Friendship stays strong after 60 years

| March 19, 2018

Linda (Casey) Overholt, left, and Nancy (Payne) Shivers, right, have been friends for 60 years. They are pictured here at Christmas time sometime in the early to mid-1970s with Overholt’s mother Ruth Casey. Contributed | Beacon

Nancy (Payne) Shivers and Linda (Casey) Overholt’s friendship began 60 years ago and is still going strong. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Nancy (Payne) Shivers and Linda (Casey) Overholt met 60 years ago and their relationship is as strong as it was then.

The lifelong friends began their friendship in elementary school. They went to kindergarten at the former Chestnut Street School and then they moved to the old South Lawn School for first grade.

Back then everyone walked everywhere or rode their bike so one of Linda’s early memories of their time together was trips to South Lawn School.

“We’d take those fudge striped cookies and put them on our fingers on the way to school,” Overholt said. “We’d eat around the edge and keep turning them until we got to the middle and had a ring.”

She said they’d also head out together to places like Ritchey’s Carryout for penny candy and Shivers remembers going to Hooper’s Dairy for treats.

There were many Saturdays from their youth that Overholt enjoyed at Shivers’ house.

“I practically lived at her house in junior high and high school,” Overholt said.

She only has a brother, but Shivers came from a family of four and there was always something going on at her house.

Shivers and Overholt graduated from Coshocton High School in 1970. Overholt went on to school at Kent State University and moved away for a while, but Shivers stayed in the Coshocton area. They caught up when they could because no one had cell phones at that time or could afford to pay long distance. Their lives at this point in time were moving in two different directions.

“She was raising kids and I was having a career,” Overholt said.

Life, however, sometimes has a way of putting people in your life when you need them. Overholt eventually moved back to Coshocton and about 12 years ago Shivers moved into her childhood home. They are once again neighbors and able to go on adventures together and support each other in times of need.

“We go to doctors’ appointments in Zanesville and that gives us the excuse to go to lunch, grocery shopping and wherever else we want to,” Shivers said.

Overholt credits Shivers for helping her through some very tough medical scares.

“She was having trouble breathing,” Shivers said. “Linda’s husband called and told me about it and said she had been in the ER the night before. I went over there to check on her and told Brent (her husband) he needed to call the squad. The doctor had to tube her and they said if we would have waited 10 more minutes she wouldn’t be here.”

They put Linda in ICU and her husband would go see her after work and Shivers would come up after dinner.

“I’d tell her how it was,” Shivers said with a laugh. “She couldn’t talk back to me so I could tell her anything I wanted to.”

Linda (who along with Shivers has fibromyalgia) said Shivers has gone with her to numerous doctors’ appointments and even picked her up from the hospital.

“She’s my oldest friend, my caregiver and even my chauffeur now,” Linda said. “I’d have to go get a thesaurus to think of all the wonderful adjectives to describe her. She even kids me and says it’s like ‘Driving Miss Daisy.’”

The ladies now get their husbands in on some of their fun. Linda and her husband Brent and Nancy and her husband Jim all go to Indians games together in the summer and enjoy going out to eat.

“We plan our times away based on where we are going to eat,” Linda said.

The menu might not include penny candy and fudge striped cookies, but they still definitely have a good time together.

“Laughter keeps our friendship strong,” Nancy said.

Read more stories like this one in our March – April Boomer Times.

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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