Gamboa News

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The Riddle of the Gym Mat rollers

chronicled by
Kenny Morris

Kenny Morris
Finally something a young punk can respond to----can relate to Jim, Jake and Don because they stuck around in Panama, and Patt as well due to her involvement in the Panama Canal Society, but most of the other names were just big guys that used to roll us up in the gym mats and leave us there. I have faint recollections of you, but no specific encounter that I can recall. My loss, right? Perhaps we bumped into each other in the middle of the road after a movie, as that was the only way I could get home---scary movie or not. Unless of course I happened to be with Jeff Goodin, as you would rather die than let him know you were afraid. Kinda helped too to know that you were with the guy who could take care of the evilest of beasts, with no assistance needed from me.

Anyway, Lucy and Coila were my all-time favorites. While chumming around with their younger brothers, I can fondly recall that those sophisticated ladies were so good about tolerating us. Have to include Charlie McDonald's sister in that group too---another real beauty and always made you feel like she had time for you and that you too counted. Truly were sad days when we lost Lucy and Gayle.

I have been in fairly close contact with Jim Driscoll over the past 10-15 years and have visited with him at his very lovely home in Costa Rica---a must see if you get to that area---and as an added attracton, he is a very gracious host as well. Jim will usually include me in his occasional swings thru Florida. In fact, I had breakfast with him this past Thursday in Melbourne---Florida, that is. Have not seen Jeff since he was stationed in Panama many, many years ago. Have seen Charlie on and off over the years and occasionally get to talk to him on the phone---still the entertaining and interesting guy that he has always been.

Back to the business at hand. Jackie married Bob Fearon right out of highschool. They have three sons and are retired from the Canal and living in Texas. For you "older" folks, Bob is the younger brother of Sheila (she too was a favorite of mine).

Bob has been like a brother to me from the time we were kids, and Jackie remains to be among the sweetest persons you'll ever know. Unfortunately, we lost her Brother Bobby about two years ago to cancer--shortly after he retired to the states from the Canal. Have no idea where Terrie is, but I have to agree with Jay's assessment. Dell and Bob are still living in Kerrville.

I have been just sitting here for 20 minutes with my mind racing about what a great upbringing we had in that little town in the middle of the jungle. You have to get Jim Driscoll sometime to tell you the story of the night we camped out in the little dynamite barge that your Dad let us fix up for overnite camping there at the Hyacinth Control.

Anyway, many fond recollections---especially what great folks we were blessed to have around us. You were all special to me---even those guys that wrapped us little guys up in the mats, the memories of which still on occasion wake me up at night in a panic. Memories of having my buddy Jeff Goodin around tho usually breaks the spell.


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