Friday, August 14, 2009

I Know How Chelsea Feels


My memories of Germany are mostly impressionistic. I remember fearing the Germans on the other side of the fence, except for the ones we knew and loved. I remember idolizing my big brother, Carl, who we called “Co” --short for Cochise. I remember the feeling when my baby brother, Keith, was born (If he’s the baby brother, then what am I?). I remember a similar lost feeling when Marcia, my one and only sister, went off to German school.

We moved to Camp King, the Army base at Oberursel, Germany, before my first birthday. We lived there until I was five. For the first four years of my life, Marcia was my best friend. We were only thirteen months apart, and eventually people started to think we were twins. We loved that.

Once Marcia abandoned me for German school, Kelly Reinhart became my best friend during school hours. I have no specific memories of her, only fond feeling memories. She was a curly haired white girl (That's her on the tricycle). Our families lived in the same Army quarters. Her dad and mine were both soldiers and worked together at a second job at the NCO club. We got to go to the club at least on Sunday afternoons, so we saw a lot of the Reinharts.

But Army life is all about making friends and losing them in the next assignment. After Germany we lived in Kansas, Ohio, Virginia, and Hawaii; and I started seventh grade at Fort Knox, Kentucky. When Dad orchestrated a return to Hawaii, we were all relieved and thrilled, partly because the Reinharts were now there. I remember the anticipation of seeing my old best friend.

But thirteen-year-olds are not five-year-olds, and socialization was in full swing. I remember being at a backyard barbecue in Hawaii and someone telling me that that girl over there was Kelly; she had long wavy hair by then. I was shy. She probably was too. I don’t know if it was simply boy/girl stuff that kicked in or if anything else was lurking for either of us. But I don’t think we even spoke to each other—ever again.

But it was okay since Marcia and I were back to being “twins”—for a few more years. So I gotta assure Chelsea: Damon will be back.

1 comment:

Mary @ The Writer's Block said...

Awww. Tony, what a sweet post. And I can't believe Damon is off to kindergarten. :)