I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.
Writer's note: The three photos seen on this hub are in no way, a reflection of the girl whom I knew way back then, and still do. But, if I were to use her real picture, she wouldn't be angry. She would not speak to me. Thank you, KENNETH.
Notice People With Yearning Hearts:
There is something oddly attractive when you are a junior in high school and the object of the attraction is a girl in ninth-grade. Junior, by the way, means 11th grade FYI. Not going to refer to her in real name status, because you never know when someone's relative in the entanglement of woodwork pops out to ask meaningless questions that first, you don't have answers and two, you really don't care.
Right! I was halfway attracted to this girl not because of her long, brunette hair, but her mild demeanor--shy, retiring, same as the Golden Age in Hollywood. She never spoke. Never made eye contact at first. Aha! I thought to myself. This was a diabolical female trap. After all I was a high school junior and had learned to spot such things.
But kept lingering. I sat toward the old-fashioned room heater and she sat in the row adjacent to me. While listening to our teacher, science to be sure, I caught the shy, retiring girl with long, brunette hair and she would quickly look at me, then quickly look away. Another sinister female trap. Still, I wasn't falling for any of her female sheanigans. I was nearing a man. And required older females.All men when they are in whatever 11th grade they're locked in should look to older women and not waste time with girls who are their age. But older! I cried. Older girls who have went around the block and then gave directions.
I didn't bite. I was no famished catfish. But there was "that" certain, bizarre magnetism that was beyond male psychological thinking. She was pretty. Not a Sophia Loren, Ann-Margaret, not even a Donna Reed, but just pretty enough to make me just want to, maybe, a talk. That's all. I swore it to myself. I can be pretty faithful to vows I make to myself.
And for a short time, it worked. I came and went into class without a care or even a glance in the girl's direction, so I felt that I had licked one of the great problems that involve young guys and girls. It's really a hormonal nightmare. But in a few weeks my senior class and I would be out! Good and out! Graduated. On our own. No more bells, bus rides, smelly people who graze throughout our halls and didn't use deodorant at all.
To Which I Replied
Yukk! I used a brand-name deodorant every morning. Pretty much all of the can. I was no gambler. Obnoxious body odor can attack when you least expect it. Best to be prepared and ready when teenage warfare hits. And it does, believe me, it will. Many youngsters of the tee-age have "bitten the dust" in places that you wouldn't believe - - concession stand; in assembly siting on the front line and in someone's class which subject was never used by students.
But, you have to understand what us 11th graders went through. This has to be a training ground for senior students and graduation for whatever reason. My reasons were mostly finding a job and buying a car. Very simple. I didn't fulfill either. But I tried hard. Very hard and worked so hard at my first job in a mobile home plant that I made an off-the-cuff remark to a friend of mine and said I wish that they (the higher-up's) would just fire me. And laughed.
In a couple of hours, I was not laughing. Nor was my buddy, "J.J." Truth be told, we both were very angry. But we had a good reason: "J.J." and I were put into housing units that required three to four employees to finish it, but instead, we got the work and the shaft. This was my first lesson in losing a job and getting to take some time off. I loved it. I was a single guy and drew Unemployment for a time, but my mom grew angrier by each passing day.
And I knew why. As she put it: a big ol' boy like you not having a job is purely unnatural. What could I do? I asked. Others at your age work, why not you? She answered. Case over. I was to hit the road . . .hold on. And mean STOP!
Right here. This is not going any further. I'm not apologizing. I loved it.
Ready of Not
Now here we are, or I am, still in high school and the shy gal with the long brunette hair was still coming to school in a regular time. I wondered why she was still attending school by sitting so near at me in class. Something must be wrong, I said. Normally, girls' knees have been known to buckle and gasp. This girl did none of it. She kept doing what she did and it was almost time for graduation practice, then I knew what she was doing.
In front of God and everyone. She was seducing me. How? Then it hit me! I began to look back at the first time I met her. She always wore this pretty dress--a little tight, knee length, shapely legs and a figure that would have launched any U.S. Navy sub. She was simply that pretty. Then it was time for the kill. Couldn't waste anymore time.
This was it. Time to secure the beach. No turning back now. The next day instead of sittig in my usual place, I sat behind her. Thank God for students being sick with a head cold and couldn't make it to class. She knew that I was the fly to her being the spider. She was as calculating as one. If it had not been for my eyes, then this piece would not have materialized. Sure wish that the text read something like what we did on our first date in the summer of 1972. I now hate that for just talking to her.
It beat nothing. But even to this day in 2021, I can never erase the memory of her long brunette hair, pretty legs, and tight green dress.
Epilogue: since those years, I was blessed to meet her again, but as adults. (I always thought that she was more adult that I in 1971). She and I talked sometimes. I would secretly thank God for Alexander Graham Bell. She would laugh at such lines.
Then the lines stopped. Then our laughing ceased. We hung up.
And remained Friends.
The ink is black -- the page is white . . . .
April 06, 2021_______________________________________________________
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