Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My First Best Friend

See those kids in the picture?  They were best friends!  That is me and my brother Keith.  Born just 20 months apart, I believe we were inseparable until he went to Kindergarten, which was a sad, sad day in my life.

This is what I remember.  We played a game we called "Cat and Dog"  that involved running around the house on all fours (crawling) because the "dog", i.e. Keith, was chasing the "cat", Lisa.  The cat could climb on chairs and the couch, but the dog could only jump and bark.  Hours and hours of fun!  Another fun game was called "Cops and Robbers" which was played on tricycles. I ALWAYS had to be the bad guy and Keith always got to be the cop.  We would ride round and round on the road in front of our house playing this game. 

When Keith went to Kindergarten at our church I remember feeling lost.  What was I supposed to do without him?  I remember watching soap operas some, and sitting around lots.  I guess I got used to him being gone eventually and the next year I went to Kindergarten! 

As we got older our world enlarged to include the neighborhood kids.  I know there were probably girls my age in our neighborhood but I ran with the guys.  Keith's friends were my friends and the two best were Mike and Tony Brown.  They lived just down the street and we had the best fun playing with them.  They had a dog named Candy, (an Airedale) that I remember thinking was not a very pretty dog.  I haven't changed my opinion much - I still don't think they are pretty dogs with their rectangle snouts!  Anyway, I remember playing with those guys every summer.  If they minded a girl being part of the group I don't remember it.

After we moved to Ooltewah Keith and I were pretty much the only kids we had to play with because we no longer lived in a neighborhood.  I remember us waiting at the end of the driveway for the school bus just talking about stuff.  What stuff?  I have no idea.  Stuff that was important to us.  Living in the country was a new experience for us and I remember exploring the creek and the field behind our house with Keith.  We had lots of adventures out there!  After we started our new school we each made friends in our own grade but I still considered Keith my best friend.  In the summers we would play board games.  I remember having a Monopoly game that went on for most of one summer!  We just left the game set up in Keith's room and played some every day.  We also played ping pong and pool in the basement.  He was a mean ping pong player and showed absolutely no mercy.  He would serve the ball in such a way that there was no returning it.
I preferred vollying the ball back and forth some - but not Keith - he was out for the win!. 

We also played basketball on the driveway.  HORSE and PIG were the staples. I never got very good and probably didn't really enjoy basketball (considering I don't now) but if that is what Keith wanted to do, I joined in.  He would stay outside shooting baskets long after we had gone inside in the evenings.  We swam daily in the pool playing Marco Polo and having jumping and splashing contests.  We just had fun being kids.

When Mom and Dad started having Betty  Brown and her husband (what was his name?) come on Saturday nights to play Rook I remember watching the adults play (and learning how to play the game), reading my book, and playing in the basement with Keith and  the Brown's son Steve. Baby sister Jenni and Greg Brown were the same age and spent the evenings playing somewhere.  Meanwhile, once again it was me and the guys.  You know, I was not a tomboy but my best memories as a kid are when I ran around and played with Keith and his friends.

Well, there you have it.  My first best friend was my brother, Keith.  I love remembering those days and just wanted to write my memories down somewhere and this is where I decided to put them.  Hope you enjoyed reading this little vignette  about my childhood.