The sun was far too hot for my overalls, but I was young enough to not care. I was, however, old enough to think that the Alamo was a pretty boring place to bring Grandad. But he seemed to be enjoying himself, so I must have let it slide. I was jealous of Laura, who decided she was old enough (and therefore ‘cool’ enough) to roll her cut-offs a little higher, showing off her shiny coconut-butter legs to the bored tourist boys. Not that I wanted the same kind of attention; the concept of attention from anyone but Grandad at that point was meaningless. But jeez those overalls were hot.
I suppose I was also jealous of Mom and her bandanna. My hair was newly cut and very itchy. But an 8-year-old tomboy in the company of her grandfather and tons of cannons is not so easily distracted with a physical itch. Especially when bribed with tacos for dinner.
He was cold. My 8-year-old mind doesn’t notice these things, but he was. It was still summer at the Alamo and he wore a jacket and dark slacks. Should I be embarrassed that even at that age I could not fully see it?
I wonder if it ever bothered him that day–my enthusiasm for the cannons. Even then I knew how much war intrigued my little brain. The guns and planes and bombs just set their spark in my mind. Did he worry for me? Did the sight of my smiling face next to the massive barrel send shivers through his fragile heart, make him pull the jacket even tighter in the mid-summer heat? Did he see his old lost friends in my shining grin? Did he see Anzio at the Alamo?