High school! Sixteen! The memories that were formed will last forever. You may forget what you did last week, but you never forget the most colorful personalities of high school. Our editor called me today and told me he was printing some material brought in by Ronnie Reed. That set my mind back to my Sophomore year at good old E.H.S.. Ronnie was unique. He also dated my girlfriend, Gelaine Listenberger. My boyfriend, Rich Harman, and I, double dated that whole summer when we (Gelaine and I) were Sophomores and Rich and Ronnie were Seniors. We were all in love. The kind of love only first loves know. Young love. We were all into dancing, except Ronnie, and we long suspected it was because he wouldn’t take off his Engineer boots. Hey, Ronnie was “The Fonz” of Elmhurst. Not only did he wear Engineer boots, he had a ducktail and he worked on his car most of the time. He was cool. Real cool. He customized his car. He chopped his top. Everyone who knew Ronnie talked about how he was working on his car and what the chopped top would be like. He cut his car so that the windows were only inches tall instead of full windows. Yep, he was cool, all right. When he would drive around in his car, he would give a small, barely noticeable two fingered wave, and slightly nod his head. I suspect he practiced this a lot before he carried it off successfully enough to make everyone look and say….cool…..too cool..!
The romances that we thought would be a lifetime only lasted a year. That summer is one that I will remember all my life. Rich and Ronnie would pick Gelaine and me up and we would go to the Waynedale Drive In Theater. I still remember the small pizzas they sold at the snack shop, which had to be bought right at intermission, as was our custom. I think Gelaine and I stayed all night with each other every night that summer at either her house or mine. We played all the wonderful romantic songs by Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley until they were about worn out. We played them on a 45 RPM that Gelaine had beside her bed. We would talk about our boyfriends ’till late into the night, and we would always end our talks, sleepy and happy, by saying their names to each other. I would murmur to her: “Ronnie”, and she would murmur to me, “Rich”. And we would happily drift off to sleep. There is no love like a first love. We were sure we would be happily married to Rich and Ronnie and raise our families together. Unfortunately, Rich and Ronnie graduated and went off to college, and Gelaine and I, not wanting to be unfaithful, must have stayed going steady for about a month or two after they left. We carefully wrapped their rings in angora wool, and flaunted them on our fingers. But, time passed. Gelaine and I graduated and went on to Nursing School. There came a time when Rich and Ronnie seemed almost like strangers to us, and we, as well as they, changed. We didn’t double date anymore. We didn’t whisper their names when we went to sleep at night. We all married different people, and I guess that is the end of my story of young romance. I wish that that kind of young love could last forever. But there is only a first time for everything. Perhaps it is so for everyone. That first love, that first wave of feelings never felt before, is unlike anything you ever feel again. I am glad I had a sweetheart like Rich and I’m glad Gelaine had dashing Ronnie. We can live forever with our sweet dreams of young love and let the memories grow forever fonder.
those were the days.
May we all have good memories of our first loves,