Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer fling, don't mean a thing, but uh-oh those summer nights!

As a teenager, I was a serial dater. Or so my sister likes to say of me. Hey, it was a small town. There weren't that many boys. There is, however, always one.

It was summer and summer was the time for dating. Mine LaMott Lake, the Corral Drive-In Theater, and the stock car races. How I loved those summer nights.

In every young woman's dating life there is a defining moment. The moment when the hottest guy in town asks you out and elevates your dating stock. I had that moment the summer between my Junior and Senior years in high school. And I had it in front of witnesses.

It was a Thursday and my Mother wanted to go into town to buy a pair of shoes. I had my hair in those enormous rollers we wore to make our hair straight. Mother didn't drive, I would be driving. But, my hair wasn't dry and mother didn't allow me to be seen in public in rollers. My mother didn't let me chew gum in public either. She had her standards.

So, I had to dry my hair before we left. I would soon thank heaven for Mother's standards. We drove into town and parked across the street from the shoe store. Dad's cousin owned the shoe store located in the basement of the only drug store in town. The drug store was a local hangout. It had booths and a counter where they served food, soda, and ice cream. It was summer, the drugstore was full. It was also late afternoon and everyone with a car was already "shooting the strip." Town was uncommonly busy.

I parked the car directly across the street from the drug store. Mom and I were standing on the far side of the street waiting for the traffic to pass when he came out of the drug store. He waved. I waved back. "Hey," he yelled. "Are you doing anything Friday night?" He didn't wait for my reply. Why would he, no one ever turned him down. "Want to go to the stock car races?"

I smiled. Was he talking to me? My heart was pounding and I was blushing. I composed myself. Then I heard the sound of my own voice saying, "Sure, call me and let me know what time." I sounded calm. I had not embarrassed myself.

Cars stopped on the street were now blowing their horns at us. Everyone was listening. He turned and got into that beautiful vintage car he drove. One more wave as he backed up and drove down the street. I had never felt like that before or since.

"Nice boy," my mother said. Even she knew who he was.

It has been many years since that exchange. I don't remember our date as much as I remember that moment. And when a warm summer breeze blows through my hair, it is yesterday and that moment and I smile. I smile for the girl who got a date with him.

My contribution to the 76th Carnival of Genealogy - How I spent My Summer Vacation.


Blogger geneabloggers said...

I am howling over the curlers. I remember that we were so poor that mom used fozen orange juice cans for rollers (various sizes).

Also, I recall a commercial which had the byline "curlers in your hair! shame on you!" Remember that?

And finally, one of the funniest things I ever heard about curlers: Lana Turner related a story where she appeared at a small theater somewhere and being the well put-together lady that she was, was unnerved by a woman sitting in the front row - in curlers! Lana said to herself, "Well who could she be seeing or meeting tomorrow who is more important than me?"

Thomas MacEntee

July 16, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Greta Koehl said...

Great story - the thing that really rings a bell with me is the drugstore with counters where food was served. We had one back in Texas and I loved it! Not too long ago there were even a couple of independent drugstores here in Northern Virginia that served food, but they no longer exist. The closest thing we have to that now is in one of the local medical buildings there is what I believe is an independent drugstore (or maybe part of a small chain) and opposite the hall is a counter-type eatery that is very much like the old drugstore soda counter - great milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. Now I'm nostalgic and hungry, too....

July 16, 2009 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Jasia said...

I am sooo jealous! I never got a date with HIM. Of course we had a lot of HIMs in my town (my graduating class was over 600 kids). I would have been over the moon if any of the HIMs in my school/town asked me out, but no, it didn't happen.

I did marry a doctor the first time around, does that count for anything? LOL!

I have to ask... do you know what ever became of HIM?

July 16, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Thomas - Oh yes, used the cans.

Greta - The best milkshakes! Really nothing like it today.

Jasia: Somehow I knew there would be someone who would want to know the rest of the story. I told my husband it would be you.

He was a year ahead of me in school. His class held a reunion two years ago and my sister's best friend sent me photos.

I will cherish the memory.


July 16, 2009 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I'm with Jasia! I never got to date HIM either. The HIM in my class was the class president. I had such a crush on him! Anyway, I saw him at our 20th class reunion and I'm really glad I never dated him.

The curlers I wore when I was a young girl were the brush type. I HATED those curlers. I had to sleep in them! I was SO greatful when my mom bought the sponge rollers! lol

Great post!

July 23, 2009 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

What a wonderful story! I remember that feeling of HIM talking to me the fall of my Senior year. I was so stupefied that I'm not sure how I composed myself. Your story has brought back some (now) funny memories of that time and a smile to my face.

Tina, I had to sleep in those awful pink foam rollers. My hair went straight an hour later.....

July 27, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Tina & Tracy:

The younger generation has no idea how grateful they should be to the inventor of the blow dryer. I have permanent indentation from sleeping on those rollers.

And, it's the memory, not the man.


July 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

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