My cousin Orville married Charlene when I was around thirteen. Charlene had flaming red hair, with the personality to match. She was born in California, and later moved to Arkansas. She was always so up beat, quick to laugh, and spread her love for life to the people around her. She was the most fascinating person I had ever met in my life.

Orville and I had always been close. He had nick-named me George, and I called him Sam. To this day I don’t know where we got those names. I just know I felt special to have him call me George. When he brought this little spit fire of a lady into our family, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like her. What if he didn’t like me more anymore. Well I had nothing to worry about. We both came out winners, he got a loving spouse and mother for his two young boys, and me an exciting new friend.

I loved going to the seventh and eight grade school dances. We never had the money to buy a new dress for the dances. So, I would go over to Charlene’s and go through her closet searching for a dress to wear. She let me try on all her clothes until we found the perfect dress. I’m not sure how many of her dresses I borrowed, and never returned. She never say a word about that. Thanks to her I always wore a different dress to each of the dances.

When I was expecting my daughter, Charlene made my maternity clothes. She used the material from the backs of Orville’s old T-shirts for the belly part of the shorts. Those outfits were my favorites, and the most comfortable.

Yesterday I attended a family reunion at the park in Odessa.There I met family I had not seen for fifty years. It was great seeing them and reminiscing about the good old days swimming and fishing in the lake near our house.

But the highlight of the day was seeing Charlene. Our love and friendship took over where we left it many years ago. She is the same red headed spit fire little lady. Her smile and laughter automatically warms the heart. Charlene will always be my special cousin and friend. Take care my dear friend. God bless you , love George.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Terri Sonoda
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 01:14:39

    Loved this story! Cute picture of you two!


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