It was a reunion bringing smiles and memories as friends met face to face for the first time in 27 years. Paul and Wanda Porter of Wilson, formerly of Manila, welcomed Marian Hoffman, a friend from Philippines.
Paul served in the Air Force for 31 years retiring in 1989. Toward the end of his military career, he was stationed in the Philippines at Clark Air Force Base on the Luzon Island from 1985 until 1988. It was during those years the Porters and Marian formed more than a friendship, she became part of the family.
Marian worked for and lived with the Porters five days a week, going home on weekends. She still calls them mom and dad and refers to their sons as her brothers.
Marian said she remembers celebrating her 21st birthday while with the Porters.
"Marian has never forgotten a birthday or an anniversary," Wanda said. "We have kept in touch all of these years. It has been wonderful to have her visit."
She arrived on March 10 making a nice birthday present for Mrs. Porter.
Marian and her family left the Philippines 10 years ago and made their home in Cape Coral, Fla. She became an American citizen, but still has a rice farm in the Philippines and returns often. She has two grown daughters, one is a police officer in Florida and one lives in New York.
The friends spent a lot of time catching up and Marian said it seems like yesterday when she was living with the family and remembers it very well.
Marian said the Porter boys were like brothers to her. One of them had a motorcycle and would give her rides. She remembers one of her tasks was to turn on the hot water heater every morning. If she forgot, it was cold showers.
"There are so many good memories we shared during those years," Hoffman said.
It was her first visit to Arkansas and she is happy she took the time to make the trip.
The Porters brought Marian to Manila to show her where they grew up and to visit the Manila Museum. Marian enjoyed visiting the museum and left a 100 piso bill from the Philippines to be on display there. While in Manila they also visited the water park and airport.
Marian will be leaving on March 31. She said it has been a wonderful reunion and they plan to continue to stay in touch.