On Friday the 13th I always pause to reflect on someone I once knew. Her name was Laurie Bartram. If you’re of a certain age you may remember the original "Friday the 13th" movie released in 1980. Laurie was "Brenda" – one of the camp counselors in the movie. Before becoming a movie star, Laurie played Karen Campbell on "Another World" (soap opera) in 1978-1979.
Laurie decided to give up her acting career and instead attend Liberty University, which is where I met her. We were both on the same singing team (called SMITE back then).
On occasion she would help me with my homework when we were on the road traveling almost every weekend to sing in different churches. Our team of a dozen singers criss-crossed the south in a big Silver Eagle bus. I’ll never forget, Laurie once helped me with an English assignment – she helped me understand what Hemingway’s "Hills like white elephants" short story was talking about.
After college Laurie got married, became a homeschooling mom, and sadly she passed away at age 49 (in 2007) from cancer. She was one of the nicest and humblest people you would ever meet, and it was a privilege to have known her for a brief time in the 80s.