A terrible night

7th gradeTHE KID IN the middle is me, and I am sporting white-topped loafers. I was 12 years old and in the 7th Grade.

Yes, it’s another photo from my sister via my daughter.

I do not recall the specifics of the occasion, but I recognize the other four youngsters because we all continued through high school together. There is one sad tale included here, that boy on the right.

I am 99 percent certain that is Larry Isbill. Three years later, I believe it was, in the 10th Grade, some school group organized a hayride. A flat-bed truck was rented, and it was filled with hay for the boys and girls to sit in and make out beneath the moonlight. I was invited, but I did not go. I don’t remember why.

The truck broke down on a dark highway along the beach near Jacksonville, Florida. Perhaps there were no tail lights. A speeding car rear-ended the truck, and Larry was injured badly, losing one of his legs. Another boy, who was a pretty good friend of mine, Tony Betts, was killed.

Larry’s misfortune did not end there. He died in 1991. The obituary read simply that he died “suddenly,” which usually means a heart attack.

He was only 46.

Photos bring memories, and sometimes they are sad ones.