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Faded Pictures from a Life: Romantic Walks

Romantic Walks

1963

In addition to dances, another part of Junior High romance was taking walks. It almost seems 19th Century now. The arrangements were usually made at school with the girl you “liked” or a girl you wanted to “like.” Most of these girls lived in the south part of town and the system was to ride my bike from west hill to her house and walk from there. In those days the narrow city streets were lined with large elm trees most of which were taken by Dutch Elm disease in later years. The goal was not to walk anywhere but just roam the streets of the neighborhood, simply talking and laughing and if she was your regular girl you held hands as you walked. If you wanted her to be your regular girl you worked up to the hand holding and if it didn’t evolve it was time to move on to another girl. I remember there was one girl I particularly wanted to impress who did not live on the south end of town but on a farm six miles east of town. Yes, I rode my bike on gravel roads to her farm. I don’t remember if I was successful with the girl but I do remember how exhausted I was from the journey.

Once in a blue moon I see couple of Junior High kids walking our neighborhood streets holding hands, talking and laughing and it brings a smile to my face, memories to my mind, and gratitude that that old tradition may still exist with a few.


Romantic Walks, 12″x9″, acrylic on shuen paper, 2021, Mark W McGinnis

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