Now before you get ahead of me, let me just say that my very first boyfriend was Michael Macalusso. He lived behind me in Levittown in the 1950’s. I am trying to remember how old I was when I discovered him as a love interest. I moved away from there in 1959 when I was 8 years old, and he moved away to New York before that. So, true love bloomed when I was somewhere between 4 and 7. I have measured every boyfriend since against my first love. He was handsome, kind, generous with his toys, and a gentleman.
I remember when he was going to make his First Holy Communion. We were going to make it at the same time, but he was what we referred to as a Public while I was a Catholic. No, we were both of the Roman Catholic Faith, it’s just that Michael went to public school and I went to St. Mike’s. He had to practice after school whereas I practiced for it during my school day. I am not sure why that made such an impression on me.
We played together all the time. Our yards joined with the rest of the houses into a huge horseshoe that made the best playground ever. We never had to cross the street or even walk on the sidewalks if we didn’t want to. You couldn’t ask for a better back yard system.
In the winter our dad’s would make a big tunnel with a hut at each of our yards out of the snow. What fun we had. Today it wouldn’t fly. The dangers of such a system would prevent anyone from creating such a fun place. I feel bad that our society has become so sue conscience. Now, our dad’s always instructed us in safety practices for us to follow while we were playing in the tunnels. They also checked them each day for safety. And after a certain date we were all forbidden to enter them. The days would be getting too warm causing the tunnels to collapse. No one ever thought about disobeying our parents because we knew we would get a spanking and be forbidden to play outside again until the tunnels were gone. In the summer we had little pools in the yards and we played hide and seek, mother may I and on the swingsets.
Michael and I would spend our days playing and sharing and just talking. He was the first person I ever laid in the grass with just watching the sky to see what the clouds would form. Special times.
I often wonder whatever became of Michael. We visited him a couple of times after his move to New York, but eventually our families lost touch with each other. My heart was broken when I didn’t see him anymore. I still find myself thinking of the handsome dark haired boy who lived behind me who was my first love.