A Little Girl & A CatMonday, June 16, 2014
|Casi-Casi & Lauren Stewart|
In the early part of my ninth grade at St. Edward’s High School I would have been 15. I was a young and naïve 15-year-old. I had a good friend in John Straney. We were both from mining towns in northern Mexico so we both spoke Spanish. We shared an interest in WWII weaponry in particular that of the German army. We had a fondness for German halftracks and Guderian was our sort of hero.
Not far from our campus, beyond the track field that faced the city of Austin there was a dense brush that was almost impenetrable. Straney and I built a fort with branches and discarded lumber. I cannot recall what kind of games we played. But I do remember that our friendship was short-lived. Straney suddenly did not want to play war but wanted to hang around the more sophisticated John McShane and Lee (Buddy) Lytton.
I had no idea that Straney had grown up and was interested in smoking and girls. A couple of years later, Straney decided to alert to anybody who would listen that he no longer believed in God. The Brothers of Holy Cross, very wisely used Douglas MacArthur’s technique of circumventing him and avoiding direct conflict. Both Straney and I graduated, no longer close friends.
My youngest granddaughter is 11 and about to be 12 but she is a young girl in most ways. Already, some of her friends are pulling Straneys on her. She will have to find out by herself the reasons for the rebuffs and enjoy her childhood before the reality of responsibility sets in.