Just like Henry…I was also seventeen back in 1960…but for me there were no sandy beaches in my hometown of Rocky Point, Minnesota. (Yes…the same one…)
Nor were there any beachy-sand volleyball games in the summer sun.
If my friends and I had foolishly tried to surf the great waves of Lake Superior…the lake that defined our little town…we probably would have been cut to shreds by the huge, craggy boulders that hugged its shore.
But it didn’t really matter. I didn’t need to have a golden tan to accentuate a beautiful prom dress I had not needed to buy for my senior prom because…
On my prom night the year I was seventeen…I sadly had no date.
Instead, I was at home in my parent’s massive Colonial that sat on a precipice overlooking the magnificent Lake Superior.
The back of our property ended in a sharp drop-off…maybe a hundred feet. Every time I walked over and looked down…I got dizzy…and was glad there was a fence onto which I could hold.
My dad had built the fence years ago to keep my brother and me and all our friends from soaring over the edge as we raced around the yard playing whatever games kids played that involved “racing around while not thinking.”
I vaguely remember my parents having heated discussions about what kind of fence was needed to keep her beloved children from imminent death.
My mom wanted something similar to the impressive walls that surrounded Alcatraz prison…but she was willing to take a pass on the ‘gun towers’.
My dad was looking for something a little less intense and one that didn’t block the impressive lake view.
They compromised on a green chain-link fence with little spiky wires on top. Perhaps it was a little over-kill with the wires but nonetheless… no I knew died in my backyard..
So there I sat…dressed in my favorite flannel pajamas because May in northern Minnesota is always chilly.
I was looking out the huge bay windows from our 4-season porch but the dense fog kept me from seeing further than a few feet. This was typical Rocky Point weather and I loved it.
I was waving my hands in the air so my newly purchased nail polish, “Pink Lady”, could dry.
I was also listening to my favorite song “In the Still of the Night”…and trying desperately…yet failing…to be not too miserable.