Memories are funny things. One man’s comedy is another man’s tragedy, or so it seems after the fact. Many of the stories I have told here on WordPress are vivid recollections of events from my past but are they true or just the way I want to remember them? I think I have a very good memory but every once in a while I get challenged by someone else’s version of the same story. Today’s post is my version of one such story.
The summer of 1968 is fondly remembered as the Summer of Love. I was only 14 that year but I sure didn’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime event. I couldn’t make it to San Francisco to join in all the fun with the flower children and DeadHeads so I had to settle for one week at the lake in Minnesota to make my mark.
Her name was Connie Larson and she was the most gorgeous girl from Minnesota I ever met in all my summers at Portview Resort. Connie was one of six sisters who came there every summer but I only remember four of them being there that year. She was a year older than me and it was very apparent I was in over my head but that didn’t stop me. I followed her around for a week hoping for a few precious moments of soulful bliss and she didn’t disappoint. I made sure her cabin was attended to every day with fresh firewood and clean garbage cans. I offered her guided tours of the property even though she knew the place as well as I did. We played together in the sand at the beach in front of her cabin and that summer I even swam across the lake and back just to show off for her. It was a mile swim that I only did once, so yes it’s a big deal. As I recall, I even swam it after I got stung by a hornet that same day. She was a whole year older, I had to do something extraordinary. For that act of bravery I got her undivided attention for the rest of that day and evening. I never hurt so good in all my life.
By the end of the week, we were inseparable and planning next year’s summer vacation at the lake. After five days of being missing in action, my mom was starting to get worried about me and the blonde love of my life. She even caught us fooling around in the old icehouse. It was still full of sawdust and it was the perfect place to hide out from the world while we planned our future together. My mom didn’t share my enthusiasm for blondes and sawdust and she quickly decided that this ancient structure was a death trap. She even had my grandfather tear it down before the next summer. Truth be told mom, we never even kissed but it was kind of fun seeing your face when you thought so. After the best week of my life, Connie left me all alone to face my future. We never saw each other again and the resort closed a year later.
My summer of love was over before I knew it and my childhood memories gave way to manhood and little time for romantic notions. That’s probably how it should be because fantasies are always better left unfulfilled. I went home that summer actually believing that girls could be interested in me and that I wasn’t the completely useless dork my sister Karen had convinced me I was destined to become. An older female had changed my life in just one week and I was forever grateful to Connie Larson for every bit of confidence she gave me that one blissful summer.
And then, 47 years later, Connie came back into my life right here on WordPress. I got an email a few weeks ago telling me that ConstanceL had just signed up to follow my blog. I took a huge chance and sent her an email to thank her for signing up and to find out if she was the girl I remembered. She immediately answered my inquiry with an emphatic, “No, I don’t remember you but my family always stayed at Portview Resort and I was searching for information about Portview when your blog came up.” After several hours of looking for my ego, I decided to try again so I sent her another email with more detailed depictions of our summer romance. She finally allowed me a tiny shred of encouragement when she said she remembered a boy that was pretty cute. I’m old now so I’ll take that any day.
After I pulled the faded memories from her brain she started to piece things back together but not quite like I had. She has blocked out the icehouse escapade entirely but at least she didn’t try to deny that it might have happened. So now I’m left with memories that sure seem real to me but the only other person who could testify to my storytelling isn’t quite ready to do so. It’s her loss really, in my imagination she gets to be Cinderella and Snow White all rolled into one and I’m perfectly happy to be her pretty cute prince charming, if she would let me.
It’s your turn now Connie, I think we all want to hear your side of the story.
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content