Young love

Long ago and far away in Florida.

Once I was young and, like most teenagers, I fell in love.

Twice, actually.

My first love was Nancy Parker who was quite “advanced” for her age. She looked like a young Jayne Mansfield, and my mother called her Nasty Parker. We were both 14, but Nancy didn’t look 14, and she soon moved on to college boys.

I cried, literally.

And then I was 16. Love struck again. Her name was Janie Friedman. That’s her in the photo above. She was 15 and a Jewish princess, the only child of a wildly successful businessman and his wife in North Florida where we lived.

The pretty boy in the photo is me.

Janie’s daddy, Martin, let me drive off alone in his brand-new Jaguar XKE convertible a couple of times, and I’ve never been the same since. Wow!

But Janie slipped through my fingers too. She was so smart that she was accepted into a university early-placement program, skipping her senior year in high school, and moving to New York, which she loved.

I cried, literally.

Janie and I kept in touch. I graduated from high school and entered Vanderbilt University, still nuts about Janie. And then I got a John Doe, leaving me devastated.

Someone else had scooped her up, a far-older, smoother fellow.

So I dropped out of Vanderbilt and joined the military. A couple of years later, after my discharge, I rode a Greyhound bus from California to New York to see Janie. We spent a day together in a hotel, but it was clearly a hopeless situation for me.

I left New York and neither saw nor communicated with Janie again.

* * * *

A few years ago I had a Facebook account.  One night I typed her name into the search bar, and a Jane Friedman popped up, and she lived in New York City.

There was this photo, which looks about right to me.

I sent her a couple of messages. I would have liked to know how the decades had treated her. Or something.

But she never responded.

Janie was the first girl I ever saw naked. You don’t forget a thing like that.

29 thoughts on “Young love”

  1. I enjoy these wistful treks.

    Your prior posts of this nature have started me thinking about how seldom I wander through my past. In just over a week I will be up north for a week or two. I may pull out my photo albums and see if they jar any tales out of my memory.



    1. Steve: I enjoy them too. I occasionally wonder if I’m being repetitive. Sometimes I write this kind of thing, and I cannot recall if I’ve already done it. Parts of this one I have mentioned in the past, but mostly it’s new. I have mentioned Nasty Parker and the Jaguar, but I don’t think I’ve ever brought up Janie.

      Yeah, pull out your own photo albums. Would be fun.


  2. My son at age 13 fell in love with a girl from Montana, we were on a sailing holiday at an island in Washington State. They had been together for a week when the family left. He cried so much my (then-new boyfriend) husband really worried that he had such a broken heart it could be really bad for him. I must admit it was very dramatic but what can one really do for it? Time heals, and Corina from Montana moved on.


    1. Shelagh: The power of young love should not be underestimated. However, your son’s grief after only one week does seem extreme. I imagine the lad has totally recovered by now.


  3. I went to my 30yr HS reunion, I saw some of my, ahh, friends, in person. That was a hoot to see and hear how the decades had treated them.


  4. I think Young Love for boys manifests itself differently than for girls (in general of course.) I was certainly and truly in love in high school and when it ended there was a certain amount of drama but not soul crushing. My brother on the other hand reacted very much like the tales in the post and in the comments. Pretty serious, emotional reactions came from him that were scary at the time. Alas, he too recovered and moved on to his adult loves …


    1. Ms. Mommy: I dropped out of Vanderbilt because of her. A couple of years later, I sweet-talked myself out of the military prematurely because of her. (A yarn for another day, perhaps). That was so I could ride the Greyhound across the country to New York City.

      In retrospect, I think she knocked my life off-course at an early age, something I really never quite got back on track, ever. So, yes, it had an effect that was more than a bit of drama.

      As for young love manifesting itself differently in boys and girls, I have never thought about that specifically, but you very well may be right.


      1. Perhaps she knocked your life on course, rather than off course…note your current lovely situation. Nuff said!


        1. Lilly: If she knocked it on course, it took over 30 years for the bearings to change. So no, I don’t think she did. Other things did but not her. But thanks for the optimism!


