Saturday, January 18, 2014

***The Roots Is The Toots- The Music That Got Them Through The Great Depression And World War II…


…she had not been home, back to her hometown, since he passed away. Passed away after some kind of hellish battle against the war wounds incurred in the Anzio beach landing where from all accounts he had acquitted himself with honor. Acquitted himself after he had spent some wasted time kicking and screaming about ho w he should have been deferred since he had been an expert welder and then when his number came up had grouse his way through basic training before being shipped oversea. Passed away just after he had sent for her to come down to Walter Reed to be near him in his time of trial. It was only after he passed on that she realized that he had sent for her knowing that he was mortally wounded and that the hospital visits would be their last stance together. She smiled at that thought. And smiled a more forced smile now that she was back home, back to their young love hometown, to honor his last request that she go by and throw a kiss to all of their “spots.” 

Since those spots were close together, within longish walking distance, she decided to do the whole thing in one trip to ease the pain of several separate trips that she might not be able to cope with. Might not be able to toss those painful kisses once she got her hurting habits on and would betray her love. So there she stood before her first stop, the old high school, old blessed North Adamsville High. Now that that war was over a busy beehive of kid activity once again, and the scene of their first encounter senior year when he popped into her life after they danced and danced at the Fall Frolic and became an “item”, no, “the item” of the senior year. Scene too of many a Monday morning in the girls’ “lav” talking with her brethren classmates about what did or did not happen that previous weekend among the tribe (and all lying like crazy either because they had said they had “done it” when they hadn’t or hadn’t when they had). He and she had but she lied, lied like crazy because she was very concerned about her reputation, or that her parents, strict Baptists full of fire and brimstone, might get wind of that information and crush their young love.

As she passed the far end of the building she blew a kiss over her shoulder on her way to Adamsville Beach about a mile down the road to a scene of many a weekend tryst. He would get his father’s car and they would go down to the far end, the lovers’ lane end, Squaw Rock,  and steam up the windshield with their kisses (and other acts but you know what she meant, that “doing it” part that she lied about on Monday morning girls’ “lav” talk time). After she passed their spot on the beach watching several young mothers, kids in tow, complete with picnic basket and beach toys meandering down to the low-tide shoreline she shed a tear knowing that she would never have his child, maybe anyone’s child the way she felt just then. Although he told her, made her promise, just before the end to go and live a happy full life, to do that for him.    

She then walked about a mile along the seawall up to Elm Street and after a short rest on the beach-side  seawall  to Doc’s, Doc’s Drugstore, the first place that she knew she loved him after they had blown the crowd at Doc’s away with their jitter-bugging, Benny, Tommy, Jimmy, Les, Duke, stuff.  Doc’s was the hang-out for all the Jacks and Jills after school (and weekends) because he had the best jukebox in town, and a soda fountain for the hungry and thirsty. Another blown kiss as she could hear some Andrews Sisters song bellowing out into the street just then. Then on to their final spot, or rather his, his corner boy spot, Salducci’s Diner, where only girls that guys were serious about were allowed to hang with a guy’s corner boys. She crossed the street just before she came upon the store-front because she could see the next generation of corner boys with their serious girls hanging in front and she did not think she could make it pass that scene without breaking down. Blew that last kiss from across the street and done. She was glad after all the trauma of the past few hours that she had done the task in one trip. Now she just had to go and have a happy full life, for him…     


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