We called ourselves, many years after the fact, the Linda Vista gang. There was Jackie and Lindy, Tom and Sandy, Terry and me. Terry and I lived next door to each other. Jackie and Lindy were three doors down and Tom and Sandy were across the loop. The loop was Linda Vista. A horseshoe shaped street that had only a few houses in the middle.
That made the middle a great place to dig forts and play cowboys and Indians. We didn’t know then what we know now but we “killed” each other indiscriminately. Didn’t matter what “side” you were on–they changed at random.
There was a time when my father became rather irate that I was running around the neighborhood wearing only two washcloths and a string. I was about eight and could not, for the life of me, figure out why he was so made!
All of us went to the same school. Tom, Jackie, Terry and I were in the same class. I think Lindy and Sandy were in the class or two behind us. The point is, we never knew a time without each other.
Terry’s house had the longest driveway with a slight curve into the garage. His parents would move the cars out of the way and we would roller skate for hours.
There were orange groves behind my house and we built ‘secret rooms’ under the trees. We played a form of hide and seek and splashed through the irrigation channels. We played football and baseball with our older siblings in the backyard. We had dance parties at Jackie and Lindy’s.
We eventually graduated and went our separate ways. But the friendship that was born on Linda Vista exists today. Probably stronger than ever. We have always known that our friendship was there, whether we saw each other or not.
With the advent of Facebook and social media we were able to stay in touch. We found each other and began sharing our lives a bit. Jackie organized out 50th high school reunion and, at an organizational meeting, I saw Terry again for the first time in decades. There were others there that I hadn’t seen in all those years but the Linda Vista connection was special.
This week we lost a member of our gang. Lindy passed to her maker after a long illness. The loss of a lifelong friend hits hard. Our friendship has helped us all, I believe, to get through such a loss. We shared the good and the bad as children. We are still doing it as adults.
Good-bye, Lindy. Godspeed.