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.