Thursday, January 6, 2011


Billy had trains in his room. Brenda and I weren't allowed to touch them. He gave us orders that we were never to set foot in his room. Billy considered us brats, brats who should stay out of his way.

I played at Brenda's house most days. I wanted to be at her house instead of mine. Of course, she wanted to play at my house instead of hers. Mom and Dad Stager treated me as one of their own. Carol, the oldest, wasn't around much. She was one year younger than my sister, June. She mothered us and when we were in trouble would yell, "Brenda Sue!" We just ignored her and continued doing whatever it was that we were doing. We were the 'babies' of our families.

Bill was three years ahead of us in school. When we were eight, he was eleven. One year Darke County had so much rain that the small, trickling creek had reached flood stage. Of course, Brenda and I walked down the back lane from the house to the creek just to make sure it was flooding and to see what it looked like when it flooded. The water was over the embankment and connecting with the water from the front field. The two adventurers got frightened.

We couldn't climb up the cement abutment so began to scream for someone to come and get us. Now the really cool thing about being on Neff Road is that you can yell really loud and someone will more than likely hear you. Billy reluctantly came to investigate since he was supposed to be watching his sister. He stood on the road angrily informing us of the inconvenience we had caused as well as the stupidity it took for the two of us to get stranded. Then he leaned down, grabbed  Brenda's hand and walked her home. Sobbing, I scraped my way up the side of the ditch and save myself from sure demise in the three foot high water. Billy really didn't like me.

I lived and went on with my life. He went on to become a superintendent of schools. At his nieces wedding, she insisted that her uncle dance with his old neighbor. We danced. We tried to make small talk. Then the thought hit me.....I never was going to like Billy.

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