Saturday, January 28, 2006

One of These Girls Was Not Like the Others!

(with apologies to Sesame Street!) (Update below)

As promised, here is the story of one of the girls in the Scott's Drugstore photo I posted on the 26th (scroll down).

She was a year older than I and in this photo, I was 15. Possessing an outgoing personality and great sense of humor, she attracted hangers-on, mostly male, and I admit that she intrigued me somewhat. She seemed *sophisticated* - as much as an almost 17-year-old can - and I watched nearly her every move.

We met at parties, were in some of the same clubs at school, ran into each other often, and cemented an aquaintanceship, though not a real friendship. My mom was leery; the old phrase "Birds of a feather flock together" always on her lips where this girl was concerned, since she had already gained a bit of a reputation for being *fast and loose with her favors* (as mom put it).

She graduated the year before I did, and immediately left town. College may have been in her future, but I don't remember if that is why she left so soon. The next thing I heard, she was married, and eventually two children were born to them. They lived way out west, and information about her was sporadic, but gossip always surfaced eventually.

Three or four years later, her mother called me (and everyone else she knew) in tears, asking if I knew anything of her whereabouts. She had left her husband AND children, and had not been heard from in three months or more. Her family was frantic, as you might imagine. I knew nothing, but I promised her mom that if I heard anything of substance, I would let her know.

That spring, I participated in a trip sponsored by the art department of my college to New York City to visit art museums. I have written a little about this trip before; this was the time I met Dizzy Gillespie and saw him perform in the old Metropole jazz joint across from Madison Square Garden. That same evening, we were to go to an Asian restaurant in Chinatown, so about 20 of us met there at 2:00 a.m. Amidst great confusion in the already full to the brim restaurant ( I kid you not - at 2 a.m.), we were seated near the door. As I perused the menu, the doors opened and two men and a woman entered. I looked up, and there stood *that girl* from my home town. That was during the time that the movie Cleopatra was playing, and many women adopted the make-up style of the ancient Egyptians (in the body of Elizabeth Taylor).

There she stood with an Egyptian hairstyle and eyes rimmed with *kohl* and brilliant blue shadow shining like lapis lazuli on her lids. I couldn't believe my eyes. I hid my face behind the menu; thinking that it might be better if she didn't see me. But, of course, curiosity got the better of me anyway, and when she spied me later, we went to the ladies room to talk. She begged me not to tell anyone, especially her parents, where she was. She was working at *The Bitter End*, which was a very popular night club back then, on Bleecker Street, I think.

I told her that I simply could NOT not tell her mom that I had seen her. Had she heard her mom on the phone with me, crying and pleading, she wouldn't have kept her family in the dark about where she was. I did say that I would not tell her mom exactly where we had met, but that I would have to call and let her mom know that she was alive and that she had run away of her own volition. Her only explanation of what she did was to say that she *just couldn't take it anymore* and she thought her children would be better off with their dad than with her. I have a real problem with women who abandon their children - but I didn't challenge her on it. It wouldn't have done much good at 3 a.m. in Chinatown, NYC.

She and I didn't see each other again until about 6 years ago, when I attended a *decade* reunion of my high school classmates. She was there; having moved back to town after her parents died. She didn't even remember me, and I was sort of shocked. Someone in the group chalked it up to (her) smoking too much pot, but I don't know for sure that she did that. I will admit it was a bit of a let-down to me that she didn't remember me. You'd think you'd remember someone you ran into after 5 years in the middle of Chinatown at 3 a.m., wouldn't you?

The question of the day: will you hazard a guess as to which one of the girls it was? Not me, of course. I won't post the answer on the blog - but I'll let the correct guessers know in their comments.

Update: It was NOT the blond. She had her own set of problems, but I won't go into that here. Thanks for playing along.





30 comments:

Lisa said...

I'll take a wild guess that its the blonde to your left.

jude said...

Interesting story... i vote the gal on the end. You always have the wonder about the woman at the end of the bar..

WordWhiz said...

With absolutely nothing on which to base my guess, I'm venturing the girl on the end, right side. the blonde.

d.challener roe said...

I have no idea, but it's an interesting story.

