The summer before my seventh grade year, I had an extrasensory perception (ESP) moment. I just didn’t know that’s what it was at the time.
It was 1974 and I was attending YMCA Boys Camp on Lake Martin, located a couple of hours north of my hometown of Enterprise, Alabama. It was there where I saw, for the first time, the girl who’d become my best friend forever (BFF).
Those long ago August days were filled with swimming, horseback riding and canoeing, but one evening was reserved for a joint dance with girls from the camp across the lake. In an outdoor pavilion, we gathered together as frogs croaked, crickets chirped and K.C. and the Sunshine Band played on the nighttime turntable.
Amidst a crowd of white-skinned giggly gals, my eyes closed in on a beauty with striking Italianesque features. Tan with a bountiful heap of brown hair and dark brown eyes, she drew you in like a magnet, even from where I was standing, a good 40 feet away. Although only 12 years old, she oozed charisma, I thought.
Words were never uttered; instead, I simply studied her from afar like an artist would his model. Who was she, I remembered questioning to myself? Why was I fascinated with her? Sure, she was pretty, but I sensed a stronger bond between the two of us.
Something about seeing her that night told me I was supposed to get to know her better. Yet, if that was the case, why was I motionless like a toy robot without batteries? Maybe, I lacked confidence. Or, maybe I was embarrassed by the chalky calamine lotion plastered all over my legs, a regiment that soothed mosquito bites endured earlier in the week. Party games finally concluded and boys and girls went back to their respective quarters. Two days later, camp week ended; two weeks later, summer vacation ceased.
When seventh grade began, a surprise happened: I saw that same girl walking down the school hallway! This time, however, I would speak. From that moment, a friendship, one that has lasted more than four decades, was established. We were instantly connected thanks to side-by-side lockers!
We’ve had the right combination ever since!
Love and light,