jruit :: 28



When I lived in St. Louis, Lotsie, who lived next door, with jet black hair and piercing blue eyes, would invite me over to her house, where she'd be wearing a crisp white blouse and the two of us would listen to Johnny Mathis records in her family's library. Her real name was Carlotta, and her family was even more wealthy than ours, thanks to her grandfather August Busch and lots of beer. Sometimes she'd get one of her servants to take her brother, sister and me to a drive-in move, where we'd sit in the back seat and she'd say, "I know what you like!" She was just in the ninth grade.

Other times we'd go riding on her horses, taking jumps over fallen logs down Bridle Creek, which was at the foot of our back yards, over to some wide open fields where we'd let the horses ease out from a cantor to a full gallop. When there were Polo games in town, she'd invite me to go with her ... me, the big twelfth grader.

In my taxicab yesterday a man from St. Louis told me he knew Lotsie, where he'd worked at Anheuser-Busch for twenty-one years, and had met her once at a Polo game, though "she's an older person," and I was brought up short when I realized she'd be sixty-five years old now.

Lying in bed last night I found myself in some sort of memory channel reliving some of the best times of my life, from spelunking in mile-long caves in Missouri when I was a Boy Scout, to friendships in the third grade at Forest Hills School in Wilmington, North Carolina, to just hanging out in my bedroom, listening to the radio and looking out the window.


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