I remember lying across the bed at my friend, Becky’s house when we were sixth graders. Her little sister came in, and Becky screeched at her to leave us alone. When she was gone, I shared with Becky that I had always wanted a little sister. Becky said, "Trust me, you don’t want one!" But I did. I remember thinking, "Yeah, I do" but I did not say anything to Becky. I had watched sisters, and I knew the drill. Big sisters did not play with little sisters – not cool. I had two younger girl cousins that I enjoyed playing with when our families got together. But when my cousin Patti, who was my age, was around, she would not allow the younger cousins to play with us. Patti had a big sister – she knew the drill. My friend Kathy was the same way. Not only did she have a little sister, but she also had two big sisters. I always thought that was the coolest! But Kathy did not let her little sister play with us, and Kathy’s big sisters did not acknowledge we existed. I didn’t really understand it, but I went along with it. If I had a sister, I would love it. She would be mine to mold, to share clothes with, to talk to late at night, etc. Didn’t these girls know what they were missing. It could be so much worse – they could have a little brother!
During the summer months there were several college-aged girls who came to live at our lodge and work in RR. Our lodge was a bit outdated with guests having to share bathrooms between the rooms. Cabins and condos were more popular. So, Dad would rent out rooms to the young ladies working in RR. The boys shared a small room out back called "the fox pit" – that is where Ray Wylie Hubbard roomed. Anyway, I loved spending time with these young ladies. I watched them do their hair and put on makeup getting ready for work or dates. They would talk and discuss the boys that they dated, they shared clothes, they would tan on the roof of the patio – they were just so beautiful and cool. And they let me tag along fixing me a bikini top out of handkerchiefs and treating me like I was special. That is how sisters were suppose to treat each other – in fact, I called them my "summer sisters." Yesterday I mentioned Bege. Although she was several years older than I was, she was never "too cool" to let me hang with her. I often spent the night at her house. She even let me tag along when she was running around town with her brother and his friends. Those times made me feel like I was special, and I was very careful not to be silly or do anything to draw attention to myself – be cool.
One summer, my friend Kathy did not come to RR with her family until later in the summer. You could have knocked me over with a feather when her big sister let me hang with her and her friends. Was it that I was a bit older and not so much of a pesky little sister sort? I tried to be cool, but it was difficult when you were shaking with glee.
Yesterday, Nancigail left a comment. Nancigail is the big sister to my friend Janetta. I don’t ever recall Nancigail being mean to me or to Janetta, but I knew the sister drill. I just stood back in awe of her – she was so beautiful and fun. Nancigail was like a ray of golden light – she just beamed. We worked together at Texas Red’s, and she was the most smooth waitress/hostess ever. Nothing ever rattled her. Gracious is the word that comes to mind. Toward the end of August, there is a real dead time in RR when all of the tourists have started back to school and all of the town’s employees too. One night after work, I went running around with Nancigail in her old blue Volkswagen. We just drove up and down Main Street and over to the Playhouse. I was in awe – I was runnin’ with the big dogs – I was tryin’ to be cool. I remember Nancigail laughing about her old car, and I said that it was not that old since the odometer only showed 60,000 miles. She just laughed (that special Gill Grin) and said, "Yeah, but the odometer has already turned over once." I don’t remember much else about that night – I was just soakin’ up the rays of being with Nancigail, and thinking, "This how I want to be with my sister."