Today, as I was driving back from town, a drive I make very often as it is the only way to actually GET to town, or just about any where else from where I live, a memory bubbled to the surface of my crowded mind when I passed a certain dirt road leading into a small holler.
As I said, I pass this road every time I go to town, twice actually, going and returning, and I don’t know why this memory decided to make itself known today, but it got me to thinkin’.
Back in my high school days, like most boys my age, I was girl crazy, and like most boys, blondes got my attention first, in most cases. There were exceptions to this rule in my case, which concerned other body parts, but we won’t go into those for this post.
I had a best friend who also turned out to be my biggest rival for the attention of the female of our species, usually. Most of the time, it turned out that if one of us liked a girl, chances were good that the other one did too, even if we were totally unaware of it until it was too late.
Such was the case for a little blonde beauty that lived not too far from me, up that dirt road, into that little holler I told you about earlier.
Her name was Penny, and she had the most gorgeous, naturally wavy, long blonde hair I had ever seen … among , other, things of course.
Her face was beautiful, and to me, at the time, she had the features of an angel and I was completely in love. It’s just too bad she didn’t know it. I doubt it would have done any good anyhow, but never-the-less, there she was, the object of my dreams, and just like a dream, always just out of reach.
Sometimes I would get lucky enough to sit beside her on the bus ride home, we’d talk and laugh and such, but that’s as far as I was ever brave enough to take it. I would always feel sad when her stop came up and it was time for her to get off the bus.
I soon came to find out that my best friend also liked Penny, which, as usual, made me mad, but I didn’t say or do anything because I knew Penny would never want to “go with me”, that’s what we called dating back then.
I always took consolation she never “went with” him neither and I felt vindicated in knowing neither one of us was good enough for her.
I wonder where she is today? I wonder where a lot of the people I grew up with are now? Some still live close by, but the biggest majority of my childhood friends and schoolmates have long since moved on, some have passed on, others just moved to different states.
When I stop and think about the number of people I started out with in my “circle of life” and the ones that aren’t here anymore, well, it’s a sobering thought to say the least. It also takes me back to my first ever real kiss, sittin’ on a branch in a cherry tree.
The cherry tree is long since cut down, the girl that gave me that first kiss married with grand kids now and many many miles, memories, hardships, failures, happiness and victories under these feet on mine.
These mountains that surround me as I sit and type this post have seen much of my life, recorded it in their memories. If only they could talk, oh the stories they could tell.
They couldn’t tell you about a pretty blonde girl though, because she was just a fleeting part of my many dreams, and her name was Penny.