OtherSpeak: Someone Who Knew Shari As a Child Finally Speaks Up

Today’s OtherSpeak post was offered to me anonymously. I hope you enjoy it.

Confession: This suggested title was just too tempting for me. I knew Shari as a child.

She was the kind of shy, sweet girl who didn’t make ripples. In our school yearbook, she tended to be described as bookworm or loyal friend or smiling. But she argued a lot with her sister Jean and her good friend Jo, as I remember it. She had a killer martyr-pout when she wanted to turn it on.

Shari spent a lot of time with her family, and was devoted to her little brothers. She tended to get lost in books. She fell in love with Anne of Green Gables (though she privately skipped a few of Montgomery’s long-winded descriptions of scenery – she told me so) and the four March sisters, and Sara Stanley… and also the poor little righteous girls in Christian literature, who were always sighing and clutching Bibles to their chests. She did love Jesus, that was clear. Maybe she took it a little too far sometimes. Maybe.

What was she interested in? Hm. I know she wanted to be a missionary to Africa. She liked doing crafts with her aunt, of the silk flowers and hot glue variety. She wrote aspirational poetry, and was always planning to write some book or another. She baked for her grandpa, and her first job was in a greenhouse, transplanting baby seedlings, until she quit one summer about age ten, because the proprietor wouldn’t stop playing country music.


She climbed trees and slept in haymows, and she always loved the earth – flowers and kittens and springtime – but she loved girl things too, tea sets and china, ruffles. I guess my first real spat with her was over a toy glass plate we both claimed, very early in life. We pulled till we broke it, and she sat on her dad’s lap and cried and cried.

I don’t know if she was repentant or just ticked that she couldn’t have it.

That’s all I remember.

– Submitted by Shari Zook, who wants to know… Did I take you in? I warned you I might write an anonymous OtherSpeak. And the spat was with my sister. True story.

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4 years ago

Yes – you took me in. I was sure it was your sister Jean writing. 🙂

Debra Burkholder
4 years ago

…the comment about the country music made me begin to wonder!

4 years ago

I thought it was either Jean or your dad writing at first.

But you did pull a few sly one liners that no one but YOU could really own. 🙂

I think we could’ve been friends, even way back then, if we had been given the chance.

Lucinda J
4 years ago

Great self description! Totally took me in. 🙂

4 years ago

The part about country music made me giggle because I don’t like country music either.

4 years ago

You got me! I totally believed that it was someone else. But as I was reading, I did marvel at how those other person had the same writing style as you. ????

Crystal B
4 years ago

Yes you could completely took me in until the very end. That spat was a bit confusing so I glanced to the bottom… what?? She totally tricked me! ????

4 years ago

Haha! This is so great! You totally had me fooled. I even thought, “wow, this person must’ve been a really close friend to know so much!

4 years ago

I started out with a limited list of who the author could be … and one by one they were checked off until there were none left. ???? The haymow sleepovers were the best.

4 years ago

Yes! You had me. When I was ten a crew came to trim our cows hooves and they were playing music, I can’t even tell you what genre. I placed our boom box on the front porch and blasted some Gospel Express music back at them. I do not know where my Mom was at the time.

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