Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lanny Berger, dead at 66

I remember you, Lanny Berger.  You were the fat kid, so shy, you could barely speak.  In fifth grade, your appendix burst and you were in the hospital for weeks.  Mrs. Nelson said they had you on a bed of ice to keep your fever down.  Did she make that up?  A bed of ice?  You were the kid who always asked me to dance at Emigration Ward dances.  I still see you walking toward me, feet pointed out slightly, your upper legs chafing against each other with each step.  You weren't my first choice or even my third, but there was something always likable about you.

I never knew you with a moustache.  The last time I saw you was when you came home from basic training, clean shaven short hair.  You were nineteen.  You came to the house bearing gifts:  a necklace (a heart on a thin chain?)  It was my first awareness of someone's unrequited love for me and made me sad.  You wanted to see Dean Collett and I drove you to his house in Rose Park and picked you up later and drove you home. That's our history together.  Did I ever write you a letter?  I have no idea.

I'm glad you found true love with a woman who found you gentle and loving, that you had children, two dogs, and that you loved to hunt and fish.  I'm glad you had lots of friends. Your death has surprised me with emotion.  I remember you, Lanny Berger.  I remember.


Rachel said...

I wouldn't have ever pinned him as your type either. I think its the shaded glasses.

Theodore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theodore said...

I liked this post. Honest, sad, but nice as well, very human.

Carly said...

I found your blog through my sister, who is a friend of Dede's. I was thrilled to realize that I can still be inspired by you even though my English 218 class ended years ago.