By Scott Morris / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO - If Monday felt like any other day, you might not have been at the right place.

For Kathy Chase Young of Hattiesburg, Kelly Sheffield Wigginton of Saltillo and Tracy Nichols Lyle and Ginger Correro Robertson, both of Tupelo, the place to be was Harvey's on South Gloster Street.

It was the 15th year for the four childhood friends to gather "on the day after or the day after the day after Christmas," Lyle said.

Three of them first met in kindergarten, then Lyle joined the group in first grade.

"I was too smart for kindergarten," Lyle said.

"Yeah, she was too smart," Robertson said.

"That's yet to be seen," Wigginton said.

They went through Lawhon Elementary, Tupelo Middle and Tupelo High schools together.

Now, the 41-year-olds get one day a year that belongs just to them.

"That first year we had such a good time, we knew we wanted to keep doing it," Young said.

"People have started giving us Harvey's gift cards for Christmas," Wigginton said.

The meetings begin at noon, and they can last six hours or more. All four said they take pity on the wait staff. Over the years, they've been waited on by former students, kids they used to baby-sit and one ex-brother-in-law.

"We're here through two shifts," Robertson said.

Though three of them live in relatively close proximately, the yearly meetings provide ample time to share old and new stories. There's plenty of laughter at their table and something more.

"Through good, bad and everything," Robertson said, "these are the friends you can call any time, day or night, and they'll be there."

"OK," Lyle said, "you're going to make me cry."

They laughed at that, and dabbed their eyes.

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or

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