Best friends met 95 years ago on Chicago's North Side

October 1, 2013 (CHICAGO)

They still see each other a few times every year for birthdays and other special events. Alice Jensen and Irene Cook turned 100 years old this past summer and they have been the best of friends since 1918. And when they meet like they did Tuesday morning at Luther Village in Arlington Heights, you see what a wonderful old friendship is really like.

It all began in the neighborhood near Ashland and Bryn Mawr when two little five-year-old girls met in first grade.

"First grade grammar school at St. Gregory's School. . .Yes, we took to each other almost immediately," said Jensen.

"We lived in the same neighborhood. We were only a block away. So whatever she did, I did too," said Cook.

They both married and had children and then were widowed many years ago, but through the years it has always been Alice and Irene. They are the best of friends, and Alice knows why.

"What did I like about her? Well, she was always willing to shut up and listen to me. Ha, ha, ha, ha," said Jensen.

"What did we do that the Lord is keeping us here. We must have done something good. I don't know," said Cook.

So they met in 1918. Woodrow Wilson was president. Big Bill Thompson was mayor of Chicago. The White Sox had a lousy year and the Cubs lost in the World Series. The Cubs were losers but Irene and Alice have been winners for 95 years.

"I'll keep her, I'm working on the second hundred. Ha, ha, ha, ha," said Jensen.

They have seen it all from the first cars to the space age, but most of all they have seen each other as never-ending friends.

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