It had been years since they’d seen each other — childhood friends separated by time and space.
Christine Richer Raiser received a photo in the mail from Linda Chambers Domin of their parents back in the day.
“It was fate,” Raiser said. “It was pure fate.”
The surprise photo led to a reunion of old friends, who met in the 1940s and are now in their 70s.
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Raiser, Domin, Marjorie Walker Potter, Maureen Erb Scott and Deanna Nardozzo held their sixth annual reunion Thursday.
Potter travels from Jersey Shore, Scott from Wayne and Raiser from Wayne, N.J., while Domin and Nardozzo live in the State College area.
Raiser said when they get together, they immediately pick up where they left off.
“I think friendship is so vitally important,” Nardozzo said.
They started with brunch, reminiscing and laughing about their time growing up on Nittany Avenue in downtown State College.
From decorating “apartments” on tree branches with crayon to playing softball in the back alley to having string telephones between bedroom windows, they invented their own fun.
Some of the neighbors had cherry trees and rather than picking individual cherries, they’d just break off whole branches and ride off with them on their bikes, Raiser said.
“We were fearless,” Nardozzo said.
They’d sell pop bottles to get money for penny candy, she said.
“If you had 20 cents, you were big time,” she said.
As kids they were curious — maybe they didn’t always use it in the best way, Domin said, laughing. But she said they’re still curious and up for anything.
Their reunion day also took them to the Nittany Lion statue, Penn State All-Sports Museum and The Tavern for dinner — a favorite spot of their parents, and theirs.
And they’ll keep up the annual get-together as long as they can.
Friends are there for one another, through thick and thin, Nardozzo said.
“We’re just lucky,” Domin said.