Strong and Girlies

Hi there!  It’s Amy (a.k.a. “Montana Amy” or “Crazy Shertzer”) that has guest blogger honors today on The Pigbear.  Like Samantha mentioned, it’s a little bit intimidating!  I thought I’d start things off on a bright and beautiful note after Samantha’s flashback image on her post yesterday (there will be plenty of time for embarrassing flashback photos later in this post. . .)

Amy Shertzer Photography best friends

Okay, now that that is out of the way, we’ll move on to embarrassing flashbacks!  The Cobb-Clark-Shertzer bond dates back to around 1997.  From then until then end of 2004, it was a bit of a tangled web of 6-degrees of separation that would require complex diagrams and spreadsheets to keep track of (and, yes, of course I considered attempting to put one together just to share here, but couldn’t quite pull it off).

I’ll attempt to give a very brief, totally un-confusing summary.  The initial connection was the Air Force Academy, where all of our husbands and myself were members of the Class of ’99.   Brent, Rich, and I were all in the same major.  Brent and Steve were in the same squadron.  Erin was dating Brent and Samantha was dating Steve, both long distance.  After we graduated, Rich and Steve both went to grad school together at MIT in Boston.  Neither Samantha or I were living in Boston, but we met a few times while on weekend trips to see our sweeties.  During that time, Brent and Erin were off at some, ahem, other school that may or may not have just won a national football championship.  In 2001, Rich and I moved to California and Brent and Steve were reunited in Dayton, OH, which is when Erin and Samantha officially met.  2002 turned out to be the year of the wedding and all of us met up several times that summer to celebrate with mutual friends.

Aren’t we cute?  And young?!  Holy smokes!  (On a side note, we all attended that lovely couple on the far left’s wedding a few years later.)

Wedding guests

The decisive moment in the friendship, however, came at the wedding of a fellow Air Force officer in Des Moines, IA in October 2002.  The Cobbs and Clarks drove over from Dayton together and Rich and I flew in from California.  I caught up with my girls on the first night while devouring Erin’s famous lemon bars (we may or may not have eaten an entire batch) in a hotel room.  It was a mild warm-up for the wedding reception the next night.

We were having a fabulous time, thoroughly enjoying the open bar, when Samantha declared that she was ready for another drink.  She marched right up to the bar tender and demanded “something strong and something girlie!”  He concocted a tasty pink cocktail that became the drink of the reception.  All these macho Air Force guys, many just finished with training to be fighter pilots, were ordering “strong and girlies” the rest of the night.  Let me tell you, we were the life of the party!

So, there you have it.  The cementing of a lifelong friendship and the invention of a cocktail, all in one crazy night!

Just to tie up the rest of the story, the Air Force reunited all 3 families in Colorado in 2004.  We bought houses in the same neighborhood, had our first babies, book clubs, and more meals together than we can count.  In 2007/2008, career paths scattered us across the country to where we remain today, thousands of miles physically apart, but right next door in our hearts!

marthaFebruary 4, 2011 - 8:22 am

Amy, great story. I knew bits and pieces of this story, but love all the details. You guys looked great then and look fabulous today! 😉

heather mayberryFebruary 4, 2011 - 8:37 am

i love this. i had heard erin tell the story but it’s fun to hear someone else’s words tell the same story. it’s awesome that she has friends like you and samantha that know her and share life with her. you three are truly blessed. i love that you have a bond that miles can do nothing to! the drink invention is just the icing on the cake! funny story but i could have been an air force wife! i dated a guy long distance that was at the air force academy in 2000/ 2001.

Lorena MoraFebruary 4, 2011 - 9:30 am

Love the guest post, so cool to hear it from your perspective, and I love the photos. Such a great friendship.

JodiFebruary 4, 2011 - 11:00 am

OMG!!!! You guys are babies in those pictures! Love them!
The six of you have such an amazing story together.

AllisonFebruary 4, 2011 - 11:26 am

What a great story! I love reading about friendships that transcend both years and miles. And by the way, now I feel I may badly need the recipes for the above mentioned famous lemon bars AND the strong and girlies. Any chance of sharing? You never know when you might need to whip up a batch of both of these…

j.j.February 4, 2011 - 1:05 pm

i loved the walk down memory lane!!

adminFebruary 4, 2011 - 1:22 pm

Strong & Girlie is basically a Seven & Seven (Seagram’s Seven and 7-up) with a splash of grenadine to make it pink!

J.J.–one of those 2002 weddings was yours! I was flipping through my scrapbook to find these pictures and saw the ones from your wedding. Fun, fun times!

Carol MoyerFebruary 4, 2011 - 1:39 pm

love the story and pictures – thanks for filling us in

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