March Madness has brought back a memory from long ago.
I was 12 or 13 and after school some of my friends and I would walk to the basketball court at the local elementary school
and shoot baskets. None of us aspired to play basketball for a team, it was just fun.
A young man in high school lived in a house just off the school playground and occasionally, when he saw us out there, he would join us. He would give us tips, show us how to make baskets, and sometimes just talk with us.
I had quite a crush on him, my first real crush. He was nice and kind and never took advantage of us.
I wanted to have a party with my friends. Back in the day invitations were delivered, not word of mouth. The only problem that would occasionally crop up would be party crashers with beer. I thought long and hard about giving Eddie an invitation because he was so much older than we were, but he was my friend, so why not.
The day of the party came and I was so excited! My friends came and we were having lots of fun. Then who should show up but Eddie. A young girl’s dream to have an older guy that she had a crush on come to her party.
Eddie and I never had a romantic relationship, we were friends. He took the time to instill confidence in a young girl without ever taking advantage of the situation.
I can’t remember if I ever saw Eddie again after my party. He graduated from high school and got married shortly after that. The following winter Eddie and his wife were both killed in a car accident, in bad weather, on the way back home from Western VA.
Why am I sharing this ? Young girls need to be validated and encouraged by young men without threats and fear. Even though this happened a long time ago, these things have never changed and I doubt they ever will.