My playmates for the first six years of my life were my sister Sue Ann and our neighbor across the street, David Ericson. They were two years older than I was. I was the youngest of four in my family. David was the youngest of four in his family. There were other children in the neighborhood, but these were my closest friends and constant companions. Our family built a bigger house and moved two miles away in Golden Valley, MN, the summer between kindergarten and first grade, but we stayed in touch. We spent 4th of Julys together and got together around Christmas and did some other outings, as well. We ended up going to the same high school: Robbinsdale Senior High.
When we were little and playing cowboys and Indians, David always managed to get killed right outside his back door. He would lay there for a moment then he would get up and run into the kitchen and pour some ketchup on his face and lie back down; you know, to add bloody realism. The next time we would come by, he would still be lying there, but he would be scraping the ketchup off with potato chips and eating them. You just can’t waste food like that! There were children starving in Africa.
David’s parents, Lester and Lois prayed for our family daily and brought us kids to church when my folks didn’t go, and to vacation Bible school, to their little Bible church in North Minneapolis. Lois particularly prayed for me daily from the time she heard my mom was pregnant with me until the day she died in December, 2008. I played with David’s toys while he was in school and my mom was working for the 1960 Census. The Ericsons’ house was the safest place I knew as a child. Playing with David’s Lincoln Logs in the middle of the living room floor with Mrs. Ericson in the kitchen was as good as life could get.
David grew up to be a serious, well-mannered, Christian, young man. He graduated RHS, Class of 1971. He decided to take a year off to do a short-term missionary assignment with Wickliffe Bible Translators, helping his sister and brother-in-law, Jim and Carol Daggett, in Peru, instead of starting college. While there, he was accompanying a girl on a flight to Quito, to go to a hospital for an emergency surgery. It was Christmas Eve. The flight went down and we did not know for three weeks what had happened. Finally, we learned that only one German girl survived. The plane had broken up in mid-air in a bad storm. Pieces of the fuselage had fallen from the sky. Her mother died in the seat next to her. She was carrying her wedding cake on her lap. That helped save her. A tribe of natives who were known to be cannibals took her in and treated her wounds. She was finally found and rescued. So we lost David. He died on a mission of mercy. He was Les and Lois Ericson’s only son.
In 2002, my sister Sue Ann committed suicide. I just remember being so much happier and four and saying, “Alison, can you help Sue Ann and me cross the street so we can play with David?”
Painting is 12″x12″ acrylic on stretched canvas.
Price: $150 including postage to US address
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