Monday, May 19, 2008

I Was 5 and Gail Was 7

That was quite an age split. I remember thinking just how old she was – seven was way up there when you are only five. It’s old. Of course, you aren’t very reflective at that age, so I wasn’t doing much meditating on the fact that six years earlier I didn’t even exist. We're not much of a philosopher in those days; that sort of thing comes later, if we're lucky.

Then I was in grammar school and the sixth graders were introduced to us as crossing guards. I never did see what streets they guarded us against, but they had those belts that went around and then up across one shoulder. I knew that sixth graders were pretty much all grown up. That was about as old as you got before you leveled off and started a family.

I remember Buddy Hewitt walking along the street, sort of looking down. I asked someone if that’s the way old people walked, looking at each step. He was fairly old at the time, probably 15. When I finally reached that age, I realized it was just Buddy. He most likely still does in his late 60’s.

People at retirement age were just old geezers who were relics from the past. They wore funny clothes, had long beards, round glasses, canes and said, “Ain’t that a knee-slapper?” Maw was plump, had a rocking chair, knitted and said “shoo” to local cats.

“When I was seventeen, it was a very good year. It was a very good year for small town girls and soft summer nights. When I was thirty-five, it was a very good year. It was a very good year for blue-blooded girls of independent means.” --Frank Sinatra


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