Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lynn Ellen Smith

I moved to the town of Skokie in 1955. I was 9. I'm from the ghetto, where we learned to fight before we learned to walk. We moved from a changing neighborhood on Chicago's West side, however most of the change was already complete. I was about 70 LB and way too street wise for a nice Jewish boy. I immediately got into a fight with Dickie Youngstrom, the toughest kid in our new class and won, making me "Top Gun". That was probably the first fight I'd ever won. Back then, all you had to do was sit on the other kid and hold his hands down until he gave. It was easy. No automatic weapons or even knives in this new suburban school. I liked it!

Our neighborhood was quiet. We played baseball, basketball and football, without the interference of adults. We'd pick sides and play, no parents with injured egos to deal with, just sports. Life was simple.

Then one day a girl moved in across the street, but honestly I didn't even notice because I was still working on my curve ball. The following school year, a new girl was walking to the bus stop, Lynn Ellen Smith. She was cute and quiet and had great posture. She was prim and proper and walked with a few girlfriends. What, with my curve ball and that new slider, I had no interest in her. That went on for several years, then one day I noticed that she looked different. Either that or my curve ball and slider weren't too important anymore and Lynn Ellen's posture had changed considerably and in a good way. I recall her always walking with her notebooks in front of her. Now that area in front of her was filled, but it wasn't with notebooks. She had developed quite the feminine shape. One that a retired pitcher paid attention to.

I think I was about 17 when I finally started talking to Lynn Ellen and used some excuse to get to know her better. She was cute and shapely and bright. I'd find a reason to wander over to her house almost every night and watch TV with her and her folks. At some point Mom and Dad felt comfortable with me being there and went to bed, leaving Lynn and I to get to know each other better. We "made out", a major break-through in our relationship. We'd just kiss and every time I got creative and found my anxious hands wandering, Lynn would politely put them back where they couldn't get into trouble. That went on f-o-r-e-v-e-r! I must say, Lynn was a nice girl and never let me get too ambitious. I remember walking across the street every night to my parents house, kind of limping, thinking maybe some day. But that day never came. At some point and I'm sure neither of us know why, we just kind of cooled things off and she started seeing a guy named Johnny. Johnny drove a Mustang and left it parked in front of Lynn's house until the wee hours of the morning. Every night I'd peek out the window to see if the Mustang was still there broken hearted, regretting that I'd let that relationship slip away. Johnny and Lynn Ellen married and are still married at the present time. Some things happen for a reason and her reason was Johnny.

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