You Never Forget Your First Love — #MFRWauthor

Welcome to week #42 of the  Marketing for Romance Authors 52-Week Blog Challenge. This week’s prompt is My First Love.

Love 01 UnsplashWhen I saw this week’s prompt, my mind went immediately to one person and has stayed there, no matter how hard I tried to steer myself in another direction. I tried to come up with a “love” I could claim that didn’t feel quite so personal, but no, my first love kept stealing his way into my head, pushing everyone else aside.

Who was he? His name was Philip Clayton, and he was my “boyfriend” when I was a very, very young girl. Our parents were best friends. Our dads served together in church. So did our moms. Philip’s mom loved to talk on the phone, and she any my mom would spend hours on the phone together. Louise was the only person my mom ever talked to for such a long time. I clearly remember climbing on my mom’s lap and hanging up on Louise in the middle of one of their phone calls. I guess I wanted my mom’s attention.

Love 03 UnsplashBecause our parents were together a lot, Philip and I spent a lot of time together as kids. When there was a bazaar at church, Philip and I would hit the fishing booth together, check out the cake walk, and keep each other occupied while our parents were busy.

I stayed at his house when my mom was in the hospital giving birth to my baby brother. Philip wasn’t like a lot of boys. He didn’t like to play with trucks and cars. He didn’t roughhous, and I don’t remember him ever being into a sport.  He loved to play TV and theater. Even way back then, when we were 6 years old, Philip was all about being an entertainer.

Love 02 UnsplashHe qualifies as my “first love” because he was absolutely my best friend. He was also my first kiss. Yeah, we kissed when we were that little. I’m not even sure why, except I remember my sister and his brother taunting us and urging us to kiss. Maybe that’s why we did it. Maybe we were just genuinsly so fond of each other, we spontaneously showed our affection. Being little more than babies, it was a very quick, chaste kiss, but it was my first kiss with a real live boy.

We remained close until my family moved from Montana to Utah the year Philip and I turned 11. A few years later, his family moved to Utah, but we lived too far away to be really close and see each other more than occasionally. But Philip was still all about entertaining, and I went to every performance of his I could manage all the way through high school.

Theater 02 UnsplashHe moved on from school plays and started acting in ads for local businesses. Because we weren’t all that close anymore, I don’t remember how old we were when he left home and moved to NYC, but eventually he did. I remember how excited his mom was when we met just before Christmas one year (probably 1989) and she showed me the playbill from the Broadway production of Starlight Express. I think Philip was playing Eledctra  that year because his headshot was a full page three pages in. I was so impressed, realizing thatmy old childhood friend,who had made me play “variety show” in his basement years earlier (I was frequently “the lovely wooden Carol Burnett” had made it to the big-time.

He’s in this performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1987, but I can’t point you to exactly which one he is. All I kow is that he was a member of the original Broadway cast as Espresso.

Sadly, Philip passed away in 1997 at just 42. I heard from my mom that he was sick and did’t have long to live, so I contacted his mom, got his number, and called him in New York. We had a chance to catch up and say good-bye, and I’ve always been glad I made that phone call. But it still makes me sad to think of losing such a talented man and the first love of my life.

Boy 01 Unsplash

This is a bloghop, so make sure you click on the links below and see what the other authors who are participating have to say about their first loves.


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9 thoughts on “You Never Forget Your First Love — #MFRWauthor

  1. storimom2 says:

    Thank you for sharing this! You and Philip were a lot like Steve and I; for about four years, our parents seemed to do *everything* together. How sweet that your childhood sweetheart ended up on Broadway! So sorry to hear of his passing, but I’m sure he provided encouragement for other young performers.

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    My first kiss was at my cousin’s wedding when I was 12, maybe 13. Someone, I don’t remember who, let us young adults have a highball. There were two young women there, sisters, I believe, and the older dared the younger to kiss me. Younger, but still a year or so older than me. She was far more aggressive than I was, and her sister giggled the whole time. I kinda liked it, but I was horribly embarrassed.

  3. Meka James says:

    Playing late catch before tomorrow’s hop. I loved your post. It’s great that you had such a close friendship that lasted for so long. You can tell he had an impact on you if he stays in your mind so much. I’m glad you were able to talk to him and catch up before he passed.

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