Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When I knew

It was the Summer of Love, 1967. I was four and a half years old. One lazy summer Sunday my brother and I were playing a long since forgotten game when we heard the roar of motorcycles coming up the hill. My sister was having friends over. I don't remember too much about that Sunday, I just remember how thrilled I was that the young man pictured above was making a visit. I have no memory of him before this visit and none afterward. His name? My sister told me years later when I was inquisitive about him. I have since forgotten it. I did hear he spent some time in jail decades ago, for assault. I have only these four photos to trigger any vague memories.

He is the one with his hand outstretched, greeting the viewer in the top photo. He is shirtless and third from the right in the second. He had a dark tan and pale eyes. The two remaining photos are from that sunny Sunday. In the third photo you can see me, clutching my sister's left arm with a look of absolute glee on my face. I look like the Cheshire Cat, happy with his elusive secret. Rides were taken on the bikes, he brought a friend with a shared interest - speed. My brother was brave. I was not. But maybe my memory is playing tricks. I remember being a little afraid of the noise and the kick of those machines (remember, I was very young) but I think I was offered a ride by his friend and not him, and so I declined. I'd have rather put my arms around his waist.

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