Chapter 2 - In the Gap
No one was surprised when wee Georgie vanished. There was a history in his family of menfolk disappearing; uncles, great-uncles and cousins. It was almost as if the otherwise quiet men just sat around with their engines idling until the NASCAR starter tree light flashed green and they were out of there.
George’s story was a little different. He’d been born a "change of life" baby to a youngest daughter. All that math conspired to place him not quite midway between two generations. He shared little in common besides a gene pool with his brother who was eleven years older. George’s nephew was a mere five years younger. Family holiday gatherings were made all the more stressful by George’s mostly futile pleadings to be allowed to sit at the adult table.
A book about George’s childhood might well be titled "In the Gap." Besides being stuck between generations, George was the only member of the family of his generation born in the United States. His folks, his siblings and all the rest of his relatives had been born in Scotland.
In school, while bright enough, he wasn’t quite in the upper echelon of academic performers. He was neither popular nor shunned. George was also just good enough in sports to avoid the shameless taunts of the jocks.
Because of his unremarkable skills, George was often dismissed and sold short. His ability to "get by" became a source of great inner strength. He didn’t need to rely upon the accolades or assurances of anyone else to carry on. So when George took off one late teenage weekend claiming to visit a friend who was away at college and didn’t return there was an initial sense of family concern but not alarm. A quickly sent letter settled the matter in good order.