The Slide Years: Virginia Beach

By Eilene Lyon

After we returned to the U.S. from France in the early 60s, we moved into base housing at Ft. Lee, near Petersburg, Virginia. That’s where we met the Moores. Melinda (on the right) became my dearest friend for the time we lived there.

I don’t know who buried me, Steve, and Melinda in all that sand to take this silly picture, What’s weird is that we weren’t wearing bathing suits – we were fully dressed! (see below)

We never lived close to the Moores again, but my mom stayed in touch with them. I soon forgot about Melinda – I was probably about four when we parted, so that’s not surprising.

I recall we visited the Moores in Illinois sometime when I was in high school. They had this really awesome house that Mr. Moore had designed (he was an architect). It was the first time I’d ever seen a bathroom as large as a bedroom, with burgundy carpet and a huge sunken tub in the middle.

One of Melinda’s friends drove us to a basketball game. Afterward, she drove like a banshee down these long straight, two-lane country roads. It was pitch-black and foggy out and she floored it. I watched the speedometer creep up to 100… then past. Six or seven girls crammed in – none wearing seatbelts. The idea of speaking up terrified me. I was just terrified, period.

My last encounter with the Moores came in 1985 when I was moving from Ohio to Oregon. The trailer I was hauling was disintegrating and I knew I had to abandon it. Mom gave me the Moores’ phone number. They lived then in a remodeled old farm house. They put me up for the night and let me store the trailer in their barn, where it sat for a full year.

Being an Army brat is hard on friendships. I’ve lost track of so many over the years, but I do cherish them all. Wherever you are, darlings, I still think of you.

Eilene and Steve, Virginia Beach


26 thoughts on “The Slide Years: Virginia Beach

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  1. Bittersweet memories here. I adore the photo of you kids buried in sand, smiling like it’s the most normal thing to do. I, too, have lost touch with many people from my past. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but it’s a reality.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Me too. How does that even happen? Yet if you don’t move away and/or around I guess you stay in touch with your past. Just once, I’d like to be included in some kind of get-together like that…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Good point. I am glad for all the forward momentum during my childhood and college years. Here I have planted myself in Durango now for 34 years – other people leave instead.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Virginia Beach caught my eye, since I lived in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake for many years when my husband was in the Navy. When I worked at Saint Leo College on the Naval Amphibious Base, we had a campus at Ft. Lee. (A tiny one.) I also had the same 100+ terror ride at the same age. It was in a purple Plymouth Barracuda, and I thought there was a very good chance that the four of us would die that night.

    Liked by 1 person

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