REFLECTIONS…. THE YOUNG YEARS

THE BEGINNING

Van Sant Drug Store was at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Fessident Street N.W.  This was our meeting place.  Our gang would meet and hang out in front of Van-Sants.  It's a wonder that Dr. Van- Sant didn't chase us away, but he didn't.

Lois, my very best friend, and I would always be in our "uniforms".  This was what we put on every day after school.  The original Levis that were sold for men and boys only in those days.  They were very dark and very stiff.  When they were new, we would wash them in salt water to try and soften them.  Remember there was no fabric softener then. We had a wringer washing machine in our kitchen, and I would put in a whole box of Morton's salt along with the soap.  I would run the machine for a very long time, and the water would be a very dark blue.  I think I rinsed them about 5 times, then hung them out side on the line to dry.  We didn't have a clothes dryer.  I don't think any one did back then.

Anyway, these were a very important part of our "uniform".  To this we added a short sleeve blouse.  Girls didn't wear tee shirts then.  Next we decided to add a mans white shirt over the short sleeve one.  I took one from my brother.  He wasn't happy about that, as I took one of his new button down collar ones.

Lois and I purchased wide black leather belts at Stratons Variety Store.  A funny little store which sold a little of everything.  It was owned and operated by an old lady named Mrs. Straton.  At that time she seemed very old and was a few doors up Wisconsin Avenue from Van- Sants.

To this uniform we added the famous penny loafers made by "Weejuns" in which we always put in shinny dimes.

One day Lois and I decided to have our long sleeve men's shirt autographed by everyone.  Then we  embroidered the signatures.  Wow, did I get in trouble with my Grandmother for that.  My Cousin Johnny put his signature on the shirttail and my Grandmother said it wasn't nice.  She said people would think that was his place,  the shirttail hit me right in the butt.

Grandmother Eva was very Victorian in her thinking, but she was a wonderful woman, and I loved her dearly.  She died in 1954 and I missed her so very much,  I miss her still.

This was our uniform for a few years.  As we got older we ditched the men's shirts and added leather jackets.

Lois had a big crush on Leonard. Nicknamed "The King".  Leonard was the oldest and he was our "leader".  He was 18 and Paul's older brother.  Of course at this time I didn't know Paul, just Leonard.  It wasn't until late in that summer of 1946 that I met Paul, and my life was forever changed.

I am not sure when Paul joined our little gang at the drug store, but I think it was mid August.  We looked at each other but didn't talk for several weeks.  It was in early September that he asked me  if he could walk me home.  After that, he would walk me home every day, and after about two weeks he kissed me on the front walk of my house.  It was this first kiss that forever sealed our Love.

 

I love your Paulie, I miss you so!  

 

 

 

Later on, The Hubbard house, a kind of fast food diner, on Wisconsin Avenue near Western Avenue, was another of our hang outs.  We would go there to have something to eat.  Maybe a hamburger, French fries and their famous chocolate icebox pie.  All this for only 25 cents.  We would sit there and eat and listen to the juke box.  We could play the juke box for 5 cents in those days.

Ted Weems "Heartaches" was a top song at the time.  Another song, was "I Love You For Sentimental Reasons".  It is this song that became "OUR" song.  How well it fit you my love.  The haunting words will be with me always.

I love you for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I'll give you my heart

I love you and you alone were meant for me
Please give your loving heart to me
and say we'll never part

I think of you every morning
Dream of you every night
Darling I am never lonely
Whenever you are in sight

I love you for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I've given you my heart

"I LOVE YOU AND YOU ALONE WERE MEANT

FOR ME"

 

Sometimes I remember the happy times when we were so young.  The silly things we said and did.  How could we know then what was in store for us.

I remember one night when we were running in Spring Valley near Carl's house.  There were several of us, but you and I were behind the others.  I started to run and I was running away from you.  A lady who was riding in a car called out to me and asked if I was alright or if I need help.  She asked me if I was running away from you.  About that time you caught up with me and I put my arms around you and kissed you in the middle of the street.  I never answered that lady.  How young and silly we were.

Just another memory of our time together Paulie

I remember how every night in that first fall after we met, you would wait on the corner of 45th & Garrison St. for me to come and meet you, always at 7 PM

Hand in hand we would walk to Fort Bired Park in the crisp fall night with that smell in the air that only fall has....  The dry leaves would crunch under our feet as we climbed the small hill that would take us to the spot that we made ours under the fifth pine tree from the corner of River Road and Western Avenue.

There we would sit and you would hold me close.  We would kiss and talk and never feel the cold ground we sat upon....  How innocent and pure our love....   

So young we were my love.... So young yet so in love.... A love that would transcend time, and death,  did we know even then?  I wonder.

There we would sit under the same tree night after night...   All the  rest of that first year until it was just too cold... When spring came, again we would walk to the park and our special tree...  If I could but walk there with you just one more time...... And feel you arms around me, your kiss upon my lips, I miss  you so my precious love......

