Grade 7, spring dance. I asked Jim Boyce who was wheelchair-bound if he wanted to go to the dance and, if so, I’d pick him up and take him. Fortunately, it was a nice Friday evening and I rolled Jim several blocks to the dance. When we got to the dance, we parted, but later I looked for him to go home. He was already waiting inside the front entrance ready to leave. He had phone for a ride and I helped him out to the car. he was an interesting, funny guy, Jim and I always wondered what happened to him since he didn’t show up in the senior high school a block away three years later.
Grade 11, Key Club trip to Ottawa on spring break. Went to the opening dance and met a pretty girl Linda Lashley. Walked her home and thought that was the end of it. A few days later, the wife-mother of the Japanese family I was staying with unexpectedly came up to my bedroom. (The nicest house I had ever stayed in; Her husband was in Kiwanis–the Key Club affiliate; I was billeted with them–beautiful people, beautiful house.) She said “There’s a call for you from Linda.” She and I had a great talk and traded addresses, promising to write.
The trip finished with a last evening Stones concert at the Ottawa arena. I still remember Mick prancing around the stage, pointing at the teenyboppers crying “And I need you-you. I need you-you-you.” I left the show early with two other guys I was with to go to one friend’s place to get our bags. The friend called for a taxi early before he was even finished packing. Within minutes, the cab was downstairs; we could see it out the high-rise window. We then panicked (not being familiar with meters and taxis) and finished the packing and got downstairs relieved to find the meter was not already running. The cab got us to the station for the train leaving at midnight for Winnipeg with about 30 other guys from our school and another in a sleeper at the end of the train.
That trip was the first time that many of us had been out of province and travelling without adult supervision. (On the train coincidentally, in the club car was my Jamaican grade 10 teacher heading to T.O. He was surprised to see me pulling a Holden Caulfield, smoking like a pro, “Rick, I didn’t know you smoked!” It was all very wild and a lot of fun. Coming back, a friend and I asked the engineer if we could ride with him in the engine, which we did for about an hour at night. That train, I’ll swear, looked like it was running off the tracks whenever it went around curves!
Anyway, the punchline. I’d given up ever hearing from Linda again as summer rolled around. I had checked for mail after supper one evening while home alone in the apartment listening to top 40 radio. The announcer said “Now here is the next big hit of The Rolling Stones” and “No Satisfaction” came on; it was the first time I had heard it with its memorable fuzz riff. I looked at the envelope and it was a letter from Linda Lashley. She had a lot to say, but it felt like we would never meet again and we never did. Interesting the synchronicity of the Stones music. This from a band I did not like , preferring The Beatles, instead.
Jim Boyce and Linda Lashley, where art thou today?