Saying farewell to a longtime friend
Tuesday was one of the hardest days of my life. My good friend, Lou Orr, passed away. We had been friends for just about 50 years.
I didn’t know Lou in school. When her family moved to Kewaunee, she was already out of high school and had a job in Nebraska. But I knew her siblings, George, Cleva and Bob Orr.
I graduated in 1960, took a job in Green Bay and moved there with three other girls. We lived there for a little over a year. Then the four of us decided to move to California. I was out there for over six years and came back to Wisconsin because my mom was seriously ill.
That’s when I first met Lou. She was older than I, but we just had so much in common. We both loved sports. I played softball and so did she. When she came to Kewaunee in the early 1960s, she joined a bowling league and my mom told her, “Lou, in Kewaunee, we bowl in winter and golf in summer.” So she often told me that my mom got her into golf.
We just got along really well. She was the sister I never had. We took vacations, and one I will never forget was to the Canadian Rockies, to Jasper and Banff National Parks. It was bear country, and not the Chicago Bears variety. I had a pop-up camper and we pulled it to Canada to visit and camp in both those parks.
Because it’s bear country, most of their campgrounds have their garbage cans hanging from trees. One morning, I heard some racket outside and there was a bear, having a fight with a garbage can hanging from a tree. He batted it around something fierce.
I was glad we were in a camper off the ground and not in a tent. But the bear didn’t bother us and went on its way after losing the fight with the can.
Lou was a kind and compassionate person who did not like to hear people argue. I suppose that’s why the good Lord wanted her up above. I’m sure she is probably on a golf course up there, with my mom and dad and her mom. They all liked their golf. And I’m sure the weather up there is better than here.
I know she’s better off now, but it is so difficult for those of us still here.
It was very upsetting when I lost my parents. My mom has been gone 49 years and my dad passed more than 20 years ago. But one just isn’t prepared for the death of a good friend. I know time heals and eventually we’ll adjust, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Sorry to be on such a downer this week. Next week will be better, I promise.
Barb Ludlow is a former Kewaunee County reporter. Email her at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: Saying farewell to a longtime friend