Ah, my first love–Gregory Bay. I’ll never forget you. We were just tykes back then, the same age, living on the same block in Hooper, Nebraska. Greg was a small, thin boy with shining blue eyes and a blond crew-cut. He usually wore his shirts with the back collar turned up in a jaunty way.
So many memories of Greg. I often played at his house, listening to his mother, Joy, sing at the kitchen sink. She had the loveliest high soprano voice!
A favorite game was to get a group of us on my front porch with our coloring books and crayons. The long-suffering Greg would ride his bike around the block as fast as he could–the object was to completely finish a page before he got back. Oh, the whoops and hollers as he appeared around the corner, bent low over his handlebars, a grin on his face!
My best girlfriend, Susan Schwab, and I, at one point, decided to be feminine in everything we did. How the group laughed when Greg tackled me, and I managed to point my bare toes as they stuck up in the air!
When I was five, I was a flower girl in a white lace dress at my sister’s wedding. I turned the corner, soberly dropping petals, and there was Greg–gazing at me over the back of the pew. The expression on his face made me feel like I was the most beautiful girl in the world.
One time, we were riding bikes when I fell and cut my hand. That evening, Greg’s mother brought him over, and he gave me a one-cent Bazooka bubble gum to comfort me. He was such a caring little boy.
We even had kind of a “sexual” encounter one time when we were playing “cowboys and Indians,” and Greg tied me up. That’s all–just tied me up, but I remember we were both thrilled in some mysterious way.
When we started school, I developed a crush on the “Golden Boy,” Clark Milligan. Oh, fickle womanhood! I don’t know why I abandoned my Greg. Maybe he was just so familiar, and I thought he would always be around. A few years later, Greg’s family moved out of town, and I never saw him again.
So, Greg–wherever you are, I apologize. In a perfect world, we would have grown up together, gotten married, and lived happily ever after. You were a big part of my childhood, and I’ll always hold fond, warm memories of you in my heart–My very first love. My Gregory Bay.