“At night our crowd would meet at someone’s house. We played boy-girl games such as ‘Post Office’ and ‘Clap in and Clap out’ and changed boy friends every week. I liked one of the boys, Billy Mallette, a lot, but after about two or three weeks he started liking someone else. One night when Tiny and her boyfriend B.J. were on the front porch, Billy stayed after the others went home, and we sat in Big’s front yard together. He was the first boy I ever kissed, that night in the swing. At fourteen, it was easy to fall in and out of love every day.
“I can remember when they passed the law that you would have to have license to drive and I went with Lena White to the Court House to get hers. Prior to that kids from twelve on up were driving, and in the summer of 1935 we would pile in any car that was available and our main thrill was to go fast (probably about 25 miles an hour) over the railroad track near Williams and Lord Funeral Home which we called ‘Pollard’s Dump’ (the track, not the funeral home) and we would all bounce and hit the top of the car. That was our idea of doing something that we knew we shouldn’t be doing.
“My real love in the eighth grade was my math teacher, Howard Lewis. He was about ten years older than me and knew that I had a crush on him. I even had Mama make some divinity so that I could take it to him. He was made principal of the Junior High School the next year after Mrs. Stinson died, and asked me to help him in the office toward the end of school. I turned up with a bad case of malaria, so had to miss the end of school and was crushed that I could not do it. When we went on to high school he was named high school principal. My senior year of high school, I skipped school every Friday afternoon, and when we were ready to graduate he threatened to give me a book of excuse blanks because he had signed so many of them for me. We have remained good friends to this day , though it was many years before I could say ‘Howard’ instead of ‘Mr. Lewis.’
I suppose we all assume our parents had no life before we were born, and it’s always a bit of a jolt to find out that boys existed before your dad and girls existed before your mom. I do know that Sara admired Howard Lewis all her days, for good reason, and Greenwood was fortunate to have him as a citizen.