When I was very young, 6 or 7, I had a friend who lived a few houses down. Her name was Savannah. We lived on a military installation; all the streets were named after dead men. We lived on Blessinger Drive.
I liked her, she had good toys and a swing set in her backyard, but I remember she wasn't one of my best friends. We just played together sometimes. I think the reason was that she was younger than me, and she didn't really get along with my other friends. Her mom was really pristine, well-kept. Their house was always perfect, Savannah always looked nice, her clothes were always nice, her hair was always nice. She had a little sister, she was really little, a toddler, and she always looked nice, too.
In my memory, her dad looked like Freddie Mercury. He went away for a while, just like all our dads went away for a while. Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait, dozens of places in Africa. Her dad went to Africa. I want to call him "daddy," to say "her daddy," because this memory is so old. Our house was still new and my mom still lived with us, before she got her first surgery. Savannah's dad went to Africa and for a long time he was the only person I ever met who died. Everybody on his plane died, 3 or 4 or 5 people, maybe even 8. My dad told me what happened but I can't remember it now. I think something backfired, one of the big guns, and they just went down into the ocean and nobody ever even found the plane. They were just gone.
My mom told me that Savannah's daddy died and I never, ever saw her again. She went to a different school and they moved away. We would get Christmas cards from her mom for a long, long time, though.
There's probably a street named after him somewhere down there. A street for him and a street for the rest of the crew that they never found.