Facebook brought news today of the death of Debbie, a sweet girl I went to grade school with back in the Sixties.
And it brought back a few vivid memories. The brain is a funny old thing.
Debbie’s twin brother, Glen, was a friend of mine at Cleveland Elementary School in Norman, Oklahoma.
As I remember, Glen and Debbie transferred into Cleveland late in the piece, maybe fifth or sixth grade.
By then things were changing, for the worse.
The world order, wherein I was the undisputed fastest kid in the school, had collapsed.
Mike, the son of an OU coach, who was as muscular and hairy as a grown man, in grade school, had proven himself faster than me on more than one occasion.
But my reputation for speed lingered. And that was really important to a short kid with one arm.
Then, one day, Glen and I were gathered around a group of younger kids. Somebody asked who the fastest was.
I puffed out my little chest and expected to bask in the sunshine of adoration.
But all of the kids pointed to Glen.
I probably would have imploded, except that Glen, shyly, or maybe just kindly, looked down and said that I was the fastest.
Somewhere along the way, Glen proved he was faster. But, come to find out, he wasn’t the fastest in his family. His twin sister Debbie was.
Debbie — a short girl with short hair and a wonderfully mischievous smile — was too nice to challenge me to a race. But she wasn’t too shy to challenge her brother. And she smoked him.
I still remember her hoops of glee and the little jumping dance that she did as she ran off into the sunset.
If Debbie had outrun me, I would have died of embarrassment.
But the fact that she beat her brother, and got so much joy out of, made me smile.
After more than four decades, I still remember that.
And the fact that, once upon a time, I had a crush on a girl, who was faster than me.
Rest In Peace, Debbie, and Glen, who passed last year.
You were good people.