Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Seeing Double

Thirty-six years ago, this summer, I made a delightful and life-altering discovery.

Several youth groups from churches in the Panama Canal Zone had assembled for a day of water fun at a camp on Gatun Lake called Governor's Island. The central attraction was a large dock, high up above the waterline and well out into deep water. A giant rope swing was tied to an overhanging limb of a huge banyan tree, and letting go of it at the apex of its swing arc launched you sailing through the air in a heart-pounding-in- your-chest, wind-roaring-in-your-ears, arm-flailing tangle of teenage testosterone. To access the swing, you had to climb a tower on the dock and catch the rope as it swung back from the previous launch. There was a long line of boys at the swing tower, and those of us tired of waiting in line to show off our courage to the girls, were arrayed at the end of the dock while a line of girls presented themselves, like so many volcano god-pleasing virgins, to be thrown, screeching in mock terror, from the dock.

Becky stepped up. I pushed her off, rather than take the time to pick her up and throw her in--she wasn't the one I had my eye on. It was that skinny little Cannon girl. Seemed like I had seen her everywhere at the end of the school year. And everywhere I saw her, I liked what I saw. Now, there she was, standing at the head of volcano virgin line, smiling shyly.

The problem was my best buddy, Joe, had been seeing her everywhere, and liking what he saw, too. Before I could scoop the little Cannon girl up, Joe hip-checked me, grabbed her, spun toward the end of the dock, and launched her in a bikini-clad, screeching, moon-shot that concluded in a most impressive "kersploosh!"

Joe and I stood at the end of the dock admiring..., er, maintaining safety watch over the girls in the water, particularly that cute little Cannon girl. I turned to grab the next contestant and stopped dead in my tracks in shock. The cute little Cannon girl was standing there at the front of the line. Man, she was quick! I looked back down in the water and the cute little Cannon girl was still there in a water-treading gaggle at the dock ladder!

"Joe, there's two of 'em! Twins!"

"Well, 'Duh.' Now leave mine alone; you got your own!"

Five years later, almost to the day, I married my cute little Cannon twin. Joe was my best man, and Miss Brenda's twin sissy, Linda was maid of honor. That was thirty-one years ago, today. To this day, everywhere I look, I still see that cute little Cannon girl.

And everywhere I see her, I love what I see.
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