I had a GREAT childhood. Sure we had some chores to do and occasionally some homework, but for the most part, the kids of 9th Place West played. I grew up on a dead end road which made it a safe place to play…even in the road. Most of the families were the same age, so there were tons of kids to play with. My best friends were my sis Marce and Jennifer Winsor…aka Fer Fer. I say best friends because most of the time they were my best friends and some of the time they were my enemies. Maybe enemies is a little too harsh. I was the youngest and we were all a year apart. Marcie the oldest, then Jen, then me. Sometimes we got in “cut-down” wars…it was a talent which definitely passed me by when talents were being passed out. Marcie was clever and Jenney was a silver-tongued devil! I loved having her as a friend in high school because I knew she could verbally lash anyone at the school. All 5 feet 4 inches and 90 lbs. of her.
For the most part, Jen and Marce were good to lil’ ole me. We had so much fun. We would climb to the top of an old horse corral by the Winsor’s house and broadcast our radio station WMKJ....was that it....with our initials?? WMarcieKellieJenny….it was probably WMJK in order of our births! I can't remember now. The whole neighborhood would get together on summer nights to play kick the can. Forts were a big part of life on 9th. Snooping in Boo's underground fort...the one that had carpet! And candles! And he and Sean had that one made of bricks on the side of their garage…I don’t know if we ever got into that one. We had our forts in the chemise "popcorn" bushes and on an old hay bailer that I was sure was a helicopter. Singing songs on our porch swings...I still know all the words to some of the "Saturday's Warriors" stuff. I hear the words “Are you with me Elder?…Whatever you say Kessler.” in my head sometimes. The other day I tried to sing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" to Hayes, but I couldn't get the tune right by myself.
bottom row (always left to right): Marce, Stacy Patterson?, Jen
middle row: Cort with Matt climbing over her, me
back: Shannon, Jen’s older sister (I think she helped us make a
Jim McMahon snowman that day…we loved DaBears)
me, matt, marce, jen, and shannon
I still think of the Winsor’s garage whenever I use whole wheat kernels to make pancakes. We used to eat the stuff right out of the bags in their garage. And there was a stuffed javelina head. And we would climb up in the rafters and play for hours. We’d find new routes through the swamp so we wouldn’t have to get our feet wet on our trek to Wilburs and the Drug Store. They used to have a soda fountain in the back of the Drug Store. We’d go sit in the booths in the back and drink Cokes. I loved it. It was the only place in the store that you could get away from the eagle eyes of the old ladies who worked there whose sole purpose in life seemed to make sure we didn’t steal anything. I remember pulling weeds for popsicles for Glenda.
Matt, Cort, Jen, and me
For a long time our road was a dirt road. Even them, we were able to do some awesome tricks on our banana seat bikes. I remember mine was the Pink Angel and Marcie’s was the Blue Cloud. I don’t know if Jenney's bike had a name. We could do no-hands, no-feet, even stand on your seat…we were amazing. Sometimes we would venture up to the fairgrounds where we could climb to the top of the grandstands and find a way into the booth on top. We’d invent ways to trick our neighbor kids into secret meetings or ways to spy on them.
Matt, Marce, Jen, Me holding Cort
Jen and I’s most infamous moment happened at the bus stop. Our bus stop was at the top of the hill in front of the Cranford’s house. She and I were fighting over who was first in line. I would run in front of her and then she would run in front of me and then I would run…well you get the picture. Unfortunately, all of this running moved us right up to the edge of the road and as Jen ran in front of me, it was right in front of a car. Two high school boys driving some black muscle car. I think Ferrin Crosby was driving. (I’m sure Marcie remembers the details) Luckily there were no broken bones, just scrapes and bruises. I remember buying coloring books and crayons and taking them to her after the accident. (Oddly enough, I felt a little at fault)
Jen with their dog I think?? I can’t remember it’s name.
And then while we were still kids, the Winsors moved to Phoenix; Glendale to be exact. Can you believe that? We heard about their life on Greenway; about the big school Jenney went to and the new friends. We’d visit occasionally and Marce and I even got to go on a family vacation with the Winsors to their beach house in California. We loved to go down to Glendale and ride the city bus with Jen to the mall. I remember one summer we tried to cook an egg on the asphalt road in front of their house.
Marce and Jen
And then they came back. I think it was Marcie’s senior year. Jen was a junior and I was a sophomore. (at least that’s how I remember it…Marcie and Jen may be able to correct me) I remember “cruising” around in Marcie’s little white car listening to Journey. Our parents were crazy enough to let us take Chris and fly to Texas to visit Mary and Dan for a week. I also remember going on dates (as the chaperone) with Marce and Jen and Poe and Echols. Once Marce graduated and went to college, Jen and I played basketball together and rode to school together in my blue and white Ford truck. She also verbally lashed Grace Bejarano regularly. See I told you it came in handy. Another of our famous moments was a plan we hatched to get MF to kiss Jen….and it worked. Evil, so evil. I think he was dating someone else at the time.
Me, Colleen Timmer, Jen
Anyway, it’s getting late and my memory is failing me. Jen, I still think of you whenever I hear Billy Idol, especially Mony Mony. So this is for Fer-Fer (and also for her friends Jen, i, and Fer….you know what I’m talking about) the only friend who ever kicked me in the crotch!
My couch is always free for you. You’ll just have to move the laundry that needs folded.
PS. I don’t know if you can turn up the volume in the ER, but I changed the music for you too!
Marce, Jen, and Me