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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Loves Remembered

Loves Remembered
Dan Dodge

In the February issue of Cape Fear Voices, I was honored with the inclusion of my story “What Is This Thing Called LOVE?”.  My ego was naturally stroked a bit, and I forwarded the issue to my sisters and a brother-in-law.  My B-I-L, Bill Popp, has lived in Pittsfield, Massachusetts his whole life and has had the privilege of shoveling hundreds of tons of snow.  I thought reading all the nice stories from adults and kids alike would give him something to do as he warmed up prior to his next attempt at clearing a path to the mailbox, if he could find it.

That brought back a memory, forever implanted in my brain.  My first wife, Meyette, and I met on a Greyhound bus traveling between NYC and Albany, NY. She was a stewardess for Pan American Airways based out of Idlewild Airport, and I was doing a subcontract engineering job in Manhattan. We both took the bus home Fridays and back to NYC on Sunday evenings.  The seat next to me was the only one left when she got on, so began the start of an eventual trip to the altar and the gift of two beautiful and talented daughters.  Besides the LOVE part, what I want to share is the short story of my meeting her parents, Bill and his sister for the first time.  It was Wintertime, the driveway was mostly cleared of snow, but on my driver’s side, the snowbank was five feet high. Her family had gathered just outside the back door, expectant, to meet this new future son-in-law.  Meyette had gotten out of the car, turned to the family and said “I want you to— and looked over where I should be.  But there was no one in sight.  I had opened my door, stepped out, found a patch of ice with my feet and slid under the car.  Her dad rushed around the front of the car and helped me to my feet. What an embarrassing introduction, I was not hurt and eventually, everyone was laughing, and it became a fun memory for the whole family. They were wonderful in-laws, and we had many good years and family times together as our children grew.  My wife’s mother, Mary was a nurse at the city hospital forever; everyone knew her, and she was LOVED by all.  Meyette’s dad was a true Jack-of-all-trades, worked at GE, could fix anything, and was always there to help anyone who needed it. My B-I-L Bill, pretty much followed in his dad’s footsteps and is always willing to give a hand.

What does this have to do with my “What Is This Thing Called LOVE” story?

Well, here is what I received as a reply from Bill:

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the good selection of short stories. I will save them for our upcoming Friday snow lockdown. I did read your excellent Valentines LOVE article. Valentine’s Day has always been special to us as it was Mom’s birthday, Mary VALENTINE Popp (her real middle name). I am sure she would also LOVE your story. I can envision her banging out your Cole Porter song to accompany you on her piano. 

We were fortunate to have her in the upstairs apartment in the old house on Lincoln St. My kids still light a candle in their homes on Valentine’s Day and toast her with a shot of Southern Comfort (her favorite).  A story from them that always comes up is that Mom was always there to watch the kids if we got a chance to go out. June and I were not regular dining out people, but if I had a good week with some OT and a little extra cash, we liked to walk to the Rainbow Restaurant on First St.  On one of our nights there, we ran into a couple friends and stayed until 11PM. Upon arriving home, we walked into this loud noise coming from upstairs. Running up to see if all was OK, I opened Mom’s bedroom door to find our two girls had moved Gramma’s bed to the center of the room with Gramma laying there listening to her favorite Red Sox on a transistor radio and the girl’s roller skating around her on the hardwood floor. Before I could say anything, I was shut down with Mom saying “We are having so much FUN! “ 

Those were great memories we will always have from living together in that old house. A lifestyle that does not exist today! 

A nice hot day in the mid-30s waiting for the next round of Winter, 

LOVE, Bill

And now readers, you have some of The Rest Of The Story.

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