Recently, my hometown, the one where I grew up and went to school, made a Facebook group. I signed on, though most of the friends were from much later dates. I finished high school in 1967. Most of these folks, not all but some, were more in the late 80s class. I hardly know them, except perhaps by their maiden or last names, if at all.
But this morning I had a bad memory that I am compelled to write about. Somehow, the news today brought this person to mind.
It creeped me out.
There was a family who lived across the lake from where I lived. Many classmates lived on that side and we went to Pierce School together. It was torn down before they put up the plaque saying I had gone there....
I digress, as usual.
There was a parochial school in our town, and a good many kids went there. Because I didn't go there, I didn't really know too many kids who went there, unless I saw them at church or hanging around the playground in the summer.
There was one family, though, that I knew because my friend Sally knew them. For privacy sake, I will not use the last name, though I remember it.
There were three boys and a father...I'd see them at Mass every Sunday, marching in file. The father looked like a military man and the boys behaved in a Catholic school manner.
And there was a daughter.
I believe she was the youngest.
She toed the mark as well, but there was more to it.
She apparently was in control of the household. After all, she was a girl.
Rumor had it that her mother died giving birth to her, but I am not sure.
This girl looked...how can I put it? Downtrodden.
A nest of dull hair, plain features, grim expression on her lips and face.
Now that I think of it, she always appeared to be wearing boys' clothing.
She was famous or infamous for riding around town, away from the western end where she lived, on a sturdy bicycle. Wearing a turned down Navy cap, baggy jackets, leather shoes.
Another rumor claimed she had a knife in her socks.
I never spoke to her. Never really saw her except for at church or riding away from her home.
All the descriptions above are true...the rumors and observations may not be. Who is there to contradict me?
I'll tell you one thing...I hope she is happy. Maybe two, three years younger than I am, so she's old enough to have grandchildren, if she ever had kids and that happily ever after stuff.
Thinking of what she may have gone through, based solely on her appearance and rumor, put me in mind of more of a horror story than anything else.
The world is ugly now. It was ugly back in the 50s. Ugly in the 60s. Even uglier in the 70s.
Those thoughts of what might have been her life may not be true in any way, but my 2019 mind can't help but wonder if she was wounded so severely that she never had a chance to bloom and be happy.
I wish I could find out.