OGDEN -- It has been 71 years since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
But there is a group of women who still hold tight to the way that day -- and the war that followed -- changed their lives.
Casually called "The Group," the 11 women still meet on the second Wednesday of every month for lunch and conversation in a tradition they started while their men were off fighting World War II in 1945.
The Group has, at times, included more than 20 women but has shrunk, especially in the past few years, as its members have died.
"At first, we talked about who was pregnant," said Vernae Hindberg. "Then it was about who was in school. Then about grandchildren. Now, it's who's dying."
In December, when nine of them met, Norma Maw recalled the day everyone's lives changed to the point that she and her friends soon began getting together out of loneliness.
"We were at the movies, and they stopped it to say Pearl Harbor had been bombed," she said.
Dec. 7, 1941, was Maw's 15th birthday, and she was at the movies with her future husband and Barbara Anderson, also 15 then, and Anderson's date.
"We were all quite young when the war started," Anderson said.
Four years later, when the women were married and war separated them from their husbands, they formed The Group.
"The men were all away with the military," said Beth Bitton, who organized The Group with Anderson. "We decided as friends we wanted to keep in touch."
Bitton said she has known some of the women since first grade. Others of The Group met members at work at Defense Depot Ogden and were added after the war.
"Beth and I thought, 'Who has men in the service and is alone?' and that's how we got started," Anderson said.
When the group formed, the women all lived in Plain City. Now, most of them live in Ogden.
Their ages range from a few in their 70s to one woman, Fern Taylor, who soon will turn 90.
The conversations among members last week included the costs of aging and what two members pay for round-the-clock nursing care.
They also talked about the Christmas season and about how helpful people around them have been.
And strangely, all but one ordered the same lunch, fish and chips, at Jeremiah's Restaurant.
Being asked what the group has meant to them over 70 years gave members a chance to reflect on their favorite times.
Halloween came up a lot.
They used to dress up in masks, and they would refrain from talking as their get-togethers began, trying to figure out who was who.
And one year, they built a spook alley just to entertain each other.
Aldene Fisher recalls dropping spaghetti on the various members in the spook alley.
"I won the prize one year for the best costume," she said. "It was a headhunter-zombie costume I made myself."
And then there was the time they went to the Plain City pool hall during their Halloween get-together. They were all dressed up, and they danced around in their costumes, acting silly in front of others who frequented the hall.
There was another time, Anderson said, The Group members entertained themselves by entering a spook alley by going down a slide set up outside someone's house to go into her basement.
"We were a little younger then," she said.
But not all their get-togethers were happy ones.
"I guess we've gone through it all," Anderson said, "divorces, marriages and deaths."
But now, they admit, it doesn't take as much to entertain themselves.
"At our age, to even be able to drive and come here is an accomplishment," said Maw, 86.
"We are just old ladies," Anderson said, "but we were young once."