Always liked the girls, I did.

I can’t remember a time I didn’t like having the gals around. In the first grade my teacher caught me chasing Sharon around the classroom --- she had stolen my Easter basket after I tried to “kiss” her on the elbow (don’t ask, I don’t know either).

We each got a paddling in the bookroom for misbehavior - and I didn’t mind a bit.  But the fifth grade was my “banner year” with the little ladies.

During one span of a few weeks back in 1960,  I had five girlfriends at one time. I guess I was too naïve and inexperienced to know that was probably not the proper or cool thing to do.

My wife Carolyn also reminds me not to get the “big-head” for something that happened 55 years ago. Whatever.

There was little Linda, fresh-faced Nancy and Helen with her big dimples. Lou Ann was different though - she claimed me as her boyfriend and was twice my size. I was actually a little afraid not to be her boyfriend.

But my favorite was Katrina. She had long black hair, a beautiful smile and possessed a certain coyness that made her all the more alluring. I was smitten.

One fine day I asked her to come watch me play basketball when our school team, the Austin Elementary Blue and Gold, faced off against the Black and Gold team from Cameron Elementary.

She came and as fate would have it, I scored the first four points of our 10-6 blowout victory over our opponents.

Man, I felt the hero.

I even got to take a short five minute walk with Katrina outside and around the school after the game and held her hand.

Heady stuff for a 10 year old. 

Christmas break came and my parents got me a black miniature French poodle puppy as my main present. 

How I loved that dog - sweet, smart, obedient, always wanting to please - so I named her “Katrina.”

When classes resumed after the holiday, I couldn’t wait to tell Katrina the news. “Katrina, I like you so much, I named my dog after you.”

Somehow things were never the same between us. I didn’t understand. My dad tried consoling me by explaining that’s just the way life is --- we fellas not understanding women.

Katrina dropped me for an upperclassman, a 6th grader named Arnold with whom she rode the bus every day.

I felt jealous pangs for the first time, and never cared much for the name “Arnold” since. Because of all that, I actually started calling my dog “Trina” for short, it hurt too much to say the whole name.

Trina was my constant and loyal companion for 15 wonderful years. But it wasn’t long until Crockett Jr. High beckoned and a whole new bevy of little lasses entered my world.

Let’s see, there was cheerleader Jan, class favorite Vickie (so pretty all of us boys were intimidated), and CJHS Band Sweetheart and Majorette Brenda.  Can’t forget Marsha either. She ended up being my first date ever, when I took her to the freshman prom. 

So the moral of the story is: Don’t name your dog after your girlfriend or don’t let her know you did. 

By the way, things ended up quite nicely for me. I married a pretty gal with big ol’ dimples, and after 35 years we still like each other.

Charlie Norman has lived in Somervell County since 1994. He and his wife have two adult children, who graduated from Glen Rose schools. You can contact him at chn345@usa.com.