MEETING one last time at the YO tree are: from left to right back row – George Boujoukos, Stephen Anderson, Kevin Patch, Michael Raymond, Brian Albushies, (insert photo) Arnie Wenyon, Karen Doyle Howse, Donna Doucette Anderson, Caroline Ganno Marco, Stephen Muse, Kristen Holleran Dussault, (insert photo) of David Dussault, Collen Wenyon Conte, MaryBeth Dawson Drager, (insert photo) Keith Robinson, Karen Grasso McMaster, “Dog” Trevor, and Dan Doucette. (Courtesy Photo)

Published in the October 11, 2018 edition.

WAKEFIELD — On October 6, a special group of childhood friends gathered for one final time under a tree which symbolized a past generation.

Before pagers, cellphones, and social media, adolescents could not just text or call friends to get the “agenda” for the day or weekend. For this group of friends we would “walk” or bicycle to Moulton playground after school or after part-time jobs. We had a special meeting place under a tree which is located on the outer edge toward the back of Moulton Park.

For many years we would congregate under this tree and play Frisbee, Whist (a card game) and listen to music. We would go to this destination in search of  companionships, to talk about such things as relationships, teenage break-ups, the concerts we saw the weekend before, and what was going on in school. A conflict or disagreement with our parents could even drive us to seek friendship and comfort knowing we could go to the park and yell “YO” and on so many occasions a friend would appear. At the time I don’t think we realized lifelong relationships would develop and how significant this place and “tree” would mean to us 40 years later.

As time passed we all grew and began driving and did not need this greeting place so often, but we would pass through Moulton Playground’s parking lot seeking a gathering or group of friends. Many of us are still in town, in state or nearby, as well as others who have moved to California and Georgia to build their lives. Three couples met down Moulton Playground are still married and have growing families. When we talk on social media or meet, never does a Moulton Playground story go without an audience and a good laugh.

On Saturday, as friends arrived we were all greeted will love, hugs, and laughter. SO much laughter… Photo albums and mementos were shared as we reminisced on an era and time that in some cases seemed to stand still. Simpler times with a lot of happiness as we were inseparable and close, however this did not come without loss, and difficulty. Many of our friends are not with us today and for them we remember and salute in their memory.

Sadly, our “YO TREE” has to be taken down. Its life has run its course and we felt it was important to gather one last time around this fixture of our youth and celebrate our group and a generation of friendships that have played an important role in how lives transpired.

We would like to thank Dennis Fazio, DPW Forestry Supervisor, for keeping us informed when the tree would be taken down. A new tree will go in its place, and we will request permission from the Town of Wakefield to donate a bench.

Though our tree will be cut down, like branches on a tree we grew in different directions but our roots keep us all together, and the bonds we have established are firmly rooted.