I believe it was in Biology class, during our second semester of 10th grade. I sat at a table with two boys and another girl. They had just passed out our textbooks. Suddenly one of the boys, Russ Nuovo, leans over to the other boy and says in a hushed yet pleasant tone, “Dude, Julie Fairhurst had this book last semester! Oh, my God, she is so beautiful!” He then grabbed a blank sheet of 8 ½ x 11, placed it over her signature in the book, and traced it, all the while managing to keep his drool off the paper.
I found it amusing, but kept my composure. I also felt sort of a wave of pride that Julie had been one of my best friends in Jr. High. She was beautiful then, as well, and I remember feeling so awkward around her much of the time, yet her sweetness and my ability to make her laugh somehow helped level the playing field.
Julie and I actually met in third grade, in Mrs. Wallack’s class at Kimball Elementary. I believe it was during recess that this petite, doe-eyed girl with saucy dark curls started talking to me. I don’t remember much else, except a few weeks later I heard my dad talking about a co-worker named Bill Fairhurst, and when I asked my dad if Bill had a daughter named Julie, he said he thought so. Turns out Julie and I had something in common besides being schoolmates.
Julie, front row, second from left. I’m in the middle of the row behind her, in the red shirt.
During the next few years at Kimball we were in some of the same classes, and we had a few mutual friends, including Missy Caldwell, Debra Carlin, and later Debbie Neeley; but since Karen Bryce was my best friend most of that time — and due to her nerdiness, never really fit in with those other girls, I remained more on the outskirts of their clique.
That was elementary. Things would evolve once we progressed to Antioch Junior High.
To be continued.