Vignette from childhood. First grade girlfriend and understanding parents.
| This is another little vignette from my book:
*In 1951. I started first grade at Serna Elementary School, San Antonio, TX. I sat behind a pretty girl named Joan. She and I became close friends quickly. She declined to play jump rope at recess with the other girls so we could walk around together outside and, when the 'coast' was clear smooch some.
About three weeks into the semester, the school decided the classroom was too crowded and split we students into two halves, with A-M coming in the morning and N-Z in the afternoon. Her last name began with a 'B' mine, of course, with a 'W.' Our teacher called my parents and asked whether it would be OK for me to come to the morning class. They said yes. They knew about Joanie as I talked about her so much at home.
This worked very well as she and I continued our 'torrid' affair. Our parents got together at her house one Saturday. Joan's dad was the president of a large cement company, whereas dad was an Army SGT. They lived in a huge, two-story home, and we lived in a 25ft trailer without a bathroom. None of that seemed to phase the parents, and we began an almost two-year relationship.
On a given Saturday, mom and dad drove me over to Joan's house for the day, and the following Saturday, her parents drove her over to mine. She and her brother had a very nice playset in their big back yard, and I had a great, large sandbox in mine.
In the cars going back and forth, Joan and I would hold hands, hug, and smooch! WE thought we were getting away with something, but, of course, the grown-ups knew all along. We were good kids and had great times both at school and each other's homes.
Half-way through the second grade, dad got orders for Korea and took the family to Arkansas. Joan and I had to say good-bye. We both cried. I think the parents also did. We wrote letters to each other for over two years and when dad came back from the war, we moved to Ft. Sill, OK. When she and I were nine or ten, dad drove the family to San Antonio to see friends there. Mom called the cement company, talked with Joan's father, and they arranged for us to visit while in town.
The visit was nice, but she and I had both moved on by then, so there was no rekindling of feelings. In 1962, when I joined the Air Force, I was sent to San Antonio for basic training. I found Joan's dad's phone number in the book and called. Her mom answered and, when I told her who I was, instantly remembered me. She said Joanie was in Hawaii with her new husband, who was an Ensign in the Navy. She promised to tell her that I had called.
We never communicated after that, but my first girlfriend has forever lived in a warm place in my heart.