 

I remember the day we went to Carl Deliquest's house in Spring Valley.  His Daddy was a General stationed at the Pentagon, and he was another member of our gang.  He was called "Sweed".  Anyway, Leonard, Carl, Bill, you and I were there.  Carl opened his Daddy's liquor cabinet and gave us a drink.  Several drinks really.  Boy did I get tipsy.  I had never tasted liquor before.  Really, I know I was given only a little bit, not much at all.  It didn't take much.

You had to help me up the steps and I had to lay down on one of the beds.  You were with me, you held me close and kissed me until I fell asleep.  I awoke not to long after and I was feeling fine.

We all left Carl's house and went to the Peoples Drug Store at 49th and Mass. Ave.  I had a glass of tomato juice and you had a coke.

Next, you and I went to your house and visited with your Mom and Dad.

My memories of you, and the unselfish love you gave me are a precious treasure to me.

I love you Paul.....

 

I remember a trip we made to Chesapeake

 Beach.

One summer day you, Nancy and I ..... I guess she was 15 at the time... You had that little yellow Ford convertible that you loved so much.  I really think it was always your favorite.  You were teaching me to drive and I was behind the wheel.  I think I was going much too fast and when the car in front of us stopped, I did not stop fast enough, and I ran into the back of a brand new car....

Oh my, you thought you were in big trouble because I didn't even have a learners permit.  I was trying to get out from under the wheel so you could take my place.  Then the men in the other car came back to us and said "Never mind, don't worry about it."  Even though their car was damaged we always wondered if it was a stolen car or what.  We were so lucky about that....  Oh.. but your poor little care was a mess.  I had really done a job on it.  The Radiator had a leak and the right side was all bent up.  A real mess.  You never told your Dad that I did it.  You took the blame.  You were still under your Dad's insurance.  I don't think he was fooled because he knew you were such an excellent driver.

It cost seventeen hundred dollars to repair.  That was a lot of money, your insurance went up because of it, and you never even fussed with me.  You were always so sweet and I loved you so much Paulie, so very much

I am remembering the trip we made to Connecticut to your friends wedding.  He was your buddy from the Marines.  His name was Ray.  He married a girl named Wanda.  For the life of me I can't think of his last name.  They live in New London, Conn.  Well anyway, we drove up in the yellow Ford convertible.  The one you love and we decided that we would not say any four letter words on the whole trip..

You hung a little container from the rear view mirror and we said which ever one of us said a four-letter word we would have to put a nickel in the container.  I filled it up on the trip up and you of course didn't even say one four-letter word.  So you didn't need to put in any nickels.

Oh Paul... you had such will power.  It was a wonderful trip.  We had such fun.  I believe this friend was one of your pall bearers.  Oh God.... Paul, I cant stand to think about it.  I miss you so much.  Why aren't we together?

I love you so very much..........

Remember when we went to my brother's apartment right after you picked me up at work.

He wanted to take a picture of me.  I had picked up our sheets from the laundry and they were in the car, your little yellow convertible.  You had installed an alarm system which you had invented.  The lights would come on and the horn would blow and the hood would come up and down if anyone tried to steal it.  You were so clever my love.  

There was a switch in the glove box to turn it on.  That night for some reason you did not turn it on and when we left my brother's your car had been stolen.  We were so sad....

So you bought the two tone blue Cadillac sedan.  The car that you would die in.  Oh my love, after your death I could not stand to see a Cadillac or even say the word....

The police found your convertible in North Carolina after  you had been killed.  It had been stolen by a man and his son who were stealing cars and taking them down south to sell.  So sad for your Mom and Dad when the police came and told them your car had been found and so sad for me when she told me.

I miss you so much Paulie......

Remember the first Thanksgiving when I cooked my first turkey.  We were at my bothers apartment on Orange Street S.E.  He and Louise were working.  He was the manager of the Howard Johnson's at 3200 Pennsylvania Avenue S.E.  Louise was a waitress there.  I cooked my first turkey for the four of us.  I don't remember what you said about it, but I am sure you said it was delicious.  Walter said it was not too bad for my first turkey..  We all four ate it and I believe we did enjoy it.

I have so many memories of you my love and of our times together.  I miss you so much.....

 

 

Do you remember the night when we went downtown to some bar or club and I had on a brown and tan dress which you loved.  I had borrowed Grace's pearls.  The real ones  Dick brought back from China in 1943.  These were real pearls.  A 3 strand necklace.

Well when I got home and went to undress I found the necklace was missing.  I was so scared and I called you.  You came back over and drove me downtown and we asked in the club, but the pearls had not been found.  I went back home and was about to wake up cousin Grace and tell her I had lost her pearls, but as I undressed I found them inside the dress.... Thank goodness!

Oh Paulie, I remember so many things.

I MISS YOU.......

 

                   

 

This page was originally created
by 'It's Only Me'
and is used by permission
 - We love you Lois (Jerri) -
Gone but never forgotten!