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'Sugar and spice and everything nice' describe how I thought of my early childhood friend, Janice. Our mothers were the best of friends, and we spent a great deal of time playing together. Janice had a toy stove powered by a 60 watt light bulb where she baked a concoction she called "Poo Lee La". I smiled and ate this stuff, which could have been marketed as tile glue. She served it on little tin plates, and we choked it down with Kool Aid. I was grateful when she learned how to make fried egg sandwiches.

An older brother once discovered an early episode of our playing doctor. He ended my medical career on the spot.

This pretty, blue-eyed blond captured my heart. Grade school accusations of her being my 'girl friend' were received with pride, although 'friend who happened to be a girl' was closer to the truth.

We found many ways to entertain ourselves, but one of my favorites was when Janice decided to produce a stage show with curtains, costumes and script. I was the leading man or clown, depending on the production. She still found ways to get me in the center stage when we went to high school.

When Janice and her friends discovered boys and kissing, they spun the bottle until it almost melted. Kissing a girl as pretty as Janice was a pleasure, but I couldn't shake the feeling she was more like a sister than a romantic prospect. During high school, my attractive cheerleading friend had many suitors, but she always had time for me at the local dances.

Her outer and inner beauty gained her the Homecoming Queen crown, and I felt pride knowing she was so deserving.

1952 Coronation Group, L-R: 
Adeline Diede, Richard Terry, Robert Ufen, Marie Reiman, John Blucher, Charlotte Diede, Mary Jo Karst, Janice Weaver, Perry Struse, Marilyn Trotman, Keith Hall, Delores Wilson, Rick Winsell, Tex Fulton, Doyle Arbogast. 
Note: Preceeding the coronation ceremonies on Thursday night, a "Horse Opera", written and directed by Maurice Karst and Keith Hall, was presented.

Janice played flute and I played drums in the Miller high school band. We stayed in the men's college dorm during one band trip to a distant town. As we were getting settled in, Janice and her girlfriends were delighted to tell me about the foot baths they had found in the bathrooms. I explained, as delicately as I could, that what they had discovered were urinals.  I have kept my promise not to tell----until now.

When I see Janice at a class reunion, I am reminded of how she encouraged me to seek the center stage and how she touched my life.

Just for old times sake, I could almost go for a dish of "Poo Lee La".

2002 Maurice D Karst
Carolyn S. Rosemore
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