She was 12 years old and an active member of the Girl Scouts.
Her obituary was in her hometown newspaper a few weeks ago.
When we met it was an accident, and under some wild and daring circumstances.
She knew how to scramble up a bunch of eggs. I didn’t, but learned in the worst of ways. The girls were camped out on a steep hill across from the creek, and the little lovelies had settled down for the night around their campfires for songs, dancing, laughter and just to be little goodies.
They even had roasted marshmallows.
A bunch of the guys in our gang thought it was a troop of Cub Scouts.
We intended to raid the Cub Scout camp, kidnap one and bury him up to his neck on the nearby creek bank.
But, as we crept up the hill to their campsite, we discovered it was a bunch of Girl Scouts — not a bunch of little knot-heads.
There was no choice except to regroup and the new game was on.
There were five of us in the gang of creek pirates, and as the night began to change into early morn, three of us had met girls and had settled down in total silence.
Things had gone good for the night, but then the girls began cooking breakfast.
Know-it-all-me had already mixed up a batch of eggs to scramble, and that is when the game got out of hand.
We were exposed.
I didn’t know some lard or some type of oil was needed in the frying pan.
The girls saw what I had cooked and began hollering.
We hungry three headed at full speed down the hill and across the creek.
The girls were sounding the alarm and standing in a bunch shaking their fists and hollering.
I hollered back, and said, “Well, I guess that means you ain’t gonna be my Valentine this year, huh?”
By that time the adult leaders had joined in the unpleasant company of us creek pirates, and they, too, did not seem to be pleased.
They probably called the police, but we did not stay around to find out.
We had fun for a while, but learned early on to stay out of a woman’s kitchen if you don’t know what you are doing.
The only thing I knew how to cook at that time was a hobo stew in a coffee can buried under hot coals.
If adults would leave the young folks alone, things would most likely work out.
Had those adult scout leaders not got their drawers in a wad, we could have calmed the girls down, sat in peace for a tasty breakfast, and I may have developed and cultivated a new Valentine.
Instead, we were forced to flee and seek safety on the far side of the creek.
The night was not totally lost.
I had always wanted to know what it was like inside a Girl Scout campsite tent.
I found out and will carry it to the grave with me.
It was an incident many years ago, and obituaries sometimes rekindle quite a bit.
Seasons greetings and the best of holidays to all.
William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.