We all had that ONE!
Remember, the first love. No, not the one you slept with first. The girl in your fifth or sixth grade class…that you fell in LOVE with. Remember?
They call it "puppy love," but I call it ‘the real thing – no love in life is ever stronger.
She stood 5′ 5," tall for a fifth grade girl. Her hair was jet black and she had the skin color of a Victoria Secret model before there were any. She was dark brown, always tan somehow. The face of a smiling angel. Her name was Janice Woods and all the boys at Briarwood were in love with this young lady.
That is, all the boys in our fifth grade class. Why wouldn’t you be? For God’s sake she was the fastest runner in the class (remember what a big deal?). She did her hair up daily, smelled like she might already be wearing perfume and she even had boobs. Damn, what else did you want guys?
Did I mention the boobs?
Yep, everyone dreamed of Janice Woods – me included. Hell, I had no chance. Even our class president, Paul Trimble was in love with her. She sat near him at lunch, and in music class they always were square dance partners.
I hated Paul Trimble’s guts.
Me and my best pal, Brooks Walters – his dad was so cool, he was a DJ on the radio, Bucky Walters – were all about the Woods Girl. We used to do sleepovers at his home in Round Hill because he lived by Janice.
We’d sneak out real late at night, maybe 10 PM and go up to her bedroom window and look in. Once we even saw her in a nightgown and you could kinda see through it.
At school we’d pull her hair, throw spit wads near her in class – you know, so she’d know how much we loved her. Sadly, Janice never much looked my way. The year nearly went by and I never danced with her in music class. I was an average runner, so no luck hand holding on the playground either.
But then my time came. Yep. Our fifth grade teacher had us do speeches and I was really good at that. I got up in front of the class and killed it – was funny too. Everyone was laughing and the teacher said – and I’ll never forget – "Now doesn’t Craig look a lot like Tony Curtis, girls?"
Wow, Tony Curtis….
I even had my hair combed back like him and wore those V-neck sweaters. Guess what? Now she looked my way. Thank the Lord!
It happened. She picked me to dance with in music class the next day. My heart leaped. I was on Cloud 9. A week later I was riding my bike, a 10-speed of course, and saw her riding. I caught up and spent an hour talking to her.
Oh my God. I wanted to marry Janice Woods.
All I thought about was her, daily, nightly in my dreams. Maybe she liked me too now. So I got brave and on the playground I kissed her on the cheek. She smiled and hugged me. No kiss though. Yep, I was gonna marry Janice.
A few weeks later my family moved to the Shawnee Mission South school district and I had to change schools to John Diemer something or other. I was crushed. My true love was now far away. But I was sure I’d see her and kiss her again. I was so sure.
It never happened.
My first love, the puppy love of my life was gone forever.
In fact I never saw her again the rest of my life. It took nearly a year to get over. If only I’d had a car back then, I’d have found her and we’d have gotten married. Well, I thought that anyway.
We all had a Janice Woods and we all wonder whatever became of that special girl – the first one we kissed, the first girl we loved.
THE ROAD AHEAD WAS SHINING AND BRIGHT AND OUR FUTURE WOULD BE SO GREAT…for me and my gal, Janice Woods.