Utica, New York, 1939
After they exited the cinema Doris sighed. She had spent the evening with Art, a blind date set up by her aunt. As the couple slowly made their way down Main Street, Doris sighed; when they reached his father's car, parked next to the ice cream shop down the street, Doris sighed. Art had only been allowed to borrow the car with the promise that nothing would happen. Doris sighed again because the car refused to start.
This date, while in actuality hadn't been that bad, Art was a really nice guy. They had both felt that they would make really good friends and left it at that.
"Let's just go up in here to see if we can use the phone." Art gently placed his hand on Doris' back to lead her up the walk to the store front. See, he's a really nice guy, she thought to herself. Just not what I want. The shop was just closing and the soda jerk behind the fountain was making himself a big ice cream sunday.
"I know you're closing, but can we use your phone?"
"Sure. It's just over there." It wasn't until he answered Art that Doris looked up. Art left to use the phone and Doris continued to stare at the ice cream guy. He was good looking and eating ice cream. Now that's my kind of guy.
"You have a nice night?" The soda jerk smiled.
"Oh, yes." Doris gave a timid smile back. Before the conversation could continue Art came back.
"Well my dad's a little upset but he gave me a tip on how to fix it. Are you ready to go?"
Doris looked back at Art and sighed a smile. "Yes."
"Thank you for the use of the phone." Art waved back at the soda jerk as he led Doris back out to the car.
They spent a few minutes trying to get the car started but the tip Art received didn't work. Ten minutes later, when the ice cream shop had officially closed and had been cleaned, the soda jerk, after he finished his ice cream sunday Doris noticed, came up to them.
"Can I help you?" What struck Doris was that this was a genuine offer of help with absolutely no artifice. He was good looking, generous, and he enjoyed ice cream. Doris really couldn't forget that part. Ice cream was her favorite dessert.
In a few minutes the ice cream guy and Art got the car working and they were on their way. Doris was convinced she would never see him again.
Art and Doris remained friends. Doris actually introduced him to her younger sister. She wasn't surprised that they hit it off. She was genuinely happy for them. And really she only thought about the ice cream guy once or twice. It hadn't been love at first sight but Doris hadn't forgotten that he was her kind of guy.
Utica, New York, 1940
It had been months since she had been out with anyone. Her work at the hospital took up most of her time. It was important to her and her friend Betty, who worked with her, just didn't understand.
"Doris you really should come out with Bill and me this weekend." This had been the fifth weekend in a row that Betty had asked her to come out. "His brother is really cute. We can double date!"
"Betty I really can't. There is just so much to do." Doris was in the middle of folding towels. "I have to take care of the twins this weekend and I have a shift Saturday afternoon."
"Then we'll make it Sunday. Come on. You really need a break."
Just to get her off her back Doris agreed to go out with with Betty, Bill, and Bill's mysterious brother. So the following Sunday her friends showed up and a young man jumped out of the rumble seat of Bill's car.
Doris was ready and waiting by the front door and she opened before the first knock finished. She stared. She took a deep breath and continued to stared because she couldn't believe her eyes. Standing there on her front porch with his hand still poised to knock was the soda jerk from the ice cream shop all those months ago. She was sure her mouth was open. Here was the beautiful, kind, ice cream loving man she had dreamed about, standing in front of her.
"Hi. I'm George." He smiled.
"I'm Doris." She smiled.
He offered her his arm and together they drove off in the rumble seat of Bill's Ford.
Art Sherwood married K Price, Doris' little sister. He forever called her K because when he penned his first love letter to her he realized he didn't know how to spell Kathleen. The were married just shy of 60 years before they passed away within months of each other. Betty and Bill Hager married and lived happily in upstate New York for 45 years.
In 1942 Doris Price and George Hager eloped to Maryland. They were happily married for 53 years before George passed away in 1995.
But that is another story.
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