Death of Debbie

Awhile back, Facebook brought news of the death of Debbie, a sweet girl I went to grade school with back in the Sixties.

And it brought back a few vivid memories. The brain is a funny old thing.

Debbie’s twin brother, Glen, was a friend of mine at Cleveland Elementary School in Norman.

As I remember, Glen and Debbie transferred into Cleveland late in the piece, maybe fifth or sixth grade.

By then things in my universe were changing for the worse.

The world order, wherein I was the undisputed fastest kid in the school, had collapsed.

That title now belonged to the son of an OU coach, who was as hairy as a grown man, even in grade school.

Even though Mike was really the fastest, my reputation for speed lingered, and that was really important to a short kid with one arm.

One day, a group of adoring younger kids was gathered around Glen and me, badgering us about who was the fastest.

I puffed out my little chest and expected to bask in the sunshine of adoration, but they thought Glen was the speed merchant. It killed me.

Glen and I never got around to racing, probably because he didn’t want to steal my thunder.  But that happened anyway, thanks to his twin sister.

Debbie, a wee girl with short hair and a mischievous smile, was too sweet to challenge me to a race.  But she was happy to challenge her brother one day after school.

And she absolutely smoked him.

I still remember her whoops of glee and the little jumping dance she did as she ran off into the Oklahoma sunset.

If Debbie had outrun me, I would have died of embarrassment.

But the fact that she beat her twin brother, and got so much joy out of, made me smile, even though it pushed me even lower down the list of speedsters.

Funny, after more than five decades, I still remember that moment.

And the fact that, once upon a time, I had a crush on a cute girl, who was faster than me.

Rest in Peace, Debbie, and Glen, who passed some years ago, too.

You were good people. And oh, so fast.

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2 Responses to “Death of Debbie”

  1. Linda Winton says:

    I remember the Vickerys coming to Cleveland too. And, I remember sitting in front of you in first grade at Adams. Nice story!

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