It was called a friendship ring. I wear it on my middle finger now, so as a third-grader, it was huge. I couldn't wear it for a long time. (And btw, I was in the third grade FIFTY-THREE years ago!)
The friend who gave it to me was named Sara. Wherever you are now, Sara, here are the memories I have:
Her mother had a long, bushy gray ponytail that was awesome.
Her family raised rabbits, who were always having more rabbits. As a third grader, what is more fun than playing with baby rabbits?
But then one time something was wrong with a rabbit, so her pony-tailed mother whacked it upside the head with a shovel. We had a solemn, hand-holding, Jesus-loving funeral that was wonderfully dramatic. We sang a hymn, but I don't remember which one.
One time her father was taking an air-conditioner out of the window and it fell on him and an AMBULANCE came. Oh, the drama!
Sara and I played in some woods that had a path that ran alongside a steep gulley. You had to use a rope swing to get to the other side. If you didn't get enough speed on the swing, Lord help you, cause then you got stuck hanging over the gulley/ravine/bottomless pit and you were doomed. Sara used to recite, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me, etc." I used to always say, "Sara, say that valley of death thing."
We dug up plants in the woods and put them in Dixie cups and tried to sell them at a booth on the side of the road. Business wasn't very good.
We lived on an oyster shell road in Kenner, Louisiana (the equivalent of a gravel road other places). A block from the levee. There were drainage ditches filled with water in front of our houses. Once a week, folks put their garbage cans out by the road. Sara rode her bike with me on the back as I kicked the garbage cans into the ditches. Yes, I was that kind of child.
We did that bike thing on the day of my dancing recital. My hair was in pin curls. Sara took a corner too sharp and the bike flipped over and I fell in the water-filled ditch. Karma.
We used to go door to door asking neighbors if they wanted to see our Betty Boop impression, which consisted of us singing, "I'm Betty Boop. Boop boop be doop." No one was very impressed. (I think we tried to charge money for it, but I'm thinking maybe nobody paid.)
My favorite book was a book of fairy tales called Shirley Temple's Storybook.
The book was in the back seat of my father's car when a mechanic drove the car to the shop and had an accident. (No one was hurt.) The book was filled with shards of glass. Sara and I showed that glass-filled book to EVERYONE. Oh, the drama! (No one was very impressed.)
Sara's family had a huge, oilcloth-covered table in their kitchen. Her mother introduced me to the best breakfast known to mankind: POWDERED SUGAR TOAST. But I stubbornly refused to put butter on my toast, as recommended by her mother. So, um, all the powdered sugar fell off.
So now, when I look at that ring, I have lots of great memories.