Driving and Biking in the Big City

The one that got away

with 5 comments

Cyndy and me

It was the summer of 1972 when a group of my girlfriends and I attended freshman orientation at Lamar University. I was in the company of one of my favorite running buddies from junior high and high school who was an exemplar dancer. Later, she would make the cut for one of the very prestigious and highly sought after spots on the Rangerette dance team in Kilgore, Texas. But, as a backup school, she was signing up for Lamar with me, and it was my lucky day.

Some folks are lucky in love, lucky at cards and lucky by the friends they keep. I’ve got the grand slam. Big Johnny was there that day and was drawn to a cluster of lively young co-eds who were as giddy and enamored of college as they were of every single new experience we tried. Cyndy is perhaps the best friend a girl can make, especially one that’s quite a less efficient dancer and more of a reader.

The oldest of three daughters, Cyndy is a daddy’s girl who was always good with makeup, making her on clothes and attracting the cutest boys. Hers was the house where we had boy-girl parties in her garage, where I spent enumerable nights listening to 45s and where, unbeknownst to her adoring parents, we introduced ourselves to the liquor cabinet.

But on this balmy day in Beaumont, when our skirts were shorter than our attention spans, Big Johnny and his band of brothers started following around the cute girl with the curly hair and the infectious laugh. And, in fact, we all signed up for freshman English together.

John never asked where Cyndy was as he took the seat beside me in Freshman English. We saw each other Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and eventually went to see “Hair” and “Catch-22” together as class assignments. I helped him with his essays, and, despite having written both of them myself, I always still pulled the better grade.

I love seeing the two of them together at reunion and am, ironically, not at all jealous. I’m just a lucky girl to have a such a good friend that I still dearly love and not the least because she helped me snag Big Johnny.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

July 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Sweet story!

    Pam Guidry

    July 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    • Had a great time at reunion tonight, my sweet Pammy. It all started with a fun sleepover with you.


      July 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      • So happy we got to speen some time together! Love you!

        Pam Guidry

        July 22, 2012 at 6:16 am

  2. Denise, you are so adorable! I love this story everytime you tell it, BUT I have to say, the best girl won! And if he was following me, it was only to be closer to you. 🙂 Big Johnny is a lucky man to share his life with wonderful you. And I am the lucky one for sharing so many beautiful memories with you. I love you!!


    July 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

    • I’m still reliving all our fun last weekend. I loved retelling this story and others that are family legends this many years later. You are as lively and entertaining as ever, Cyndy. We will do this again soon.


      July 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

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