True Love, Carolyn Egan, Guest Author

We  lost a dear friend and fine lady this week. Two years ago, she wrote an article for my blog. I am republishing it in her honor. Thank you again, Carolyn.

In 1953, my Dad purchased a neighborhood pizza place named Helen’s (coincidentally the same name as my Mom’s) a few blocks from the Cranston Armory. When we opened, a crew on supper break from the nearby A & P Store rushed in and sat at the counter. “What’s good?” they asked.
As an untrained waitress I was in shock, frozen at the grill with the thought of having to make a grilled cheese sandwich. But I managed, learning by trial and error, finally adept at putting together a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and mayo.
One day, in walked Bobby with a few of the neighborhood guys. Slim, with a model’s build, hair in a wave, he looked great in his jeans. I was smitten.     I knew he was dating a doctor’s daughter, but he told me… me… that he lost interest in her because she did not like the scar on his face and wanted him to wear make up to cover it for the prom. “Hmmm,” I thought, “Why did he tell me that?”  My interest piqued even more.
And, this “girl” wanted him to wear a cummerbund with his white sport coat. He resisted. Just not his style. Too preppy.

Carolyn and Bob at the Pizza Place

Carolyn and Bob at Helen’s

One day I happened to sit next to Bobby’s date on the bus. She complained to me about his reluctance to honor her requests. Turning toward me, she said, “Maybe you should go with him.” I pursed my lips to hold back a smile.
“Be still my heart,” I thought. It was beating like an elephant’s. Me, with Bobby? She must have been kidding.
I tried to remain collected. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe.” She had to have heard my heart.
I was a dancer in a drum and bugle corps, the Frontiersmen from East Providence. A few weeks before the prom, they held a fund-raiser, a Military Ball. I loved our uniforms… white short-skirt dresses with cowboy style black fringe, white majorette boots and black cowboy hats.

One day at our restaurant, the topic of the prom came up and Bobby said “I don’t know how to dance.”
My next breathless blurt was “I can teach you… at the Frontiersmen’s Event. Come with me.”
“Sure, why not,” he replied.
“Oh my God,” I thought.
Bobby and his buddies came to the restaurant on that Saturday evening. I dressed in the bathroom in the rear of the store. Feeling good about my majorette’s outfit, I strolled out and the guys did a double take. In unison, they barked, “That’s who you’re going to the prom with! Now we know why you are baggin’ us tonight.”

In my uniform

In my uniform

I should have felt guilty about stealing Bob from his friends, but I didn’t. We walked out arm in arm. “See ya later, guys,” Bobby said and we never turned back.
Our first kiss happened on that first date. I saw stars. I was electrified; in love.
From that evening, we were a team… from pizza parlor to majorette to first date, first dance, kiss and prom…later marrying for 56 years until his recent death.
Such beautiful memories…..
Thanks for helping me share them, Ed.

6 Comments

  1. Mike Rocchio February 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    What a great love story Thanks for sharing

    • Edward Iannuccilli February 6, 2013 at 8:09 am - Reply

      Thanks, Mike. Carolyn is a great lady and will appreciate your comments. We can all identify with so many things in her story.

  2. Dorothy Rozzi Belknap July 28, 2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Dear Carolyn, your story is precious. It is honest, open, and wholesome…I see it as the opening of a Francis Ford Coppola film. Your story speaks well to the times, the coming of age story that might be rare in the present.. Congratulations for your fifty-six years with Bobby. So sorry your Valentine has passed on. But you know that Bobby is in a better place holding precious moments of love and your past together. May he rest in peace. Courage and peace to you, Carolyn.

  3. Ed Iannuccilli July 29, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Beautiful. Thank you, Dorothy. I will be sure Carolyn sees it.

  4. Carolyn July 29, 2014 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    The comments are wonderful. Thanks so much for the thoughts Mike and Dorothy. The 1950s were special and can never be repeated.

    • Ed August 1, 2014 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      Wonderful memories. Carolyn, I am sure you have many more. Send them along.

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