I dreamed about Tommy Ennis last night. He was just another boy in my Kindergarten class many years ago; he moved away the summer before we started first grade.
I saw him as an adult, just starting to sprint down stairs on a huge campus. He was the same Tommy I remember more than half a century ago. His boy face had grown into a man face, but I knew it was him. I shouted out, “TOMMY ENNIS!” and he spun around with a questioning look on his face.
Smiling, I said, “It is you… Tommy… isn’t it?” He started to grin, obviously not sure who I was and how I knew him.
“I was in Kindergarten with you. At Plainview. I’m Patty. Patty Bakey, then.” I told him. He smiled slightly and nodded his head. I don’t know if he really remembered me or not, but I was convinced he did.
We talked about Kindergarten and I told him I live in Washington now. He and his family live in upstate New York where he has a medical practice. Judging by a call he got while we were talking, he also has a new granddaughter. What seemed like such a long conversation barely lasted two minutes. He was off to a meeting.
When my daughter was young we were looking through old school photos, many of which were taken outside of the entire classroom, with all the children organized on bleachers by height, the teacher and principal standing alongside. She asked me to identify my friends. Amazingly, I was able to name most of them and tell her a little about each one.
My recollection was that Tommy Ennis was a little boy that I liked and despite my shyness at that age, I chased him around the playground with every intention of kissing him. She always thought that was funny and to this day, still will tease me about Tommy Ennis.
Whether or not I would have kissed Tommy even if I could have caught him (gosh, could he ever run fast!), it’s a fond memory of days gone by… Simple times without fear of disease and financial ruin and the atrocities of war. Every day was a sunny day; I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning so I could get outside and play. I would go in when called for lunch, but be back outside with the last piece of my sandwich in hand. I didn’t want to miss one minute of playing time! Life was wonderful.
Thanks Tommy for bringing me back. It’s a very tough world out there now and I needed that.