Sherry Miller. I met Sherry in Kindergarten. We sat next to each other at the big table, as there were no individual desks in our classroom. We helped each other to hold those Lincoln Log size pencils and crayons, shared our graham crackers, and laid our mats next to each other during nap time. She was smart beyond her years, knowing how to write both her first and last names, while I was struggling to make a legible "M". But I was class mechanic, having torn apart and rebuilt all four classroom Tonka trucks, and thus earned Sherry's undying affection. I think I fell in love with her during our Christmas Pageant that year. She played a mean triangle. The spotlight twinkling off the glitter in the frames of her glasses only added to her allure. She was a goddess.
The following summer we spent most of our days together. She loved playing "road construction" with me, and the ideal setting was under the steps leading to my back porch. The dirt was the perfect consistency for building roads with our collection of trucks and earth-movers. Just moist enough to be cooling in the summer heat, with very few stones to get in the way. So here we were, squatting down, inches from each other in the cool refreshing shade of the porch. I had just completed a main road and Sherry was adding curbs and drainage. We both happened to look up at the same instant, and each caught the others' eye. She smiled and from nowhere I made a subconscious move to take our relationship to the next level. I farted. It raised our eyebrows, and more than a little dust.
Now this was not your basic, every day, run-of-the-mill rip. No, this was a perfectly rendered playback of the NBC Peacock jingle, exhibiting flawless three chord progression in a smooth melodic flow. It was the epitome of "suave". If Dean Martin were to let one go, it would not have sounded so polished. Sherry was visibly moved, as I detected a tear in her eye. Neither one of us laughed, as would normally have been the case. This was ground-breaking, earth-shaking, and wind-breaking at it's finest. I had achieved greatness, and she was there to bear witness and partake of the glory. Word, with everything else, spread fast. Kids came from three to four houses away to shake my hand and hail me as "gifted". You could almost smell the fame and celebrity in my future. While Ed Sullivan featured countless novelty acts, it was apparent that talent of this caliber was in short supply. Perhaps my Mom could call the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and book an audition. I'd be on my way! However, Moms don't really see eye to eye with six-year-olds concerning show business. Or farts. "That was uncalled for" comes to mind as her response.
No one else in the neighborhood ever came close to matching my prowess with a wind instrument. Oh yeah, there was one kid who claimed to have done a rendition of "Three Blind Mice", but he was exposed as a cheat and a fraud for doing it in three separate toots.
It saddens me to say I never duplicated my moment of glory. I burned up my fifteen minutes of fame way too early in life. At least someone I cared deeply about was there to share. She always knew how to bring out the best in me. Oh, Sherry...