The last semester of my freshman year was almost over. I had finally accepted the fact that I would have to transfer to a state university there in Memphis for my sophmore year. Financially, there was no other way. I could work through the summer and save enough for my books and tuition and live at home. It certainly wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it seemed the only solution.

Jimmy, Linda, my roommate, and all my other friends pleaded with me to apply for a school loan. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t. Perhaps, transferring seemed the “easiest” thing to do at the time, and so I set the paperwork in motion.

It’s odd that I don’t remember how I got home from college those 45 years ago…there were obviously clothes and boxes to pack, but I don’t remember that part. I do remember being sad to leave.


Those were the days before email and instant messenger. So over the summer, Jimmy and I wrote letters. Jimmy also came to visit me several times. He invited me down to visit his family in Florida sometime during that summer, but my parents said no. I suppose it was the distance from Memphis to Florida, for they liked Jimmy. It wasn’t easy being the youngest daughter of overprotective parents.

Fall came and I registered at the university there in Memphis. I had close friends from church who were also going to school there and I would be riding to campus with them. It took several weeks before I began to stop missing my friends I’d been so close to for the past year. I became involved in the Baptist Student Union there and slowly began meeting people and making new friends.

Jimmy had been hurt and upset with me that I wouldn’t at least try to find the funds to return to college there. Over the weeks that followed, we exchanged a few letters, but slowly grew apart. In February 1965, I had a school break and went back to college to visit my roommate and other friends. Evidently, they had told Jimmy that I was coming. I remember seeing him and briefly meeting the girl he had recently been dating in the cafeteria.

After supper, Jimmy came over the dorm and walked me to the campus movie that night. According to the old diary I’d found, we also stopped at the library for some reason on the way over to the movie. Later, after Linda and I had returned back to her dorm about eleven o’clock, Jimmy called. The dorm was situated around an interior outdoor courtyard. The telephone was in an old-fashioned phone booth on the second floor balcony – outside. We talked for a good long while. Jimmy wanted to talk longer, but it was very cold outside and I was freezing. He wanted to come over, but it was past visiting hours in the lobby…remember this was 45 years ago and boys weren’t allowed in the dorm rooms.

I‘m trying to remember if when we said goodbye that night was the last time that we ever spoke…I do believe that it was.

 

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