October 29, 2020

Puppy Love, a First Kiss & Lost Innocence in the Summer of ’66.

Fall 1966.

My sleep-crusted eyes opened a smidge, glancing at the window, blinds down.

Perhaps a small sliver of pink light struggling to peer inside the bedroom.

I slowly emerged from the twin bed, straightened the sheets, and spread and slipped into a pair of faded jeans and a jade green, long-sleeved shirt.

But, you need the prelude.

It was the spring and summer of ’66.

Memorial Day 1966 at the small community beach at the bottom of the tree-filled hill at my grandparents’ shore home, I met a boy. Tall, well, next to my 5’4’’ frame, he appeared tall. Brown hair, smiling brown-green eyes, average in a line up, but cute with his laugh.

I went to the beach alone that day, sat on my sea blue and red beach towel, and watched the folks, families, teens, and kids. A trio of teenage boys were swimming, talking, joking, and acting like teenage boys. One kept looking over at me; our eyes would meet, then dart away.

I was a shy 15-year-old girl struggling to understand the changes in my body, my emotions, and my heart. Dealing with those pimples and oily skin and hair.

The boy came over to me, and we started to talk; he was really sweet. And we spent time chatting and swimming. My family and I, along with five other couples and their kids, were spending the weekend at my grandparents’ shore house. A small two-bedroom, one-bath pink house, level with the road, but on a hill overlooking a creek. The properties to the left and right were sloped down, away from the road and level with the waterline.

By the end of the weekend, he had my parents’ home phone number and had met them.

I had to return home, about 25 miles north in the next county to return to school; he lived with his parents near the small beach.

We talked on the phone every night. I am not certain what I felt, but I guess to me, it was a first crush. Puppy love.

My grandparents, Mamma and Pappa to me, decided to live that summer in their shore home and not in their tiny city row house.

I asked if I could spend the summer with them.

And this was my summer in run-on haiku:

Paddle down the creek
Slowly oar gently splashing
Morning mist rises up.

Mamma on the pier
Catching sunnies for breakfast
Dawn has barely shone.

I met a boy/man
On the crowded public beach
At the base of our hill.

And began first crush
A gentle summer delight
A lost innocence.

Paddle down the creek
Slowly oar gently splashing
Morning mist rises up.

Back to the opening paragraph—no drama, no sad goodbyes.

Simply a return to school—ninth grade started and back to our separate lives.

Back to my shared, small bedroom at my tiny row home.

First kiss.


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