I would like to talk about my friend and old neighbor, Becky Corcoran. I was reminded of her today on my walk. And it made me smile because Becky does that to a person – makes them smile.


My lovely friend, Becky, and her two wonderful children - lifted from Facebook


Long ago and far away, when I was about the age of my children today, Becky lived a couple houses up the street from me. She and I had the same house, only mirror images. Mine was built the right way, hers was reverse. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Back in those days, I was a jock. I was very thin and had lustrous dark hair. I wore contacts, but my vision wasn’t so bad that I had to wear reading glasses, too. In short, I was much younger.

Back then, I played a lot of racquetball and was quite fit. I had actual muscles instead of flab and had enough stamina to play ball for about three hours at a time. I would get winded, but not enough to have to quit.

Becky wanted to walk in the neighborhood. Apparently, I was the only one who looked dumb enough to walk with her because she asked if I would do that. And I said yes, proving her great powers of observation. We walked 4.25 miles in 55 to 65 minutes. See? I was in much better shape.

Not only did we walk that far that quickly, but it was on gentle hills. I can tell you that walking on gentle hills today is much harder than walking on flat land, and the hills here aren’t anything like the hills there.

We lived in a community called Montgomery Hills so that should be a clue. We walked the entire neighborhood, covering each cul-de-sac at a rapid pace.

What reminded me of all this was dogs. Becky and I were scared to death of dogs. One day, a dog barked at us and ran up to us and we nearly had heart attacks. Only after we rounded a corner did it dawn on me that the dog had been wagging its tail the entire time. We were too afraid to notice it at the time and were consumed with the squealing and wondering how we were going to escape the jaws of death.

Today, within the first five minutes of my walk, I was similarly “attacked.” First, a large black dog, looking like it was possibly a lab or lab mix was barking and came out of the house. The approximately 100 pound dog ran into the front yard, still barking. A little girl was playing in the yard and never moved. Two adults in the doorway were calling for the dog to come back. Instead, he planted himself in the middle of the front yard and a wagged his tail at me until I passed.

Next, a woman was walking a dog that weighed in at about 50 pounds I would guess. The dog was about LC’s size but not breed. This dog looked a little like a basset hound, but had long wavy hair. In the days when Becky and I walked, we would have crossed the street and been very nervous the entire time, waiting for imminent death and/or destruction. I walked past the dog who didn’t even deign to sniff at me.

I rounded the corner and a woman had her little 20 pound dog in the front yard, trying to get him to follow her into the house. Instead, the small dog spied me and ran to greet me. No barking at all, but tail wagging. I was afraid the dog would actually run away so I bent down and cooed, “Here, sweetie.” I actually attracted the dog to me until the woman could catch up and corral the beast.

That’s when I really began to think of Becky. We would have been screaming in terror those many years ago.

Since then, I’ve had two dogs living at my house. My family’s dogs include Trip who was 100 pounds in his youth, Atticus who weighs in around 75 pounds, LC who weighs about 50, and Gucci who weighs about 20, too large to be the purse dog she was supposed to be.

I don’t know if Becky ever got any dogs, but having them living at my house, as Trip and LC have and regularly visiting with Atti and the Gooch, the dogs in the neighborhood held no terror for me. They all looked like the friendly puppies they were. And probably just like all the friendly puppies who lived in Montgomery Hills those many years ago.