  5. I met my husband at age 21, so I rarely reflect prior romances. A few years ago, though, when I returned to my hometown church and there was my first love, high school boyfriend, teaching an adult Sunday school class. Awkward at first but I can say we are friends – in real life and on facebook.

    A former boyfriend from college “friended” me a couple years ago, which I promptly declined. He was the first (and only) guy to ever cheat on me.You don’t forget a thing like that.


  6. All this nostalgia reminds me of a routine in Woody Allen’s movie, “Play it Again Sam” It is one side of a phone conversation Allen’s character is having after calling a girl from the past:

    “Is this the Perry residence?

    Can I speak to Marilyn?

    An old friend of hers, I dated her once.

    Do you remember?

    I’m stunned! It was years ago.

    That’s right.

    Short with red hair and glasses.

    No, that’s cleared up.

    How can I get in touch with her?


    She still feels that way?

    It’s been years.

    When did you last speak with her?

    Last week.

    And she specified that she didn’t

    want you to give me the number?

    I see.

    OK, thank you.”


  7. I love it!
    Thanks for your unabashed honesty amigo, great little snippet. She was quite the hottie back then by the looks of it. But, you lapped in the handsome department over the long haul!
    Nice read to lighten my day. Still wish you were on FB, lol!


    1. Oh, Mark, that top photo doesn’t begin to do the young girl justice. She was incredible. Actually, in the bottom photo, when she would have been in her 60s, she still looks pretty good.

      As for Facebook, you won’t be seeing me there ever again. But you know where I am. Right here!


  8. Not mean. Just honest. Actually, I think she did you a favor. Your beautiful señora puts her to shame. In her facebook photo she looks unhappy and nipped and tucked a bit.


    1. Connie: She was quite into me at first, but that obviously changed later. You are correct. You are also correct that it was far better over the long run, but I did not feel that way back then. I asked her to marry me, but that went nowhere.

      Nipped and tucked! That’s a good one.


    2. A few months later, I tried to see her FB page again, but it was gone. It wasn’t that she had blocked me from seeing it. It was gone. She had zapped it altogether. There had not been much there in the first place, very skimpily filled in. So she wasn’t into Facebook either.


  9. I looked on Facebook yesterday. You have to scroll down a page or two. She was there. Her page is set to private.


    1. Ah, I stand corrected. Setting a FB page to private seems alien to the concept. I had a FB page for a spell, and it was kinda fun at first but, like many I hear, I began wasting way too much time with it, so I zapped it. Actually, you cannot kill your FB page. You can only “deactivate” it. Once you got one, you got it for the rest of eternity. I have resolutely refused to return.


  10. During your brief encounter with Facebook, I was your “friend”. I have thought of deactivating myself (in more ways than one), but I am still there.


  11. I had a first love, Margret. She was a year older, a Christian by anyone’s standard. I was classified as a hood in those days, ducktail, 4 button strides (why didn’t they make a comeback?), collar turned up, etc., etc. She would have none of me. I go to my reunions, 50th was the last one. More on that later. I saw Maggie at our 25th, she held my hand all night long. We danced every dance, every five years, we meet at the reunion, we are inseparable. She married just after High School, another Christian man. She was a faithful wife. When I see Maggie, I still see the beautiful girl I knew 50 some-odd years ago. We talk, I mostly listen, her voice is magic.

    Reunions are difficult, especially as we get older. My 50th High School one was not a happy event. Many had changed in the past five years. Yes, there had been changes before, but they were subtle changes. This time, changes were dramatic. Dementia had settled in for some, hearing for others had been lost, instability, depression. It was more noticeable in the guys. Once, they were strong athletes, men I had disagreements with, fought with and against. This was when I made the decision to go see the rest of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and talk to people there. Margret didn’t make it this year. She had both knees replaced. I don’t think I will ever see her again and, no, I never saw her naked. But in my mind, she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.


    1. Bob: I made your two comments just one. Hope you don’t mind. There are no limits to comment length.

      Sounds like Maggie noticed you quite a bit in high school judging from her actions at the reunions.

      Interesting comment, thanks. Those are experiences I will never have. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been to a reunion. I live way too far away.


Comments are closed.