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One For Rosemary

March 18, 2022

When I was in high school, I knew a girl named Rosemary. She was Mexican and I was white but it made no difference; we were good friends. She was petite and beautiful and I was a headstrong surfer. Although our cultures crossed us from the start, we remained good friends and a bit more.

Rosemary had a bad reputation back then in school. She was perceived as being “loose” She may have been and probably was sexually promiscuous for the time. But the Rosemary I knew was also an A student, a very bright young Latina who may just well have been ahead of her time. She was a superb  artist with a lot of talent and a heart as big as they come. She was likable, modest and fun to be with. Her only character flaw was that perhaps she trusted those around her a bit too much.

I would often find her at home in a neighborhood which was predominately Mexican. I spoke fluent Mexican and Spanish so I was accepted in that quarter. Likewise in school, Rosemary’s friends accepted me as more than just a gringo. We were good friends throughout high school but then we became a bit estranged as I entered college. I remember taking her out on a date shortly after my high school graduation. After dinner, we went down to Malibu Beach at night and walked in a gentle moonlight reflected by the ocean. She was so attractive and I just couldn’t resist her.

Rosemary faded from my memory a bit as I busily completed college. I do remember that in my senior year, I stopped to visit at her apartment in Granada Hills, California. I hadn’t seen her for awhile. She looked worn and hassled. She had an infant child of perhaps two years old. I didn’t inquire as to the father as I suspected he was not on the scene anymore. Perhaps I was wrong. We exchanged awkward pleasantries and then she abruptly asked me if I had ever loved her. That put me on the spot!

I replied, yes at one time I thought I might have loved her, maybe. I muffled my response. Time obscures such feelings in one’s youth.  But then I recalled the night that her sister tried to seduce me when I sought out Rosemary at her house. Rosemary got mad at me instead of the errant sister. Sometimes, bullshit gets in the way of true communication and perhaps much more. In the end, I finally responded fully. I just told her that she was simply one of the sweetest souls I had known. That seemed to suffice but she seemed to be too much in the present to accept my poor explanation.

That was the last time I saw Rosemary. Her life and fate were unknown to me until I received my high school’s 40th reunion magazine in 2006. There on the last page was her name, along with all of the others in our class who had passed away. She died young; how and why I will perhaps never know. She had another last name so I assumed she had married. Such notices are often incomplete and lacking in what the reader really wants to know. My sought after details were not available. As I turned back to her memorial page, I cried a flood of tears. Rosemary and all of her goodness flooded back into my memory like a broken dam. She was a sweet and insecure young girl and she will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you Rosemary for being you so many decades ago: Proud, strong, sweet and forever on my mind. And yes Rosemary, I did love you so many years ago.

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Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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From → America, History, Surfing

15 Comments
  1. So sad. I’ve been there, wishing I had done more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How amazing… Ten years later, in the same place, I had the same experience with my own Rosemary… And with similar angst and results. She was sweet and kind, yet elusive, even perhaps evasive at times. Good read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A nice story, Allen, though steeped in sadness. Thanks for letting us know.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Allen,
    Don’t think I knew this Rosemary but sounds like someone you would not forget. Again a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. BobK permalink

    Had a somewhat parallel story. I grew up in San Diego, went to HS there graduating in 1962. I have a younger sister and she had a friend, very cute Hispanic girl, Maria V. I was stricken by here, could keep my eyes off of her. We were both attracted to each other but beyond that it never happened. We remained besties for ever and still to this day I ask my sis, How is Maria. Isn’t it something how one turn in your life can change the outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

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