Friendship and Courtship

Reuniting with Creasons made for a happy Labor Day. The northwest air mellowed over the weekend and was kind on my return cycle trip home, to Cody.

Winter swept in. I really liked my Honda. Logic won out. In a nostalgic mood I traded it for a cozier ride – a car I could wish were mine today. The make was Chevrolet; the model, 1957.

With winter came bitter cold. The coldest day of my working life found me stuffing newspapers into the night for the weekly distribution. Equipment had ceased running and it was everyone on deck. A main gas line erupted outside town, shutting energy off to the city. By candlelight our Cody Enterprise crew stuffed papers until midnight.

Mom and Pop Starbuck’s home felt arctic when I finally crept in. Taking a banana from the kitchen counter, I found it solid. Peeling it I bit in. At current room temperature its coldness rivaled a banana split. That night I went to bed fully clothed. Only my shoes remained uncovered. We learned next morning of the thirty five below zero temperature that night.  By a miracle no lives were lost among the elderly or ill and the gas line returned to service.

Leisure times found me often with the church youth near my age. Friends Richard and Rommie became sweet on two sisters – Judy and Joyce. The quartet received me into their circle as if Wyoming were my home, and as if five weren’t an uneven number. Maybe they took pity on the fifth wheel guy from a distant place. I was happy in this fun, caring community. Our short jaunts carried with them sounds of current pop music. Strains of In the misty moonlight floated from the cars’ open window – our harmonies mellowing the night air. Romantic music carries power.  Eventually wedding bells rang for the two couples.

For a while I dated a nice town girl. Discerning the difference between friendship and courtship came early and our dating trailed off with no feelings hurt either way.

In time I found myself for a curious reason missing the Fred Creason family. Remembering I had been sure to get their phone contact I dialed the Billings number. Yes, they were in next weekend and would welcome a visit. Fred added that after Sunday worship they would join the Barnes family for dinner. Fred assured me I would be welcome as their guest.

My heart picked up its beat. A visit to the pastors home. I would see the pretty girl with the pretty eyes who went by her middle name. Ann.

Nice the Creasons hadn’t moved away.

©2015 Jerry Lout



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