at a dance
on a night
SHE had planned to stay in
and write letters,
rain being in the forecast
and nothing GOOD ever happening when it rains.
A firmly held belief, that.
But some girls in the barracks
cajoled her into coming out.
“You can’t just sit around all the time,
reading books and writing letters.
have some fun…”.
Familiar words, those.
* * *
Scattered sprinkles turned steady
as the young women hopped onto the bus in Arlington
for the short ride across the Potomac.
The bus became crowded;
the girls lost track of each other.
whose ballroom was the site
of the evening’s activities
On the corner just before the hotel,
she got off,
but her friends didn’t.
Through the downpour
she ran to the hotel
and stepped inside
to wait for them.
* * *
HE CAME on the train,
an hour’s ride
part of the sea of uniforms
that arrived in Union Station
for a night in the city,
and reached the hotel
just before the rain began
The lobby was swarming with GIs,
the party warming up.
* * *
drenched and dripping,
had been of little help.
She brushed herself off
pushed her hair back under her hat,
then caught sight of her shoes, a mess!
A Marine approached.
After all, her, standing there,
appearing to be an unescorted female.
“Looking for someone special?”
“Just some Marines I’m with, thank you”
she said, barely glancing at him,
continuing to stare out the window.
“Well, I’ve got a Marine for you!”
signaling across the room
to his group of friends
and one fellow in particular,
seeing he was being motioned over,
set down his drink,
snuffed his cigarette
and started across the carpeted lobby.
“Ah, here’s HUGHIE now. Let me introduce you.”
A nice looking fellow, she thought,
(the one approaching, that is).
Good glory, what must he think of her shoes?
“You two look like you’d make a nice couple,”
said the fast talker.
“Now I’ll leave you to get acquainted.”
through the revolving doors came her friends,
soaked and laughing,
“We see you didn’t waste any time meeting someone!”
“How about I get you all a drink?”
“Either you grab him or I will!” joked one of the girls.
Nice manners on him, Mom thought.
And ‘Dewey’….she’d always liked that name……
* * *
Hugh with Grandfather Albert, 1945. These are the two who made the trip to Barberton 10 years earlier. Remember that?
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