Murdo Girl…Love and loss

Growing up isn’t always easy. The little Murdo Girl is thinking about old friends, and the sometimes sudden changes we all experience in our lives. She is learning a very important lesson. She has to accept what life hands her, and figure out the best way to move on. I’m happy she’s going to see Flipper, it was a favorite movie of mine when I was her age.


Billy told me the only reason I was born is because Mom’s friend, Marse Lillabridge wanted to have another baby, and she talked Mom into having one too. He said since he was already 7, Mom hadn’t really planned on having another little kid, but since Marse was a good friend, she said okay. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I am 3 months older than Lois Lillabridge.

Me, Leslie Kell, and Lois Lillabridge

Everything was great for awhile. Kitty Reynolds made us lots of pretty dresses, and Mom and Mrs. Lillabridge dressed us up and took us all over town. I think Mom has some pictures of us. If she can find them, I’ll show them to you.

Me kissing Lois, Mom in the background

Lois has an older sister, like I have an older brother. Her name is Cheryl, and she has lots of freckles. Lois’s Dad Laurel, worked at the Jones County State Bank. Dad even liked him, and he’s not usually very fond of bankers. The family lived in a house not far from ours, and really close to the grade school.

When Lois and I were 5, tragedy struck. Mr. Lillabridge died of a heart attack. It was really sudden, and they didn’t even have time to get him to the hospital. It really was a sad day.

I asked my Mom how you can tell when someone is dying. She said they usually lay in bed with their eyes closed, maybe moan, and roll their head back and forth on the pillow. (I remembered this years later, when I played the dying Cleopatra.)

Well, Marse, Cheryl, and Lois, all moved to Gregory where Marse’s family lives. I don’t know why people like Kitty and Marse have to move, when their husbands die. There are plenty of people in Murdo who would help them out.

Guess what? The new banker and his family moved into the same house the Lillabridge’s moved out of. Their name is Timson, and they have a son Tony, who is one year older than I am. He has two older sisters whose names are Pat and Carolyn. Tony became my very first boyfriend. I made Mom invite him to my birthday party, and he gave me a stuffed dog holding a little bottle of perfume.

All this happened to me before I was even in first grade.

Billy is going to leave Murdo the day after graduation. He’s going to drive to California with Earl Rada. He already knows he likes it there, because he worked in California last summer. My Uncle Chuck got him a job parking cars for the Dodgers at the Coliseum. He liked that too.

Billy and Earl Rada

I’m not going to write so much today, because I’m going to the show. The name of the show is Flipper, and it’s about a dolphin.

We don’t have dolphins in South Dakota, but there’s lots of them in California.


2 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Love and loss

  1. Teresa Palmer April 13, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    You certainly have a way with words! These were so funny-from your mom having you to the dying scene…just have to laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

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