From Puppy Love to
Quinquagenarians and Beyond!
By Gary D. Boyd, FAHRA, FACHE
There she was! My first girlfriend ever
from the seventh grade sitting on my
deck almost five decades later. I knew
she was my girlfriend then because she
sat behind me in home room, chatted
with me, teased me, and asked about our
math homework. Sometimes, not often
because I didn’t want to be teased by the
guys, we sat on benches with the other
kids and had lunch together. We were
going to grow up, get married (that is, if
I didn’t die scoring the winning touchdown at the high school state championship) and live happily ever after. At least
that’s what I thought. I never asked her
But time moves on. When eighth
grade rolled around we weren’t in home
room any more, girls started changing,
and I lost some interest with the skinny
girl who sat behind me the year before.
We went through high school together
as somewhat distant friends, though my
senior year she was a song leader and I
played football. Luckily, I was a lineman
and didn’t have to worry about scoring
that championship touchdown and survived to graduate. We moved on to college and life, me in California and she
somewhere on the east coast. I kind of
forgot about her.
Things changed, however, and we
rekindled our friendship in the most
unlikely of places. My family owns a
cabin in a national park. It’s off the grid
powered by a generator and six miles
down a dirt road protected by a locked
You never know who is going to arrive at your doorstep,
maybe even the first love of your life, so make sure you are
ready to take care of them.
gate. There are about 22 cabins in total.
I say “about” because one cabin was
smashed by a falling tree last winter but
somehow the residents have repaired it.
One of the newer cabins was built by her
sister’s family but we were not very close
and didn’t socialize much. One day, her
sister stopped by to visit and said, “Oh,
by the way, my sister and her husband
moved to San Francisco, maybe she’ll
come up to the cabin some day and you
guys can visit.” Decades later I guess
everyone knew we were good friends way
back when we were kids and wanted to
make sure we stayed connected.
So there she was, her and her husband
sitting on our deck talking with my wife
and me. She was still pretty, witty, and
wore glasses that were very stylish but
reminded me of the ones she wore in
school with those pointy outside edges
on the frames. So what did we talk about?
Let me explain. They moved to an
area where I lived and worked for quite
a few years. I mentioned this and she
exclaimed, “I was just there last week for
my annual mammogram!” We talked
about the new facility she went to which I
had been highly involved in creating, the
great radiologist who read her study, and
what a great hospital they have in their
now new neighborhood. She was very
impressed! They walked on home a little
later but we’ll be seeing each other from
time to time at the cabin over the years.