Childhood Diminished

Jan 6, 2015 | 5 comments

 

Mrs. Bame's Oysterville Class, 1946 Jerry Andrews, front row second from right

Mrs. Bame’s Oysterville Class, 1946
Jerry Andrews, front row second from right

I remember my mother saying to me on the occasion of a friend’s death, “She is the last person who remembered my mother when Mama was young.” I think it was the first time that I truly, viscerally understood that we are only real as long as someone remembers us.  I thought of that yesterday morning, though in a different way, when I received the news that Jerry Andrews had died.

Jerry was one of the ‘kids’ of my childhood here in Oysterville. He was a couple of years younger than I and lived ‘way up’ toward the Oysterville Post Office so, though my earliest memories include him, I can’t say I knew him very well. His older brother Burton, on the other hand, was just my age and we were in the same class the year I went to school here. Burton and I reconnected a little as adults back in the early 1980s when we were on the Oysterville Cemetery Association Board together. And, ironically, I know Jerry’s son Gordie and his family fairly well. But, I didn’t really ever get to know Jerry.

The Boys of Oysterville, c 1951 - (l to r) John Holway, Burton  Andrews, Floyd Poe, Jerry Andrews, Pete Heckes, Jack Fry, Bill Frazier, Larry Freshley

The Boys of Oysterville, c 1951 – (l to r) John Holway, Burton Andrews, Floyd Poe, Jerry Andrews, Pete Heckes, Jack Fry, Bill Frazier, Larry Freshley

Somehow, Jerry has always remained that kid I knew from afar seventy years ago. I think of him as shy, but I have nothing at all to base that on except that he was usually with the older boys and perhaps took a back seat to them. On the other hand, he seems to be front-and-center in some of the old group photographs.

I was so sorry to learn of his death – sorry for his family and friends and sorry for all of us who remember him. I feel that my childhood is diminished, somehow. Outliving the people and things you have ‘always’ known is certainly the hardest part of growing old.

5 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    The fracturing of the set upon which we live our lives can be an earthquake of varying magnitude. My father, his brothers and their wives died in the span of a few years. My daughter-in-law commented, “Doesn’t it make you wish you were twelve and everyone you loved was still alive?” Jerry may have been more of an “extra” in the cast of your life, but his loss changes the set nonetheless. The older we get, the more keenly we feel the cast changes.

    Reply
  2. Nancy Russell stone

    Lovely words from Stephanie….I could not say anything more clearly. Thanks Stephanie.

    Reply
  3. Marion Freshley

    Larry and I went to school with Jerry and we always realized he was a very good student. He had a very calm and pleasing personality and was what we all thought of as a ‘really good kid’. His wife Nancy was the sweetest little gal who loved children and she would do fun things with the neighbour kids.

    Reply
  4. Charla Andrews

    Thank you all for your kind words about my father. I don’t have any pictures of when he was young if anyone is willing to make copies of those pictures posted and send them it would be a blessing or any other pictures. He is missed very much. Thank you again.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Charla, I’m happy to email you the pictures I have. There aren’t many I’m afraid.

      Reply

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