I grew up in Jamaica Plain, an urban community located on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts. In the 1940’s it was a wholesome, quaint little community. It was my home and I loved it there; back then I thought I would never leave. My best friend Rose and I used to collectively dream about raising a family of our own someday. We had it all planned out to live next door to one another.
Our dream remained alive through grade school, high school, and even beyond. Rose was my maid of honor when I got married in 1953 to the love of my life, Dick. Even then she joked that she was just one perfect guy short of being married, thus bringing us closer to our dream. Meanwhile, Dick aspired to be an officer in the Marines and I fully supported his ambitions. I realized that he might be stationed far away from Jamaica Plain, but I told him I would relocate and adjust. The idea of experiencing new places together seemed somewhat romantic to me.
So, in 1955 Dick was stationed in Alaska and we relocated. Rose was sad to see me leave, but wished me the best of luck. Rose and I remained in touch for a few years via periodic phone calls, but after awhile we lost track of one another. Back in the 1950’s it was a lot more difficult to stay in touch with someone over a long distance, especially if you were relocating every few years. There were no email addresses or transferable phone numbers, and directory lookup services were mediocre at best.
I thought of her several times over the years. Once in the mid 1960’s when I was visiting the Greater Boston area I tried to determine her whereabouts, but my search turned up empty-handed. Jamaica Plain had changed drastically in the 10 years I was gone. A pretty obvious shift in income demographics was affecting my old neighborhood. My family had moved out of the area, as did many of the people I used to know. Rose was nowhere to be found.