My sisters and I were all considered pretty girls. But my sister Linda, who was only six years old in 1953, was a male magnet. Older men thought she was adorable and always fussed over her. Boys her age went gaga, and brought her gifts. And so it was in Jefferson Heights. A little boy, I don't remember his name so I'll call him Richard, decided he was in love with Linda. Richard wasn't much older than Linda, maybe seven, and he was a cute little boy with brown hair and blue eyes. Those blue eyes lit up when Linda was near.
The romance started out with Richard showing up at our front door with a bunch of flowers he had picked for Linda. Linda accepted them and proudly placed them in a vase. A few days later, Richard showed up again with a box of chocolates. Once again, Linda accepted the box and pigged out on the candy by herself.
Not too long after the flowers and candy, we were all on the school bus together. Linda and Richard were in the back seat of the bus, and when I turned around to check on my little sister, she and Richard were necking! Well, I was livid. Not because she had a boyfriend, not because she was necking with him, but because she was only six years old and a boy was crazy about her, and I was ten without a boyfriend. I was jealous.
The next thing I knew, Linda and Richard were planning a "wedding" in the Princess Garden. So when the weekend came, all the neighborhood kids gathered near the red bridge across the stream, and Linda and Richard exchanged vows with a neighborhood boy overseeing the ceremony. I got to be the bridesmaid. Linda carried a bouquet, personally gathered by Richard. Richard gave her a "cigar band" ring. They kissed and proclaimed they were now married. Then everyone went home, and just like in many real marriages, the love quickly died.