Whitesburg KY
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Remembering my first kiss



In the seventh and eighth grades at Burdine School, my teacher Dave Craft from Whitesburg made me captain of the patrol boys. This was the first time I was ever in charge of anything except Jack, the old mule I plowed behind on our 100-acre farm in Cane Branch.

At that time I had a big crush on a pretty classmate who I thought hardly knew I was around because I was so shy. One day I got up the nerve to ask her to have a bottle of pop with me at a café in East Jenkins, and she accepted. I sat beside her in a booth with two of our friends. When we got up to leave, I was in hog heaven and could hardly walk.

Next year we were in high school, and she started going out with someone. It broke this old boy’s heart. As soon as I turned 16 years old, I enlisted in the Army Air Corps. During my three months of basic training I wrote her many letters, but never mailed them.

I had never been out with a girl, did not know how to dance, and was so shy that I joined a group of men who were also shy. Before my 12 weeks of training were over, I could stand up in front of these men and talk to them. I also joined the USO Club and learned to dance.

After basic training, I went home on leave before reporting to my next assignment. My last day home, I took a bus from Jenkins to Whitesburg so as to get a good spot to hitch a ride to my next bus. When I got on the bus with my barracks bag, a young girl asked me to sit beside her. I looked pretty good in my uniform in those days. This girl asked of she could write and I gave her my address. During our talk, we both said we had never been out on a date before. We wrote to each other until December 1946 when I was discharged.

I got my first kiss on our first date. After my money ran out and I could never find work, I went back into the military to learn a trade. At the time, things were not going well between us. I never saw my first love again. She passed away this year. Her daughter sent me a very nice letter. She knew I was in love with her mother.

At my 25th year high school reunion, I saw my classmate I had a crush on from Burdine. I walked over and asked her for a dance, and told her about the letters I wrote her. She told me I should have mailed them. Then her husband walked in.

Forgive me, D.J., for what we almost had.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.



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