Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who Is This They?

Harry B. Sanderford

In 1963 I was in the first grade. Pterodactyls had ceased crossing overhead but clocks still had hands on them. My teacher, Mrs. Miniard was teaching my class how to tell time when the news came that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. It was the first time I'd heard the word. They rolled a television into our classroom to let us watch the coverage. They say that anyone who was around back then remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing. They say this about most significant historical events, murders, and moon landings. They'll say it about the most recent horrors at the World Trade Center too, and they'll be right.
They also say it about your first love. And while I don't recall exactly where I was when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, or Jack's brother Bobby, were gunned down. I do know that in 1963 my brother Roy was in the second grade and in love with a second grader named Becky Heron. It could have been monkey see monkey do, or merely coincidence but I was secretly smitten with another Becky, a first grader named Becky Brown. Work as I would against it, I could not staunch the flow of cartoon hearts which streamed embarrassingly from my juvenile cranium in her presence.
They're right of course, about remembering important events that occur during your lifetime. As for first love, I reserve that particular first (as well as a few important others) for a girl that would not come along for another twelve years. A girl I vividly remember. I don't know about Roy, but I can't really picture those pioneer recipients of our affections. I do recall that Becky Brown had whatever it takes to make a six year old boy who professed to hate girls, think of little else. I also recall of her a marked absence of teeth. Zero front, uppers or lowers. What a woman!

Hard to believe it's already been 10 years since I wrote this.  But I was right about them being right. Right?