purposes, we took the girls to Gettysburg College in April to watch a track
meet. After studying the collegians for a time Cindy gave her verdict.
"They're bigger than we are. It'll be a while before we beat them." She
was, I am sure, thinking in terms of weeks, not years.
Ann is Linda's
sister, a year older and bigger and heavier. She is not as ephemeral in either
body or spirit as her sister, but she has a charm all her own. Ann is the kind
that everyone who has anything to do with large groups of children hopes to
find and, once having found, cherishes. She is the kind who doesn't lose either
her shoe or her head and helps everybody else keep theirs. She knows what she's
meant to do and does it. She is always in the right line and instinctively
picks up gum wrappers. But as splendid a virtue as responsibility is, from an
administrative standpoint, it does not win races. It appeared, though one might
wish it otherwise, that this model girl was doomed to be overshadowed by the
swifties—Robin, Cindy and her own little sister, Linda. However, such is Ann's
sweet temper that this fact did not seem to discourage her. She was always the
first at practice and last to leave, and she worked every minute she was in the
Three weeks after
that first cold spring afternoon we loaded up the girls and took them to
Biglerville. Don Sterner held out his Penn Relay-type runners from the
competition, but otherwise the girls from the pasture more than held their own.
They even did something that nobody from Fairfield ever did: they won some
events—a few dashes, a jump and, to the satisfaction of all, a relay.
thing is a runner," Don Sterner said as we watched Linda streak across the
line five yards in front of the next 100-yard dasher. "Why don't you bring
four of them over to the Chambers-burg Relays? They're going to run a special
girls' 440 in between the boys' races."
groups? Our oldest one's only 14."
Most of us will have 17- to 18-year-olds, but your kids won't be embarrassed.
There followed a
week of spirited competition for the four relay-team places. The winners were
Robin; another 14-year-old, a little Dresden-doll-like blonde named Juanita;
Linda, naturally; and, to the surprise and pleasure of everyone, her sister
Ann, whose serious practice had paid dividends. " Mr. Gilbert, are you sure
I should go?" Ann asked, beaming with pride of accomplishment but not so
flustered in victory as to lose her straight-shooter view of the world.
"Sherry beat me in one of the races. Maybe she should have my
"Ann, you are
A station wagon
full of girls is, as a rule, not as dangerous as a load of boys. You are not so
apt to get hit in the ear with a dirty sweat sock or have to stop to break up
fights. However, girls normally are as loud as boys, though more twittery, like
a thicketful of thrushes going full blast on a summer's day. But driving toward
Chambersburg on that Saturday morning, absolute, painful silence prevailed.
said, playing the cheery coach. "Remember, there are six cars full of girls
going to Chambersburg today, and they are all just as scared as you