When I was about 13, I worked up the nerve to tell Gisele Taylor, a girl I knew from both my church and my school, that I had a crush on her.
I took a deep breath, called her number and when she answered, I choked. Part of the conversation went like this:
Me: Hi . . .uh. . . Gisele . . . I . . . uh . . . hmmm . . . it is hard for me to talk to you about this . . .
Gisele: You called to tell me it’s hard for you to talk?
Me: No, I mean . . . um . . . yes. . . I . . .
Gisele: Who is this, again?
After straightening out my identity, I regrouped and managed to ask her to meet me at my parent’s Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Station Wagon after that Wednesday night’s Bible class. I figured I would be comfortable in our cruiser and could speak clearly.
She outflanked me, though, and cleverly brought her friend Cindi Gibson along and I just stammered nonsensically. It was mortifying.
Gisele and I are Facebook friends now and thankfully she does not remember that incident. I wish I had one of those “Men in Black” flashy things so I didn’t remember it, either.
Other locals recalled their first crushes/kisses/dates:
Keith Hayes: “When I was in the fourth grade (1949) I went to a party at the Rossi home later bought by the Toobys, on Delaware Street. One of the games we played was “Spin the Bottle.” The girl who won/lost had to walk around their large backyard holding hands with the boy. It was then that I realized girls didn’t transmit cooties and later learned of an improved variation to the game and later still, to omit the bottle altogether.”
Stephania Cheng: “My first crush was Mr. Spock from ‘Star Trek.’ Does that count?”
Linda Ueki Absher: “My first date was a guy who came up to me at Fairfield High School and wanted to take me out for lunch. I was so excited until I realized we were heading for Kmart. He bought me a taco. It was greasy.”
Donna Ingram: “My first date was in seventh grade with Johnny Colla (later the saxophone player for Huey Lewis and The News). I remember having to scrunch down in the seat for him to put his arm around my shoulders because he was so much shorter than me. He was my first kiss, too!”
Danny Cordova: “In sixth grade I met Vicky Hays behind the fence (ditch) at Fairview Elementary. We held hands and ate Good & Plentys and drank sodas. She wanted me to French kiss her but I couldn’t: I’m Spanish.”
Rita Chiofalo-Golden: “Richard Rasico! Green Valley Intermediate School, seventh grade. We had the same PE class and had to square dance. We always danced only with each other. Our first kiss was after a dance in the gym one day out on the back porch. We bumped noses and laughed. Then later I broke up with him and that was that.”
Some remembrances are delightfully nostalgic:
Gail Reed-Bond: “My first love was Danny Spitzer. Danny was in seventh grade and I was in eighth at Anna Kyle. We attended several home parties where we would play ‘Spin the Bottle.’ His kisses were so sweet and loving. He will always be a special memory and own a piece of my heart.”
Others, not so much:
Lisa Ellerbee Gleaton: “My first crush was a boy who lived near us on Travis Air Force Base. He was super sweet and we were always on the phone. I moved away to England for three years and by the time I thought to ask about him, I must have been in my 20s. I heard he was in San Quentin. Well, he started out sweet!”
Sometimes childhood flings boomerang unexpectedly:
Leslie Winslow: “In the summer between seventh and eighth grade at K.I. Jones, Charlie White gave me a note to meet him on the corner for a kiss (my first). We dated in the ’70s for a very short time and went our separate ways. We bumped into each other in a grocery store in Sacramento a year and a half ago and now we are living together happily ever after.”
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.