OAKLEY A SUBURB OF CINCINNATI ON MADISON RD. PHOTO BY KATHY STORRIE 7-26-2014
I didn’t know what a bosom friend was until Lorraine showed up one day in my fifth grade year. I had been hoping for a close friend to play with.
Before Lorraine came I had played with several neighborhood girls but our friendships didn’t last. I spent a lot of time at the school yard playing hopscotch, climbing trees and climbing on the top of the Kindergarten building to walk around on the flat roof. Usually I rallied kids to play four-square ball.
LENOX APT. BLDG HALLWAY. WHERE I MET LORRAINE PHOTO BY KATHY STORRIE 7-26-2014
Lorraine introduced herself to me in the hallway of my apartment complex. She was talkative and friendly so we soon became friends. Like me she had a younger brother so we introduced them to each other so we could be free of them but, Tim and Ben didn’t like each other. I sorta felt sorry for Lorraine because she and Ben were daily on their own after school due to her parents’ heavy work schedule. She was a little envious I had a stay-at-home mom.
Before Lorraine came I had few friends. I deliberately over-achieved in the classroom to get the verbal praise from my teachers. My dry soul soaked up their smallest compliment like rain on a hot sidewalk in July. I had no clue that living in the roach infested Lenox building set me apart from the other kids. My hopes sailed when a Judy asked me to meet her and Donna after lunch to play kickball! I waited all recess at the kickball field but they never showed up. Later, Judy said with sincerity she was sorry they forgot to play with me.
20TH CENTURY THEATER IN OAKLEY ACROSS FROM LENOX BLDG. PHOTO BY KATHY STORRIE 7-26-14
One late afternoon Lorraine asked if I’d like to go to see the movie, THE FLY, at the 20th Century Theater across the street. She and her brother would eat at Frisch’s Restaurant first if I wanted to come. I asked my Mom and all she had was a quarter. When Lorraine and Ben ordered their food the waiter waited for me to order. The smell of the food was tempting but THE FLY was calling. I told him if I ate I couldn’t see THE FLY so just bring me a Coke. Soon, he returned with a Coke and a Big Boy and said they were on the house. I had never tasted anything so delicious in my whole life!
Before Lorraine came I met Tessie while riding my bike past her house on Markbreit Ave. We played at her house mostly because my place was… embarrassing. I loved her bright, yellow bedroom that had no boy stuff in it. For fun we played a blindfold game and she led me around the back yard; a rusty nail sticking out of a wood plank snagged my leg. I hated the tetanus shot. For some reason Tessie and I stopped playing together.
Lorraine’s beauty and charm attracted the boys while her temper scared them away. I was glad she never yelled at me. I never dreamed a blue-eyed angel with golden hair could get so mad so fast. Bobby Nelson was the most wicked boy in the neighborhood until he met Lorraine! Every mean bone and sinew in his body melted when she rode on his bicycle handlebars. I hated tagging along behind them on my bike and sharing Lorraine with the devil!
After Lorraine came I had much more confidence in myself. Lorraine told me I looked like Elizabeth Taylor but I told her I had ugly teeth. I turned my upper lip inside out and showed her my Dracula fangs. She wouldn’t listen and insisted that my gorgeous eyes and black hair were to die for! I loved her for saying that!
When school was out Lorraine and her family moved away. My heart was broken and I cried myself to sleep. In mid-summer she invited me to visit at her brand new house for a week. We talked and shared our dreams for the future. She already had a boyfriend which didn't surprise me. Lorraine tried to set me up with her boyfriend's friend but I was too shy and not ready for a blind date.
After Lorraine left it was harder for a wolf to blow my house down. I felt more confident … and less invisible. She taught me to speak up for myself. When I got bullied everyday on the way home from school I warned the big boy to stop. When he didn’t calling me names I kicked him in the rear end. After that he called me "big foot" for the rest of the school year but he left me alone.
After I finished sixth grade my family and I moved to Hamilton, Ohio. Lorraine visited me the same week we had Vacation Bible School and she went and got saved. Now we were both two less casualties! When she went back home and didn't answer my letters we lost touch. A few years passed and I got her wedding announcement.
Did someone special ever come in your life and save you? I was so happy and thankful to God to have Lorraine when she came into my life. She was like a breath of fresh air and exactly who I needed. After the wedding announcment we went our separate ways and that was okay. I went off to college and seminary and she got married and started a family We didn't talk again until many years later. She will always be my very first best friend.