Friday, November 20, 2009

LBC-One Memorable Day

A memorable day can be viewed many ways.  Such as how Ramana spends his Sundays, quietly with special coffee, reading the paper or taking naps.

Then there are the special events that make a day memorable, such as the first school prom, the birth of a child or grandchild; high school graduation or receiving a college degree, even the first job.

Oh, and do you remember your first boyfriend or girlfriend and the first kiss.

I'm going to go back to when I was thirteen, it was during the summer, in July 1961,  when I first faced the death of a friend.  Someone close to my age, actually he was four years older than me.  Oh, I had been to funerals before, my grandmother died when I was five, so I knew grandparents would die, and while I felt sad, it wasn't as shocking as someone whom I idolized and had teenage girl fantasies, you know the kind, "Oh JB, yes I would love to go the movies".

We lived in rural Georgia, and when I say out in the country, I mean out in the country.  Neighbors were usually a half mile to a mile away.  JB lived within walking distance. His Dad and my Dad rode to work together.  Sometimes we ate meals at each others homes.   He was the oldest of five boys. He had just graduated from high school in May.  If you've ever seen the movies Grease, where the bad boys had thick black hair, combed into, I think we called them "duck's tails", and of course the leather motorcycle jacket.  This was the exact image of JB.  He was known as a rebel, one who got into trouble for smoking at school, or skipping class and making low school grades.  All this changed his senior year, when it was discovered he was a great football player.  His last year saw a new person. Everyone yelled and encouraged him as he ran down the field to make a touchdown.  His pride in himself changed, he had a different outlook on life.  His Mom and Dad started bragging about him and what he could become.  He went from "bad boy" to "school hero".

Where I lived, there had been a lot of strip mining for coal in the area.  This was during a time before environmental control, it was 1961after all.  The coal companies would come in with heavy equipment and strip off the layers of coal, leaving deep shafts the size of ponds.  They in turn would fill up with water and become a pond.  One such pond had been filled with fish by someone who owned the land it was located on.  People loved to go fishing there.  One July night, JB and some friends decided to go fishing in their small boat.  While they were out in it, a storm came up, capsizing the boat. Since both were great swimmers and shouldn't have had any problem swimming to shore, it was determined that because there wasn't any lighting around the area, the boys became confused and started swimming toward the bottom of the pond rather than toward the surface.  Both drowned.

It happened the day I arrived back from spending a week with an aunt.  As I ran into the house, my Mom told me the news.  I was devastated.  He was only seventeen.  To this day, I can still feel the sun and heat as I ran into the house.  I can visualize the room as my mom told me the news.  It's like a frame in time, forever embedded in my memory.   Of course life went on and there were more memories formed good ones and bad ones.  I think though, I would class this as my first memorable day.

The Loose Bloggers Consortium, is an informal group of bloggers who post on a given topic each Friday. One topic is posted, then each member gives it their individual treatment. The current members are, in aphabetical order:


 If you have time and want a good read, check out the other members contributions. It always amazes me how people can see the same subject but come up with different interpretations.


Grannymar said...

A sad tale and a moment frozen in time.

Rummuser said...

Judy, I can sense the feeling that particular experience brings you. My first experience with death was also with a great hero for me, five years older, who too drowned just a couple of months after he got employed by the Port Trust as a deck hand on a dredger. He taught me how to dive and I became very good in high board diving.

Maria said...

I can see why the news of his death would leave you devastated. You did make me remember first crushes and wonder about where they are now.

gaelikaa said...

The first person you know who dies has a big effect on you. Then you come face to face with mortality..
Great post as usual, Judy!

sheeza said...

what a sad moment really. to accept that our friend is no more between us in such early age is quite hard.

so touchy and soft piece of writing.

Judy Harper said...

Grannymar-It is frozen in time. Something I've never lost.
Ramana-High board diving! Wow, you are an enigma!
Maria-I sometimes wonder about some of my first crushes also.
Gaelikaa-Thanks! I liked yours as well. I would like to see pictures of your wedding.
Sheeza-You're so right. Thanks for your comment.

bikehikebabe said...

It's a real shock to know that you can swim to the bottom if there's no light.
I keep my eyes closed, but am only a couple feet from the surface, so light must come through my eyelids.

Ashok said...

Awwww, that was quite a read :)

Marianna said...

You don't disappoint, Judy. Such descriptive writing that immediately brings us to another place & time.

gaelikaa said...

Judy, Hope you are ok, it's been a while. My story is up now!