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Good Graces
hat summer earned itself a place in the record books that's never been beat. The hardware store sold out of fans by mid-June and the Montgomery twins fainted at the Fourth of July parade. By the time August showed up, we couldn't wait to send it packing.

To this day, my sister insists it was nothing more than the unrelenting heat that drove us to do what we did that summer, but that's just Troo yanking my chain the way she always has. Deep down, she knows as well as I do that it wasn't anything as mundane as the weather. It was the hand of the Almighty that shoved us off the straight and narrow path.

Whenever the old neighborhood pals get together, if it's a particularly sticky evening, the way they all were back then, memories get tickled up. Sitting out on one of our back porches in the dwindling light, somebody will inevitably bring up the mysterious disappearance of one of our own that long ago summer. Do you think he was murdered? What about kidnapping? He could have just taken off. Trying to figure out what happened to him has become as much fun for our friends as remembering our games of red light, green light and penny candy from the Five and Dime.

But for the O'Malley sisters, the fate of that certain someone is no more mysterious than the way he broke my front tooth that sultry August night. The two of us know exactly where that devil in the details has been for the past fifty years. He's where we buried him the sweltering summer Troo was ten and I was ten.

The summer of '60.

© Lesley Kagen