Long ago and far away, when I was 4 till I was 9, I lived my young idyllic life in northeastern Nebraska, Coleridge, 40 miles from Sioux City, Iowa. I had young friends, learned to ride a bike, sled down our hill in the bad snows. I played ‘cowboy’ with my friends, listened to Bobbie Benson and the B-bar-B on the radio and ate Cheerios for the frontier town on the package.We had dogs and chickens and toads in the garden. I learned to smoke with my friends in the church’s outhouse. My mother read me Black Beauty at bed time. My sister threw me a surprise birthday party when i was 8.
When I was 9 my father committed suicide.
We sold everything and moved back to Fort Collins, Colorado and I/we left everything behind. My last memory is throwing up in his funeral and going back to the house.
Of course we didn’t know what he had done until 30 years later or so. 60 years later, or so, I changed my last name.
All that changed when I met Verlyne. After joining a new church and noticing that the same folks were also working out with me at Fitness Over Fifty gym She came up to me and asked, “So, what’s your story?”
I told her mine (minus the Coleridge part) and she told me hers. She was from a little town in northeastern Nebraska, Coleridge! “Shut-up!” I said. Then we began reliving our time there. Although she is my age, 73, we did not know each other there, she being a ‘country girl’ and I being a ‘town boy’, but she remembered my twin brothers names, Ronald and Donald.
We reprised those days, the stores and restaurants, the people, the school, the snow storms and the Congregational Church we both went to.
My good memories were at once restored. Playing with friends, going to movies, biking, and church and school. I am very happy to have them back.
Should Auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? I don’t think so.
Thank you Verlyne.