Best friends celebrate 91 years sharing life’s ups and downs

Best friends celebrate 91 years of life's ups and downs

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - How long have you and your best friend been together? Ten years? Twenty?

Fay Patt and Ray Haynes are best friends who have shared everything for more than 90 years.

For the past 27 years, they have met every Friday at Cindy Degraw’s Salon 1221 for a shampoo, a set, and to share stories. Degraw calls them her Friday Morning Ladies.

But Fay and Ray share more than just a hairdresser. They also share a birthday.

“Now, Ray is the oldest,” Fay laughs as Degraw rolls her hair. “Ray was born first."

The two even sort of look alike. Since the day they met in 1929, they have done almost everything together.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had an argument,” Ray says as she waits for her turn in the chair.

“We’ve never had an argument or a fight,” Fay explains. They also finish each other’s sentences.

At St. Anthony’s Elementary on Plank Road, they were inseparable.

Ray remembers going to the opening of the old US 190 bridge together.

“It was brand new. We took a ride that Sunday just to ride over the bridge and come back,” Ray says.

In high school, they were a holy terror in the Catholic Youth Organization softball league. Ray played pitcher. Fay started in the outfield, but didn’t stay there long.

“The catcher got hurt,” Ray says.

“The bat went through her mask and knocked her out,” Fay says. So Fay moved to catcher.

They were a force on the basketball court as well. Fay at guard fed the ball to her best friend at forward.

They graduated high school and went to business college together.

“We were both in training as stenographers. Shorthand, typing, stuff like that,” Fay remembers.

When they needed a car to get to work, they bought one together.

As Fay begins to tell the story, Ray gives her a gentle slap on the wrist.

“Now, tell them all my bad parts," says Ray.

“Let me tell you, this one had to drive the first. I said, ‘Okay doesn’t matter to me.’ I knew it wouldn’t last long. Sure enough, she got tired and said, ‘Okay, you can drive.’ And I drove ever since,” Fay explains.

After business college, Fay and Ray got jobs with the state. Naturally, it was in the same office. They share more than just a close bond of friendship, they also share a maiden name. Fay and Ray were better known as the Fore twins, almost identical since birth.

“We didn’t like dressing alike,” Fay says, “because people stared at us, and you could just hear them say, ‘Oh, look at the twins.’"

That’s about the only thing they haven’t shared. Even after they were married, they moved into apartments next door to each other.

“Matter of fact,” Fay remembers, “we shared a bathroom. It was only one bathroom upstairs, but two apartments.”

They each had five kids.

“And all in the same order,” Ray says, “A girl, two boys, and a girl.”

Then, things changed.

“I had a boy,” Ray says. “So she didn’t even worry about what she was having. She knew it was going to be a boy. It was a girl.”

They have enough grandkids and great-grandkids to field their own basketball league.

Fay and Ray celebrate 91 years together March 10. Now, it’s a little easier to tell them apart.

“My hair is a little grayer than hers,” Ray says as Degraw teases and sprays her fresh hairdo into place.

Neither Fay nor Ray can imagine going a week without a shampoo, a set, and a time to share.

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