Who do you remember first in your earliest memories? I must be terribly self-centered, because my earliest memories are of myself. I thought I was receiving stolen goods. Someone was handing me a cookie to hand to someone else.
It all started when I got kicked out of school. Being intelligent didn’t give me wisdom. Test scores don’t matter if you can’t pay the bill. I blew my chance at one too many jobs and lost the chance to finish with my class. After Thanksgiving of my senior year, I went to work full-time nights in a nursing home. But I couldn’t even hold on to that stupid job.
There was a day, I’d guess it was before Christmas, but after Thanksgiving, when we had a few inches of our favorite packing snow. I met up with JJ at a place between her home and mine. She brought along her friend from across the street. Diane was a bubbly blonde, a little younger than JJ and I.
Was it love? At seventeen, the ripest age for romantic love, it certainly was. Did it stand the tests of families and friends and circumstance? Not so much. We did not understand how badly the cards had been stacked against us. The most deadly traps were my own expectations.
When my family moved back to Old Saybrook from Clinton in January 1979, we lived first at 355 Main Street, literally next door to the house that had belonged to my grandparents from the late 1950s until 1971. But we only rented that house for 18 months. In June 1980 we began moving to the rambling ranch on the top of Ferry Hill.