This Daily Prompt from The Daily Post folks got me thinking about all the people I’ve come across in my life. And believe you me, there’s been quite a few. And yet, there doesn’t seem to be “the one”, that person that I’ve stuck with for ever and ever, and who has stuck with me. So I thought I would explore why, and maybe figure it out.
I’m thinking back. Who was the first person I can remember who made an impression, who could be considered a “favorite?” Memories that far back are pretty jumbled for most of us. I’m no different.
I remember the boy who lived next door to my paternal grandmother, Scotty was his name. “Mammaw”, that’s what we called her, lived in a small town in Indiana. Scotty lived next door to Mammaw in a house with exterior walls that were made from smooth, round river rocks, even the walls of the front porch. You could climb the walls of that house just like the climbing walls in gyms today.
Whenever we went to Mammaw’s house I always wanted to make a beeline over to see Scotty. My folks would make me stick around just long enough to make the necessary pleasantries, and I remember always trying to make some pretense to go outside, so I might spy Scotty, and have a reason to break away. Eventually I would wear them down and off I’d go.
I don’t remember if Scotty and I were of similar age or not. And at that age, I don’t think I had the ability to communicate with Scotty except when we visited Mammaw. But I do remember Scotty, and how much fun it was to pretend we were mountain climbers, scaling the heights of the front porch walls. He knew all the cool places to explore in that small town. I remember when Mammaw died, I think I was a teenager, and as I recall, Scotty and I had already drifted apart. So, apparently, he must not have been my “favorite.”
Another one I remember was from elementary school, Scot was his name. Seems to be a pattern, but there’s not. Scot lived with his mother in an apartment building that was on the next street over and a block up from our house. As I remember back with my 20-20 hindsight, Scot’s situation must have seemed pretty exotic, living with a single mother, when that was something very uncommon, and in an apartment building in the middle of a sea of single-family homes.
Behind Scot’s house there was a huge open field. We spent most summer afternoons there one year playing whiffle ball. We’d flip a coin to see who would be the Chicago Cubs and who would be the St. Louis Cardinals. Then we would enact a game with complete lineups and play-by-play with Harry Caray and Jack Buck doing the call. We both knew every player. And we did passing impersonations of the Cardinal announcers of the era.
Scot and I were in the same class in school. We were friends through middle school and high school. But we drifted apart, and by the end of high school we rarely talked. Not sure why, but I imagine it was part of growing up. So I guess he must not have been my “favorite” either.
And as I think back, to all the people who have come and gone (ex-wife included), I think I’ve never really been apart from my favorite. I think it’s me. And I think that if someone is with me in the present, if they are really there, then they are my favorite. And if they choose to not be there, in the present, or if they choose a present that is somewhere else, then they are no less my favorite, they’re just not in my present.
So here’s to all my favorites. Wherever you happen to be at present.