Even though the year 2005 was exceptionally good to me and I have much that I'm grateful for, I'm still sad and got a little teary-eyed. Was sitting at the kitchen table having the ol' morning coffee and got to reflecting about recent past events. And got to thinking about Judith, Mary Ann, and even old clunky Johnny Underwood. The Underwoods lived in several different houses in those days, but I was a welcomed guest in all of them. As shabby as the furniture was, it was always clean and well-arranged. And as difficult as life was for that family, Mr and Mrs Underwood always provided a home for the kids.
I still have a very hard time accepting that Judith and Mary Ann are gone from us -- I thought they would live forever. How I miss the bike rides out to Broad Run with Mary Ann. Stopping at the bottom of McKim Street getting water from Cold Springs, then sitting around talking about 'things' on the LaRue property there were Broad Run empties into Middle Island. We did this often. and sitting on the porch at the Pickens home with Ruth making sure we had plenty of lemonade and Clare (Clair?) always coming out and saying, "Well, Mr Jim, whats the news from Billsville?" I usually allowed as how there wasnt much going on and he allowed as how he kinda thought so.
Then there were all those delightful walking and bike-riding excursions with Judith -- down Dewey, out Cherry, cruising the park, down Sixth to Pike, then to Morgan, stopping in front of the Webb home, yelling at Mike and Pat, and Delno and Evelyn laughing at us, down Court Lane to Court House Hill, down the hill, cross Rte 2, cross Main to First (which was later changed to Riverside Drive for no reason at all,) up Riverside to Barrons, stopping to howdy Miss Isabel Strickland -- one my favorite adults -- turning right at Barrons, back across Main to Joe Procopio's shoe shop, stopping for a bit to watch the coming and goings at Mose Corum's Confectionary. Pushing our bikes up Craigs Hill, howdying the Josephs on the way. Then back to Kennedys, where Mrs Kennedy -- blessed soul she was/is always had a snack laid out for the travelers. She always made sure, too, that there was plenty of pop corn for those evenings spend on the glider -- again, talking about 'things.'
And to this very day, it has never occurred to me that there was any thing sexual or provocative about those -- and other -- gals. They were simply "my friends." And today I am missing them immensely.
Ballard???? Thats a whole nuther story. How much I've missed him over the years is beyond words.
Peace and Good Will,