Thursday, September 29, 2005

What Happened to Fern Sherman?

Did you ever go about your day and then all of a sudden a very strange thought creeps into your brain's mindless chatter? While we were walking from DS#2's baseball game towards the parking lot, I got this question in my head: Whatever happened to Fern Sherman? Where did that come from? Why did I think of this person? That's when I decided that this would make a good blog entry.

When I was around 7 years old and my sister was 4, our parents decided that they had to get us out of the Bronx and up to the Catskills for the summer. The first year we went only for the month of August to Lebanon Country Club. It was about an hour away and we lived in a little 3 room bungalow. My sister and I went to camp Wed. through Monday. We had Tuesdays off. This gave the parents time together over the weekends. That' when most of the Dads came up from the city. Think Dirty Dancing type of place.

We ended up going there until I was 17 years old! We made tons of friends but most of all tons of memories. There were so many kids but you were mostly friendly with kids from your camp group. I remember I was in the Intermediate girls group with my friends. I was a year ahead of them in school so I could have been in the Senior girls group but I chose to stay with my friends. The girls in the older group were a bit cliquish. There was Michele, Terri, Evie, Suzanne, and others I can't remember. They weren't the nicest to us "younger" ones. Then there was Fern. There was something wrong with Fern. Looking back with the eyes of an experienced special education teacher, I would hazard a guess that she had some form of cerebral palsy. She had an unsteady gait and some speech impediment. Sometimes it was hard to understand her. Fern had a brother, Scott. He wanted nothing to do with his sister. In his efforts to be cool, which he really wasn't, he was pretty mean to her in public. Fern did not fit in with younger girls or the girls her age.

I remember once she came calling for me at my bungalow to walk to the red roof where everyone hung out after dinner. I'm not embarrassed to say that I wasn't thrilled. No, I wasn't trying to be cool but I really didn't have much to say to her. We walked there together and I went to my friends and she just stood there, not joining any group. It must have been very painful for her.

There was an older girl whose name escapes me. She was a bit "fast". She wore lots of eyeshadow and was probably more knowledgeable about certain things than the other girls. Well, this girl decided to take Fern under her wing. Maybe she thought she was doing something nice but it didn't work. We were all hanging out at the roof when this girl and Fern walked over to us. Everyone stopped talking. There was Fern with her frizzy hair blown out, her eyes covered in green eyeshadow, and some pink lipstick. We were in a state of shock. Thank God no one said anything mean, even her brother. I believe the plan backfired. It was like all dressed up and nowhere to go.

So, what happened to Fern Sherman? I looked on Zabasearch but there were more than one listing for that name. No, I don't want to call around to see if she's out there but there is this small piece of me that wants to know if she turned out okay. Does she speak better? Did she get married and/or have kids? Does she hate all of us from her past? Does she get along with her brother better? Does she have fond memories of Lebanon Country Club like my family and I have? Thinking of you, Fern. Green eyeshadow has come back in style.

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