I am sure this girl (LCHS class of '60) never knew that I loved her. I am also sure that no one reading this ever knew either, because I never told anyone until now. I will not mention her name so it will not embarrass her if she should ever happen to read this. She probably doesn't remember what happened anyway.
It was one of those very cold winter days in Lincoln. So cold that even sounds seemed to be frozen in the air. It was what photographers would call a “cloudy-bright” day, typical of that time of the year in Central Illinois. The ice on the lake sparkled like diamonds, and the snow on the ground covered any imperfections so that the world looked like it was perfect, clean, and pure. We were skating together on the lake in what seemed like a dream. It was so quiet that the only sounds I could hear were the whistling of the wind through the branches of the trees on the bank, and my heart beating.
She was a very good skater. Tall and graceful, with a certain poise that is still striking in my memory today. She was also very pretty. I assume she still is—I haven't seen her in forty years—but I am sure she is one of those women who remains as beautiful today as she was then. I was very flattered that she was skating with me that day because I considered her to be far outside of my “league.” We skated off together, away from the rest of the group that routinely gathered at my house to skate on the weekends.
After we went around the bend, and onto another connected lake, we started holding hands. It just seemed like the natural thing to do. After a while, she did a couple of spins that I attempted to follow. When I caught up to her, we kissed. That was all that happened. That was the moment that I will never forget. I don't know what she felt at the time, but I have never forgotten that intense feeling of pure romantic love and serenity. I don't think we even dated afterward—I don't remember. However, that was a unique moment in my life, unlike any other before or since—and this was the story about “Brad's secret love.”
UPDATE: Sunday, September 27, 2015
I wrote this little story many years ago. I had decided to delete it, and to try and forget about it, but that all changed yesterday.
Yesterday I attended the second day of a two-day class reunion of my Lincoln High School Class of 1960. It was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Lincoln, Illinois.
She was there, so I have decided to go ahead and reveal her name since at age 73 this should not be thought of as anything improper. I don't think it will embarrass her—not too much, I hope.
Her name was Sara McGowan. She married Gary Hinman (also from Lincoln), so her name is now Sara Hinman. They live in California.
I found this about her on the Internet:
So she is still very beautiful. By the way, Brad Hinman is her son. Maybe she didn't forget me?
Return to the Lincoln photo page.
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