Posts tagged: handsome

My Junior Prom


Pictures  from the internet are for illustration purposes only.

It was 1951, I was sixteen and this was my first prom. I was dating Bill, the handsomest boy in school (so I thought.)  He was six foot two, had Paul Newman blue eyes, blond hair, a champion basketball player, and track star (high hurdles). I was the envy of all my friends.

Prom dressmagesThe dress!  Light blue tulle, full skirted, which showed off my tiny waist–I had one then.  The butterflies started fluttering at least a week before the big night as we girls ran around trading dances.  No one danced all night with their date. We traded. The dances were numbered on our dance  program.  As each dance was announced,  we scurried around looking for the guy.  Traditionally you had to dance the first and last dance with your date.  If you loved him, you traded only a few.  If, on the other hand, he was a real dud, but better than staying home, you exchanged as many as you could.

It was three days before the dance when the bomb hit…Bill had an out-of-town,  make-up track meet that day. “Don‘t worry,” he said nonchalantly, “Clairene, (his twin sister) and Bob will pick you up. I’ll meet you there.  We won’t be late.”

corsageSounded simple enough.  Clairene  brought Bill’s flowers, a beautiful wrist corsage of purple violets with a white bow.  I clutched the box and climbed into the back seat–alone.

The gym was transformed. The junior class had worked on it all day.  Our theme, perfume 2mages“Evening in Paris,” our favorite fragrance.    So the Eiffel tower tilted a bit (we hoped it wouldn’t topple!) Abundant fake, deep purple wisteria blossoms covered our crude construction.  Silver and blue crepe paper stretched to create an intimate atmosphere. Excitement throbbed with the music:  “I Wanna Be Loved by You,”Andrews sisters, “Mona Lisa,” Nat King Cole, Harbor Lights, Sammy Kay. (We were slow dancers in those days which meant we kinda hugged each other…nice!)

The first dance came, no Bill. The second, the third. I played with my coke nervously couples slow danceand tried to ignore all the side-long glances and whisperings. Bob, Clairene’s date, danced a couple of times with me.  I could see the side-long glances.   Intermission.  I shrunk inwardly and tried to become invisible as I fled to the bathroom, locked myself in the stall and wept. The bathroom filled  with laughing, chattering girls.  The stall door rattled, I held my breath.  The bathroom became quiet and I was about to emerge when I heard  Sally and Peggy talking, “Can you believe it, she came stag.  Now that takes guts…”

“Irene Good Night”  was echoing when he arrived.  I was so angry I couldn’t even look at him as he stuttered his way through a story of falling and…I didn’t care that he had fallen, and was one big “strawberry” from head to toe or that the bus had a flat tire.

I was heart dancing couplestiff in his arms as we stumbled through the last dance. The ride home was silent with atmosphere so thick you could cut it with the proverbial knife and me hugging the car door waiting to escape. All my dreams of the perfect night had turned into a nightmare.  The wheels had hardly stopped turning when I slammed out of the car and fled into the house.  No, there is no happy ending here… I did not marry Bill.

Do You Believe? Life after Death

image001Do You Believe?

Death.  The final exit?  A gateway to a different existence?   Heaven/hell?  Choices.  How do we come to our beliefs?


A tragic accident.  A couple in their prime of life caught in a traffic jam, waiting.  A large truck slams into their car driving them into a truck ahead which rebounds backwards. Their car crushed from front and rear.  Instant death.  A young son recently married, future grandchildren unborn.  Fate?  We mourn.

Our relationship was not perfect.  Disagreements, times of avoidance yet there was this energy between us.  She was young enough to be my daughter, was a dynamo of energy raising funds for needy children, veterans, planning parties, cooking dinners, learning Bridge.  A world traveler from the jungles of Guatemala, France on a bike, cross country skiing in the Alps.  Made friends around the world.

He was a man of the world, An advertising giant.  A sportsman in golf, tennis…you name it.  Handsome, of course, joined her in matrimony and helped her raise a young boy from a previous union.  He retired early, became a child’s advocate and joined her on the Board of the Children’s’ Academy.  Dead?  Can’t be.

Here, and then gone.  Their friends gather.  We all look around expecting to see them in their varied activities.

“I need a sign!”  Her close friend cries, “To know you are OK.  Feathers!” We both collected feathers she explained. “It’s gotta be big for me to believe!”  The days went by.  A trip on their boat away from the happening.

“You won’t believe.”  Her awe still a whisper in disbelief.   “We docked, climbed down from the deck walking through a park area.  I stopped, caught my breath, disbelieving.  There in a large circle were feathers…lots and lots of feathers all stuck into the ground.  My husband couldn’t believe it either.”

Pink SpoonbillAnother friend.  “I’ve been looking for a pink feather from our native Spoonbills.  After two years, no luck.  Today, I found two beautiful pink feathers.”

My particular sharing with this friend was heart-shaped stones.  I would find them along the river bed or digging in the garden and would put them aside awaiting my return to our southern community to give them to her.


It was the day of her community memorial service.  A busy day, no time to take my usual stroll along the boardwalk into the community salt flats.  I hurried along the boulevard and the next thing I knew I had turned onto the boardwalk.  It was early morning, the sun filtering through the pines.  My heart slowed taking in the leaves glistening with due, the mangrove roots poking their way through the mud and then I stopped, breath paused in disbelief.  There, caught in a spider web were several long needles from the pines above…their design? A perfect heart lit by a slanting sun ray, the web heart swaying gently in the breeze.  I believe.














Life Interrupted

Were they laughing and talking?
Planning or arguing
When death snatched them from this world?

Denial echoes within me.
No! No! It cannot be.  A mistake.  We
Can not accept this deed of fate.                                                                                                                                                                This young couple gone?  Wrong!  Wrong?

Too young.  Too young, so much to do.
Children from the Academy, her shadow fading.
His brother breathing deep.  Disbelief…Life?

Don’t go!  Don’t go! I cry.
We have fences to mend, words to deny,
Hugs to be given, but…why?  Why?

Pickled beets on my shelf
Cards  unshuffled on the table.
I’ve heard Death is our shadow
The moment we’re born.

Fate is a hunter, we pause, we mourn
But give thanks for our very brief
Moment in time
When our love entwined.



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