bobby fry...

Russian Boys and Girls Dancing in Kindergarten Photographic Print

i was about 4 when we moved to the other side of town. wyndtree drive. it was a townhouse community. i have a lot of memories in that house. but my greatest memory from that house was the fry's. they lived two doors down from us. bobby was fry was the best friend i had. i played with him every day. he made me laugh, and would sometimes play dolls with me. mostly we ran around outside; catching frogs, riding our bikes, playing in dirt and mud. we would run outside until the sun went down. in the rain we would catch worms and caterpillars, in the snow we would make snow angels and eat the freshly falling snow. he was 3 years older than me. but we were fast friends.

mrs fry loved me. she didn't have a daughter of her own, and she borrowed me as often as she could to take me shopping with her, or to spoil and buy girly presents for. on jesse's birthday, i would get a present too, on christmas my present would always be bigger. if bobby wanted an ice cream cone, he would make me go ask his mom. because she couldn't say no to me.

bobby fry rode the bus to school with me in the morning, on a snow day we would get to go sled on the big kids side of the playground at recess. bobby fry was always there to help me up the hill, and to protect me from the big kids.

my mom would sometimes watch bobby after school, if his mom had something else she needed to do. on the last day of school bobby came over to our house. he had gone on a field trip to a farm, and had a bag full of homegrown veggies. he was riled up, it was the last day of school for the summer after all. he grabbed a radish out of his bag and took a big bite. his eyes bugged out, and he started running around the house like a mad man. "water, water, i need fire... water water i need fire..." he was yelling and fanning is mouth, as he screamed this running around the living room. he suddenly came to a screeching a halt. "water, water, i need fire... huh?" he realized his slip, and i was dying laughing. my mom was laughing, the kids mom babysat were laughing... "i mean... fire, fire i need water... fire, fire i need water." as we continued to laugh, he continued to run and holler. oh my was he ever funny.

i was the only girl invited to bobby fry's birthday. i played teenage mutant ninja turtles and slinky with them until i couldn't take it anymore. i went upstairs and watched tv with mrs fry. and every time bobby or one of his older boy friends would get the slinky all tangled up, they would call me to come untangle it for them. as a four or five year old girl, i already knew where my place was. to fix what boys screw up.

the summer after first grade, we packed all of our belongings into a moving van and moved across the country. i cried as we pulled away, the fry's waving at us as we turned the corner and left forever.

i think bobby fry is married now, he may even have a couple kids. every few years my mom connects with mrs fry, they talk for hours and catch up on life...

but i often wonder what happened to bobby fry. i wonder where he lives, and what he does, and if his wife has to untangle slinkys he gets tangled up. i wonder what he named his kids, and if he remembers being friends with me all those years ago. i hope he is happy and well, i hope his dreams have come true, because mine have.

Boy Wrapping Leg of an Injured Girl, 1948 Giclee Print


  1. You have got to find Bobby Fry!!!

    My sister Cindy keeps in touch with her best buddy from childhood. David Irving.

    They have a GREAT connection!

  2. anita12:26

    My Bobby Fry was named Alan and he lived next door to me in Denver. Poor Alan- I was so bossy. I guess I thought the role of little girls was to make sure little boys did as they were told.
    You were a much sweeter little girl!

  3. Such a sweet story, Melinda!


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