With Mrs. Gordy my class went to visit a girl in the hospital who was older than I was. She was in her late teens and had been badly burned. She was burning trash and threw some gasoline on it; the back draft of the flames on the fumes burned her. We were all scared, horrified actually, and silent on the visit but Mrs. Gordy talked to her as if everything was normal and that calmed us down and gave us courage. She died a few days after we visited her. I learned from Mrs. Gordy that sometimes you have to be brave and strong so that you can comfort others and that sometimes that is all you can do for them.
While we were still living in Monroe the Gordys moved to Grayson, Louisiana. This was about 40 minutes south of Monroe. It was also before we lived in Houston and a 40 minute drive won't even get you across town. At the time it seemed far far away. My parents weren't big on driving long distances and my dad never went over 25 miles an hour if he could help it. My grandparents lived in West Monroe and we only visited them on the weekend because it was such a drive. About 15 minutes at Daddy's speed!
Where The Boys Are by Connie Francis
They lived in a wonderful old house like you see in small towns. The rooms all went round and round from one to the other. There were big trees in the yard and the yard sloped down on a slight hill. My sister Jackie (in photo) was 4 or 5 years old and she decided to climb into their car one day. We were in the backyard and looked up to see Jackie staring calmly out the driver's side window, both hands on the window, as the car rolled down the hill. She had put the gear shift in neutral and off she went! We yelled for Daddy and she was saved!
A year or two after the Gordys moved to Grayson we moved to Houston. They came to visit at least once but we rarely saw them after that. Mrs. Gordy passed away a few years after I graduated from high school. By then I was married with two small boys and a job in the big city. Responsibilities lay on my shoulders and the day-dreaming 12 year old child I had been was so far gone from me I barely remembered her. But every once in a while when it's a warm summer day with the breeze blowing on my skin, that young girl resurfaces and I'll find myself humming I Don't Hurt Anymore, an old Hank Snow song Connie Francis recorded on her country album. And I'll remember Mrs. Gordy and her wonderful old house and her kind heart and that you should always try and be brave even when you are scared.