Connie Taylor and Moni Lentz became best friends the first day of kindergarten at Eugene Field Elementary School.
"According to her mother, (Moni) came up to me and asked if I would be her best friend. I said 'yes' and then we grabbed hands and off we went," Taylor said.
That was in 1959. Today, 50 years later, Taylor and Lentz are still best friends. Their first names even rhyme, and when they're together, their happiness is palpable.
"We were 5 when we met, but I don't know what I would do without her, I really don't," said Taylor, who has been a secretary at MU for the past 21 years. "She can't go anywhere, she can't move away, she's got to stay here. She can't go any further than Boonville."
Over the past 50 years, Taylor and Lentz have been through births, deaths and divorces. Together, they have gotten through it all.
Both women live in Columbia, only around 10 minutes away from each other, and see each other every month. Taylor said she and Lentz have never fought or had to work on their friendship.
"We're just there," Taylor said. "We know we can always depend on each other no matter what. If I called her at 3 o'clock in the morning and said, 'Moni, I'm drunk and in jail,' she would come bail me out."
Lentz said the relationship's most valuable quality is the level of trust.
"We've always known we can trust each other and tell each other everything," Lentz said. "I can just call her and pour my heart out to her about my kids or husband and I know it's not going to go any farther and I know she'll be honest with me."
Because of this, Lentz said Taylor is the first person she turns to when she is stressed and needs someone to talk to.
Lentz, who is a teacher's aide at Delmar Cobble State School, said she even calls Taylor on her lunch break if she is having a hard day.
Taylor said Lentz also had a significant impact on her when she was dealing with her father's death.
"I lost him really fast. And I don't know what I would have done if she wasn't around," Taylor said. "It was the year Steve (her husband) and I got married, and we lost my dad in August and his mom in December. It was a rough, rough year. "
In the end, Taylor and Lentz attribute their happiness to having a good friend with whom to journey through life.
"As you go through life, you're just going to face challenges. Nobody is immune from troubles," Lentz said. "You know, as us growing up and being teenagers, and then after you get married and have your kids — and raising kids isn't always the easiest thing — and watching your parents get older and then losing your parents; life just presents challenges, and how you get through them is with your friends."