Sept. 7, 1982, was the first day of kindergarten for my son. We had just moved into the neighborhood a few weeks earlier and had not yet made many acquaintances.

Extrovert and introvert, friends Gail Caiazzo, left, and Nancy Bolduc immediately bonded, telling each other secrets and taking several trips to Manhattan together. Courtesy Gail Caiazzo

Since our daughter was just a couple of months past a year old, she had the privilege of relaxing in a stroller at the bus stop while we waited for the big pickup. I recall being grateful for my sunglasses; I did not want Tony to see me cry as he climbed the stairs of that big yellow bus.

I watched the clock all day, anxiously waiting to see him and hear what adventures he would have to share. The first thing he told me was that he had met a “nice boy” who had given him a note. The note read: “My name is Kyle Bolduc,” and included a phone number. “Can we call him to see if I can go to his house to play?” were Tony’s next words.

In our lives, if we are lucky, we make all kinds of friends. On that day I met the person who would become my lifelong treasured friend, Nancy Bolduc.

When I called to request a play date, Nancy was so warm and happy to invite Tony to play. We had an instant connection. We had so much in common but also were so different. I am sure that contributed to the strong bond we created.

Nancy was an introvert, a devoted mom, a fierce protector of her family and one of the kindest persons to ever walk this earth. Even though I just described her as an introvert, she loved people and could get into long conversations with anyone.


When she and Buddy decided to move because they added a third child to the family, I strongly encouraged them to purchase the house three doors over from our home. I was so thrilled to have my best friend a one-minute walk away.

We were each other’s confidant and told each other secrets none of the rest of the world will ever know.

On one of our several trips to New York City, Nancy’s introverted personality was working overtime to keep my extroverted persona in check. The time period was a few months after “Seinfeld” started to air. I was immediately a huge fan. As luck would have it, we spotted Jerry Seinfeld walking alone right outside NBC Studios. I was so excited I stopped him and grabbed his arm. I forgot his name and said, “It’s you!” to which he replied, “Yes, it is!”

Nancy was horrified.

Later that day, while we were having lunch in Little Italy, I spotted Michael Richards dining with a lovely young woman. Nancy implored me to not disturb them, but I was unstoppable. I grabbed the only thing I had for him to autograph from my purse, which was a ticket stub from the previous night’s play. I told him how much I enjoyed him as Kramer. He asked me how I enjoyed the play (“Sunset Boulevard”). He was very gracious. When I returned to our table, Nancy’s words were “You are unbelievable.”

She often told me I was her friend who made her have fun.

She was a second mom to my kids, still always so interested in whatever was happening in their adult lives.

Nancy’s sudden death left a hole in my life that will never be filled. I will be forever grateful to have been lucky enough to have her as my BFF.

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