Throwback Thursday No. 41: First Crush #TBTMemory

Maggie chose today’s prompt: First Crush, and gave us these prompts:

  1. Who was your first crush? First names only!
  2. Was this a celebrity or someone you knew ?
  3. How old were you?
  4. How old was your crush?
  5. Did you let your crush know you liked them? If so, how?
  6. Did your crush like you, too? How did you know?
  7. Did you get teased by your family for having a boyfriend or girlfriend?
  8. Did you feel like you were in love or did you think it was simply a fleeting crush?
  9. Was this just a temporary crush or your first heartbreak?
  10. When you think of that person today, do you have fond memories of them?

Turns out I already did this a while ago, so I’m just going to reprint it here…


Julie lived at the other end of Glenwood Avenue from me. She was a classmate, so we normally saw each other all day. (Those were the days that they separated us, not by sex, but by whether you were "smart" or "not smart." Which, by the way, was a real crappy way to do it.) I thought she was kind of pretty: she had long, light brown hair, blue eyes, high cheekbones, a couple of crooked teeth, a little on the heavy side, walked funny because she had some sort of hip dysplasia. She and I both played guitar and played for the school Masses, so we spent time together doing that, too.

I’d see her a lot after school as well, usually when she was walking her dog, Lassie (who, as you might imagine, was a collie) through the alley between Glenwood and Wayne, where it seemed like everyone would hang out if they lived on the west side of Wayne or east side of Glenwood. Sometimes I’d be out on my bike and detour past her house, just to see if she was there, and if she was, would hang out there for a while. She was fun to talk to, smiled a lot, had an obnoxious little brother and sister who were more like comic relief.

Julie and I, 50 years and 200 lb. ago

Julie sat in front of me in math in 7th grade, and the two of us would have a lively "conversation": she’d lean over and write in my notebook, and I’d reply underneath or beside and tap her on the shoulder while Sister Anna Marie was teaching us the finer points of calculating square roots. (This was the 1960’s, before we had even heard of calculators or seen slide rules.) I’m surprised we never got caught, but anyway…

Julie was my first slow dance with a girl, my first kiss, and my first sort-of date: the guy who had directed the Christmas pageant in eighth grade was in a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and the whole class attended; I walked here to the theater and back and sat with her during the performance, which made absolutely no sense, but I didn’t care.

I could go on and on, but I won’t…

I saw Julie a couple more times after I moved out of the neighborhood. Once was at her prom: I was dating a classmate of hers, and when we arrived she and her date were sitting there, looking uncomfortable, and we got a chance to catch up a little.

The last time I saw her was really strange. Mary and I were in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I had played in a Highland Games with my band. They had a ceilidh that evening (ceilidh is the Gaelic word for "party") and our band, still dressed in Highland drag, arrived. There was a fairly large ensemble playing on the stage, and I swear, she was there. "Mary, I know their guitar player! She was my girlfriend in grammar school!" "Are you sure?" Mary said. And I thought for a second, and I couldn’t say that I was.

Until the group took a break and I saw her walking. Remember I said she had hip dysplasia?

Mary was kind and understanding and let me go and see her. I walked up to her and said "Julie?"

She looked at me funny. "Yes?"

"John Holton."

She looked shocked. "Oh my God!" and started to laugh. We chatted for a couple of minutes until Mary came over, and I introduced them. Julie had to get back on stage by that time, so we said our goodbyes, and that was that.

Julie was a really good friend, and I realize that was all she ever was or wanted to be, and I felt the same way. I hope she’s well. We had some good times.

22 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday No. 41: First Crush #TBTMemory

    1. I was working a retail job and ready to check out a customer, and when I looked at his credit card I recognized him as the father of a friend of mine. I didn’t recognize him because he had a mustache, and he didn’t recognize me for the same reason….

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  1. I remember reading this story previously and enjoyed it then and enjoyed it now. She was very pretty and I am glad she stayed with music. My first crush…I was …maybe 8, if that and I saw this young man my dad hired and he smiled at me and talked to me. He had dark hair and pale skin but could tan easily. I just liked him and would follow him and hide. Finally, the guys were having lunch (I grew up on a sawmill that my parents owned and ran) and was peeking around the corner when he just had it, i guess. He yelled at me why I was following him and to stop it. He was really angry while the other guys snickered. I felt shame and naked and ran away. I never saw him after that.

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  2. Thanks for joining in John. How great that you were able to see her again. I can imagine Mary thinking you might not be correct when you said you knew her. Awesome post.

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  3. What a sweet story, John. How great you ran into her later on. Sometimes friendships are the best outcomes of those young relationships. You made a cute couple. So sweet Mary was so understanding.

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  4. Oh! John this is such a beautiful story and you remember so much, what an impression she made on you. I am so glad you met up at the do with Mary!
    She was very pretty and you were handsome…look that those groovy trousers you’re wearing in the photo 💜

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