I was eighteen and a full time day student with a scholarship to Cleveland College. That was pretty unusual because most students there were night and part time. I was walking from the streetcar to class. As I approached the building a girl in a flying white cape walked briskly up the stairs. I hurried, but all I saw was an attractive face and figure which disappeared through the front door. When I reached the door, she was gone.
Those days I belonged to a club with boys about my age. Our group generally got into a car or two and went on Sunday evenings to crash weddings. There was always free food, free drinks, beautiful women and music for dancing. We knew most weddings would let us in because there were always girls looking for available boys to dance with. It was great fun for us all. Who knew? Maybe a great date would come out of it.
On Sunday a bunch of us went to a pretty fancy wedding. Great food; lots to drink and great girls! As we surveyed the pickings I saw the girl I was sure had been in the Flying White Cape. Her face reminded me of the one I had glimpsed in the doorway at the college. The shape of the hair seemed the same, the hairdo was the same and even if this wasn’t THAT girl, this one was pretty and “Who knows….?” I held back for a while, but finally, biting my tongue, I went over to where she sat with the other girls and asked for a dance.
“Yes,” she said and she was a great dancer. I struggled to keep up using both my left feet. I don’t know what we talked about. Usually we boys asked who was getting married and how the girl was related to the wedding couple. I‘m sure we talked about who we knew and things we liked to do. She was studying costume design and taking an afternoon course at Cleveland College. My heart bounced. This is the one, I thought, but mostly it was a waiting game. Was this going to be a good one or a dud? Would I get a date?
We danced more than one dance as I screwed up courage. This was the Girl in the Flying White Cape! Would she go out with me?
Finally, I asked. “Can I have your telephone number? I’d like to call you.”
Silence forever and then “Ok, let me write it down for you. I’d like to see you."
Wow, did I smile!!!
* * *
Author Biography: Len Gottesman grew up in Cleveland, Ohio as the first grandchild from Grandma and Grandpa’s litter of 13 kids of whom 9 lived. He went on to be the first to finish high school, the first to go to college, and the only one of his many cousins to get a PHD. With a heavy load of expectations on his back, he had no choice but to become a psychologist! Now retired for many years, he is enjoying reviewing his life’s experiences. See Len's stories "The Four Questions" in the October 2009 issue, and "Apple Strudel Day!" in the November issue.