Make New friends but keep the old

October 13, 2020

“Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold. Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.” The song came from a poem written by Joseph Parry who was born in 1841 and died in 1903. Many years ago while I was a Brownie and then a Girl Scout, I learned valuable lessons (along with having fun) that I really did not fully appreciate at the time. Age and lived experience have shone (shined?) a different light on some of those things. I wanted to do links for many of the sites connected to the ideas/people in this blog, but I don’t know how to do it, and can’t remember how.

If you were in scouting, the first few lines of one song likely quickly come to mind.
Until recently, I had forgotten the others.

I have something called “vascular dementia.” What is this? In healthy brains, we produce blood vessels that feed our brain. My brain doesn’t do this. My blood vessels are dying off and causing me to forget a ton of stuff. Like tonight, I couldn’t find my cane in my less-than-1,000-square-foot- apartment. I searched and searched everywhere. No, I don’t have Alzheimer’s Disease, but I do have this form of dementia. Dementia doesn’t mean I’m crazy; it means I can’t remember shit. I’m hanging on during this pandemic because of my beloved friends. Leigh Combs, dear friend, who is driving me around (because I’m fearful that I could hurt myself or someone else if I drive). She is also helping me give away many books to places like the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, and the GLBT Library at the U of MN. She does a great interview too—she interviewed me for her podcast…it’s somewhere here on my website; she interviewed me for her podcasts (pre-pandemic) There’s Sara Kettering, who just finished her Master’s Degree in Public Health, and was a brilliant undergrad in the Social Justice Minor that I co-created. And Katie Nordhagen, another former Social Justice Minor who has shlepped me to various doctors for my ulcer in my esophogus (another fun fact that comes from covid stress. She works for Cargill and is continuously on Zoom doing amazing work. There’s also Robbin Frazier. She worked for the Alzheimer’s Association and now administers an amazing program at the U. of MN where she educates and organizes primarily communities of color about Alzheimer’s. Then there’s Dr. Eddie (Eddie Moore Jr, founder of the White Privilege Conference who calls me to give me love, and I’ve joked with him when I said that I do know more than a few African American men around the country. There’s Tori Hong, another former social justice minor student whom I love who creates beautiful art and pays herself for her work, something she first explored in the social justice minor. There’s also Hayden Bui, the trans man of color who created my amazing website and has made it full of so much of what matters in my life.

There’s more people who care about me… I just can’t remember who they are right now. Hugs virtually to all, lisa

Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test-
Time and change-are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray;
Friendship never knows decay.
For ‘mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die;

New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
The song came from a poem written by Joseph Parry who was born in
1841 and died in 1903. I am not aware of when the Girl Scouts began to
use the words in the song I came to know or how often they altered all but
the first stanza.

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