Some­times you are the wind­shield; some­times you are the bug

El Dorado News-Times - - Living - BRENDA MILES

Iwrote a two-part piece in Au­gust ti­tled

“That Sun­day That Sum­mer.” I was sur­prised to re­ceive so much mail from peo­ple who liked this sim­ple story I wrote at age 16. Some cited their per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences of fleet­ing sum­mer love. Oth­ers asked how and when the re­la­tion­ship ended. So here, as Paul Harvey would say, is the

“rest of the story.”

We con­tin­ued to date oc­ca­sion­ally un­til Bob left for Texas A&M in 1959. He was a ter­ri­ble let­ter writer so our com­mu­ni­ca­tion was by date only — hol­i­days and vis­its to see his grand­mother.

I left for col­lege at Oua­chita two years later. Early in November 1961, he called me at Ter­ral Moore. Wow! A long dis­tance call. In two weeks, he had a long week­end com­ing up and asked for a date for that Satur­day. An­other wow!

I told him that would be per­fect be­cause Oua­chita had an af­ter­noon foot­ball game. He sounded ex­cited over the phone and even asked me our school col­ors (a cor­sage??) and the name of the best restau­rant for din­ner af­ter the game.

A third wow!

At the be­gin­ning of the se­mes­ter, I sent him my ad­dress (he re­quested in Au­gust) and a brief let­ter on my new col­lege sta­tionery. True to his old na­ture, he did not re­spond and I re­mained peeved un­til now. So, you see this long-dis­tance call came as a huge sur­prise. Now this news got around the dorm fast …

Brenda had a long-dis­tance call from a boy. He was a ju­nior at Texas A&M. He prob­a­bly looked fine in that uni­form and shiny brown boots. He was taking her to the next home game.

Early on when roomies, suite-mates and other dorm friends were get­ting ac­quainted, we had shared our for­mer boyfriend sto­ries along with our other past his­tory. I es­pe­cially men­tioned Bob in talk­ing with the Lit­tle Rock girls. A cou­ple of class­mates re­mem­bered him … mainly from the fact he had driven the black Jaguar. Of course I bragged about his fancy car when I spoke of him! So the story got around … Brenda had a foot­ball date with the “guy from Texas A&M with the Jaguar” and I was look­ing for­ward to show­ing him off.

The day ar­rived cool and sunny. I wore my new black and white tweed suit and black pointed-toe heels. We dressed up for foot­ball games back then. Girls wore

“church clothes”and boys wore suits with skinny ties.

Be­fore noon, my mums ar­rived. Cor­sages were dif­fer­ent, too — no long stream­ers with cow­bells and other tacky things hang­ing from rib­bons that reached the knees. They con­sisted of one or two yel­low mums (mine had two) em­bossed with a pur­ple OBC in the cen­ter and en­cased in pur­ple rib­bon.

I be­came a bit ner­vous around 1:30 p.m. when my buzzer had not sounded. That is how we were no­ti­fied we had a guest wait­ing in the par­lor. There ap­peared to be a steady stream of buzzers sound­ing and girls, proudly dressed up and hold­ing cor­sage boxes strolling down the stairs – but where was he? He’d sent flowers. Surely he planned to show up.

1:50 p.m. MY buzzer sounded! Girls who did not have dates were hang­ing out their win­dows, gaz­ing at the park­ing lot, not­ing who was leav­ing, who they were with, what they were wear­ing, if they were leav­ing in a car or walk­ing down the hill to the sta­dium. Ter­ral Moore girls were look­ing for “Brenda’s Jaguar.” The day was so pretty. I’d heav­ily sprayed my hair, hop­ing he would have the top down. In the par­lor, he hugged me and I saw he was ner­vous as he pinned on my mums. He was also talk­ing very fast.

“I’m so sorry I’m late but my car broke down on the way home and Dad had to come get me last night.” (My heart skipped a beat.) “So I knew I’d have to use Mom’s car” (not bad; she drove a Cadil­lac) “and then she told me this morn­ing about an im­por­tant lun­cheon” (heart skipped four beats in a row) “so at the last minute, I had to grab a truck from Dad’s fleet” to get here. This last sen­tence was spo­ken as we walked out the door. There it was. (My stom­ach lurched and I thought I might throw up right there on the side­walk!)

You see, his fam­ily owned a large Ter­minex fran­chise … thus, in all my game day fin­ery, in front of God and a host of gig­gling friends hang­ing out dorm win­dows, I had to climb into a white truck with an ENOR­MOUS ter­mite perched on top, ready to pounce!

The ro­mance be­gan to fiz­zle out af­ter this last date.

Brenda Miles is an award win­ning colum­nist and au­thor liv­ing in Hot Springs Vil­lage. She re­sponds to all com­ments at bren­

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.