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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Junk Food (08/30/12)

TITLE: The Gordon Girl Gang
By Deborah Engle


Can you imagine four girl cousins, all born within 30 days? As kids, we were inseperable, but when the recession hit Michigan, the Gordon Girl Gang was scattered all across the country. New jobs for our fathers meant “the four of us, forever” became “the four of us, no never”.

But that began to change in 1992.

Early that fall, Tricia called from Vermont. She was down, because her husband’s last-minute business trip had spoiled their plans to go on a Fall Foliage Tour. Tricia knew I’d sympathize with her because every one of the Gordon Girl Gang was passionate about the fall color change. After considering it for all of two seconds, I blurted out, “Tricia, I could take some time off. How about if you and I go, instead?”

She needed less time than I had. I could hear the smile in her voice when she said, “Sherry, do you mean it? That would be such fun.”

That was a glorious trip. Spending three days in a car with Tricia was a riot. The foliage was dressed in its finest. The bright sunshine penetrating the windshield whet our appetites for a cool treat, so we stopped at a little country store. Tricia clapped her hands when she spotted a brand of ice cream I had never heard of. Before I knew it, I had devoured my new favorite treat – Royal Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream. Rich, creamy chocolate ice cream, and chewy fudge brownie chunks, all swirled together. It was absolute perfection on a spoon.

The day I returned home, Sue called. By the time we said goodbye, we had made plans for me to visit Southern California during Christmas. Disneyland was in my future, even though amusement park rides make me sick. She said I would be the oldest person in the park making their first visit.

The trip to Disney from Sue’s place should have taken only two hours, but traffic wasn’t moving. After putzing along the highway for 40 miles, Sue veered off into the parking lot of a small restaurant.

“I need to make a quick stop, and this is just the place to do it. You’re going to love this.”

We left only after filling up on the best tacos this side of the border. The shell was light and crunchy, the seasoned beef blended perfectly with the cheese, and the lettuce was fresh and crisp. I was an instant fan and knew I would have to have more.

“I’m in love. Sue, we NEED to stop here on the way home tonight.”

She got a good laugh out of that, and later, a couple of good pictures of me enjoying my new heart throb.

The day I returned home, I got a call from Connie. “You have to come down to Missouri on your Easter break. I’ve got tickets to see the Lennon Sisters™ in Branson.”

How could I refuse? The Gordon Girl Gang had idolized and imitated the Lennon Sisters™ when we were kids. Every Saturday night, we had a sleep-over at Grammy’s, hoping to see our favorite sister act on The Lawrence Welk Show™. I knew it would be a great time. Of course I would be there.

Those rolling Ozark Mountain roads on the way to Branson were an unexpected experience. Eventually, Connie took pity on me and pulled over at a convenience store for a short break.

“Missouri’s best kept secret is the Slurpy™. On a warm day like today, this should really hit the spot.”

Connie handed me a cup and waited for my reaction. It was kind of like drinking a snow cone through a straw, but way better. I had never tasted anything like it before. It was icy cold and sweet, and bursting with cherry-flavored goodness.

Before I left California, we decided Connie would visit me in Michigan sometime soon.

When I got back home, I found that Tricia had left a message on my answering machine. She suggested that while her husband was away that summer, she could come to Michigan for a visit.

When I picked up my mail from the post office, I found a card from Sue. She had Frequent Flyer Awards Points that needed to be used, and decided to fly to Michigan that summer to visit.

So, the four of us spent July driving the Great Lakes Circle Tour, visiting lighthouses, and munching on pepperoni rolls. And that’s how the Gordon Girl Gang reunion came about.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes09/10/12
Hmmmmm...Those tacos really sounded delicious! :) I usually eat fairly healthfully, but on vacations I "ease up" a little and enjoy more treats. Your MC had a lot of fun with her cousins and a tasty time sampling each area's specialties!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/12/12
This is a charming story. I liked how you associated each trip with a favorite food.

My red ink would be that it was hard to follow the trips and cousins and timeline. I think if you had focused maybe on just one it might have helped because you would have more room for details.

However, I also believe this entry will be a cherished family member and a few times a year, you'll dig it out and reminisce about how even during hard times you all managed to pull together. There's something extra special about this bond with the four cousins. It made me a tad jealous and sad that my kids aren't close to their cousins, nor was I super close to mine. You've definitely taken me on a special journey and I enjoyed the trip.
Beth LaBuff 09/13/12
Please tell me this is true....because I want it to be. :) I want to know where those tacos are sold too. This girl gang of cousins were delightful, an enjoyable. :) Sign me up. :)
Deborah Engle 09/14/12
No, it's not a true story. I have 3 girl cousins, but didn't grow up with them, and never met 2 of them until I was in my 20s. The story was just my brain at work, wondering what might have been. Thanks for reading though, and for the comments.