SHE looks out of the small black and white rectangle with big, dark eyes, already one of her trademarks.
They do not stare directly into the camera; they are a bit shaded, cast a little off-camera. She's an observer of life, long before she's ready to become a participant.
A pretty little thing, if I may say so. Obviously, she has affectionate caretakers and a loving mother who decked her out on Picture Day in a collar clean and white but crooked, as if that weren't truly important. Her hair is curled and barretted, close to the contemporary fashion, but only close.
She's vaguely familiar. I used to know her but lost track of her some years ago.
She is me at 6 years old.
In columns about knowing directions (Aug. 29 and Sept. 7) I noted that my first education about left and right occurred in the first grade. One of the calls I received was from Katherine Hoehner in Okarche, who shared that first-grade room and the same first-grade teacher with me.
We discussed first-grade issues, first-grade classmates and mutual memories. Katherine mentioned old yearbooks from Holy Trinity School, and I hung up and went to find the girl in my school picture.
I don't remember her very well. I search her face for signs of what she will become. She is smiling, the smile of a pleaser, of a girl taught early to be "nice." But perhaps she is growing a sense of humor, the one that will pull me out of the holes I fall in later in my life.