The Monroes lived a few houses from us on Pinecroft Road. Patty was my best friend for a few years. Milton was her dad. Peter was her brother. Aunt Myrtle may have been a real aunt or just a sweet old woman who earned the honorary title. It’s possible she was their nanny.
In my perusing of cards I have stashed in a three ring notebook, I came across a card from Aunt Myrtle. Since Patty and I were always together, Myrtle essentially adopted me.
In her card, she thanks me for a letter. She mentions visiting the Monroes in Gloucester. She tells me about their animals. A big black poodle named ping pong. Myrtle said that she thought the kids had a couple of hamsters, though they could have been gerbils; she couldn’t tell the difference. Her quotation marks around Gerbils must have been referring to my gerbil collection.
She asked me in this letter from the 1960s if I remembered the Ferris Wheel at York Beach. I might have remembered at the time Myrtle wrote me this card, but I’ve no recollection of York Beach. She said that she had to get off as Patty and I were swinging at the top. I must not have developed my fear of heights yet.
I’ve always wondered whatever happened to Patty Monroe. Unfortunately the name is too common.
Myrtle kept in touch with me for many years, always sending me a birthday card with five dollars.
I never know how long a person is going to be in my life, and sometimes the briefest of times are the most impactful.