Here via Michele's today.

Last Girl On Earth said...

I have to agree with these your previous comments. Blond on the right? (You looked stunning in that picture, btw!) Michele sent me tonight, but she didn't make me say that. Have a great weekennd!

srp said...

I will have to agree that it may be the blonde on the end. Just something about her, the way she holds her glass, looks like she had experience and the way she is leaning back on the bar.

Joy said...

I'm thinking the blonde, too, but can't picture her in Cleopatra make-up.

Merle said...

Judy ~~ What an interesting story,
and a sad one at that. I have no idea, but maybe the blonde.
Thanks for your comments. I am so sorry that your Dad never made it to Australia. Your mother would
have survived without him for a few weeks. Have a nice weekend.

mar said...

Without reading the comments I also thought of the blond one. And yes, I have a problem too with women who abandon their children.

rashbre said...

I'm not going to speculate about who you refer to, but the story shows that there can be a lot more to a scene than meets the eye.

rashbre

Beanhead said...

I am not sure which one it is and it really doesn't matter to me either way what I like is the fact that you shared the story with us. I think it is interesting to look at old photos and then know the stories behind the people!!
Here from Michele's

Will Riker said...

Couldn't speculate, but a great post.

Michele sent me.

Jamie Dawn said...

I'll guess the one in the middle, to your right.
It's hard to believe that you ran into her in NYC like that.
What are the chances of THAT??!! Wow! I'm so glad it happened, so that you could at least tell her mother she was alive and well.
Leaving her kids... I don't know how that's possible.

Chele In {dot} LA said...

I am thinking it maybe the blonde young lady..
I don't know............
Over from Michele's today.

Viamarie said...

Sorry but I can't figure it out. Interesting post.

Btw, Michele sent me.

ribbiticus said...

i think it's the dark-haired girl on your right. i would have said the blonde but the girl on your right seems to fit your description...:)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

It appears that the blonde is going to get most of the votes, including mine.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

I don't know Judy....but what a haunting story.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Nah. I disagree with the majority. To me the girl on your right hand (third one in from the viewer's right) has the look I pictured on someone you viewed as more sophisticated than you, and perhaps easier with her favors. Great story. I'm with you -- I can't believe she ACTUALLY didn't rememember you. Maybe she was just anxious to forget that era of her life (leaving her children behind, etc.).

So comment to me and tell me it was the blonde!

John

Inanna said...

I would say, the woman to your right.

I did get pictures of Scott's Drugstore as it is now, I'll be posting them soon!

ET said...

I don't know which one it might be, except we know it couldn't be you - because you wouldn't talk about yourself like you were a 3rd party.
I may have met her myself. I was in the Navy in nearby Lakehurst, N.J. Between the summer of 1963 and the summer of 1965 we visited the Village a bunch of times and The Bitter End several times.

Marcia said...

It's always intersting and weird to see people you knew "back in the day"... especially when they're not doing what anyone expected...

here from Michele!

metten said...

Imagery - that's the word of the day. Great freakin' post!! Somebody do me a favor and send Michele someplace. That's all she does...send people everywhere. I'm proud to say that Michele has never sent me anywhere.

margalit said...

I'm going with the rest of the crowd because evidentally, I'm a sheep. I'm guessing the blond, too. You know blonds always have more fun, right?

Via michele.

Plain Jane said...

My gut tells me it's the blonde, because blondes have more fun (as others have pointed out) and she just has that "look".

However, it's too easy. I doubt my gut.

I say it's the 2nd from the left, the one standing next to you who is not the blonde.

Last Girl On Earth said...

Looks like the blonde is winning! Michele sent me back over, and I still don't know the answer to your question!

Lisa said...

Hi again Judy! Michele sending me back to say hello again! Are you getting lots of correct guesses?
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!

David ParsonsWV said...

It must be the young "lady" directly to your right. She seems to be looking AT the camera which would indicate vanity in a candid shot. Is she the brazen hussy? Is she the trallop?

Hope said...

The meek one on the far left. It is always the one you least suspect.

Carolyn said...

The last one on your right? She just looks like the type to get fed up easily.