friends I first met as a 20 year old junior transfer moving into Clark Hall at the University of Oregon in Fall of 1985, Kelly and Cami. Clark Hall was a coed dorm and the majority of the students were first-year freshmen – I was one of only 2 community college transfers. The three story dorm had boys on the first and third floors, while girls occupied the second floor.

I remember meeting Cami first – it was literally my first night in the dorms. We had organized a drinking game of “quarters” in our dorm room and she and her roommate walked by, saw the open door and asked if they could join. We quickly became friends as I appreciated her quick-wit, intelligence and easy-going personality. And believe me, Cami was easily the smartest student in our entire dorm – but was always incredibly humble and modest about this fact.

I can’t remember the exact moment Kelly and I first met but I know it didn’t take long for us to bond (even though she was a Cowboys fan) because she also had a passion for sports and more than held her own talking football, basketball and even Indy car racing.

Cami, Kelly and I all began that year with roommates who turned out to be not so compatible – so we moved after the conclusion of the first quarter. By that time Cami and Kelly had become good friends – and they decided to be roommates. In the meantime, I moved in with a Danish foreign exchange student, Niels (I’ll write about him more in a separate post).

The new living arrangements made life much easier (and fun) for all involved and we collectively spent more time hanging out and playing together. Kelly and I played on an IM basketball team that Winter and I still remind her that I remember walking to the gym together and listening to her pound the basketball with her hands over and over “because this is how you get the best feel for the ball before a game” (according to her high school coach). Even more memorable was an unusually warm spring evening that erupted into a raging spontaneous dorm party that included a game of H.O.R.S.E. on the adjacent basketball courts. We jokingly called Cami “Spud Webb” as she chucked up shot after shot (with lots of laughter).

The friendship continued through my senior year when I lived in an apartment with two other girls from our dorm (Ida and Anna – who also will be featured in a future blog post) and Kelly and Cami were nearby in theirs. I don’t think there were many (if any) weeks that year that we didn’t spend time together – whether it was going to Arnold’s for trivia and .25 cent taco night during the week or cutting loose at Rennie’s Landing and Guido’s on the weekend.

It’s easy for many friendships to fade away once college is over and people move away but luckily I’ve been able to maintain my friendships with Kelly and Cami over the years. After graduation I went back to visit Eugene a few times and we would always make a point of trying to connect at a Ducks football game or other outing.

We all attended each other’s weddings and have stayed in touch through the introduction of children, moves to other states and new chapters in our lives. Kelly and Cami both have two children – each with a son and daughter. And I can tell that both are amazing moms.

Of course Facebook makes it easier for all of us to keep tabs on each other’s lives and to provide support (or laughter) when needed. Kelly was one of my biggest supporters when I decided to again venture out on my own with a new agency (being a successful entrepreneur herself) and Cami has offered many words of support as I’ve shared parenting woes ranging from Croup’s cough to our challenges with Autism.  In September 2012 we organized a mini-reunion here in Seattle for the Oregon-WSU game and it was incredibly special to be able to introduce Kelly and Cami to my children and again enjoy sharing time together before and after a Ducks football game.

I’m very proud (and lucky) to call these women my friends.


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