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Humor October 2016

Laverne's View

Puppy Love

By Laverne Bardy

I sure hope you aren't a hoax. I've been in trouble several times for trusting people on FB, only to find that they were sleazy. That said, I just came across a note you wrote to me three years ago, asking if I was the little girl, back in 1947 who spent time in Coney Island? I AM THAT GIRL!!

I was closing down my computer for the night and, as always, I first checked my messages. To my surprise, I found a string of 47 messages I’d never seen. Dates ranged from early 2013 to early 2015. Since I check my messages every day, and it was now mid-2016, I was baffled. Where had these messages been hiding for three years? And, what prompted them to show up now? Even stranger was the fact that I knew none of the people.

A handful were unscrupulous scoundrels from foreign countries, claiming that their parents/husbands/children had died and left them destitute. They each knew, just from looking at my picture, that I had a kind heart and would be more than happy to deposit a million dollars into their accounts so they would no longer have to be homeless, with incurable diseases, and they would, one day, visit me in America and we would get married, and they would get their Green Cards. (Okay…they never mentioned Green Cards.)

I found a message from a man named Tom. He had read a blog I’d written, titled “Don’t Count Me Out,” about an elderly woman who held up traffic as she struggled to push her walker across the street. He had loved the piece and thanked me profusely.

I felt terrible. Three years had passed and I hadn’t responded to his eloquent, thoughtful words. I answered him immediately.  

But, the most exciting message was from a man whose name I did recognize. He had sent it three years earlier: Did you spend 2 weeks at Coney Island during the summer of '47? If so, then I was the little boy up the street who had a mad crush on you. Marty Radner.

My skin tingled. Marty Radner!

We met when I was 9 and he was 11. He had spotted me on the beach, and told his buddy he wanted to meet me. He made that happen the following day when we met “by accident” on the sidewalk near the cottages we were each renting. He asked how long I would be there. I said we were going home the next day. He asked for my address, so he could write — but I don’t think he ever did. That had happened nearly 7 decades earlier.

I had been as taken with him, as he had with me, but other than that brief encounter, we never met or spoke again.

Over the years I thought of him often. I’d never experienced such feelings. I couldn’t, clearly remember how he looked, but I understood that what we had back then, at such tender ages, had been inscribed on each of our hearts.   

Puppy love is defined as an intense but relatively shallow romantic attachment typically associated with adolescence. I suppose that’s what it was, but that experience taught me to never dismiss a young person who claims to be in love. What they are feeling is real, and strong. And if it’s a first time feeling, it will be there to call upon for the rest of their life.   

My heart was racing as I searched for his Facebook page, saw his picture and read the abbreviated version of what he had been doing all these many years. Our lives had followed similar, creative paths.

I wrote: I sure hope you aren't a hoax. I've been in trouble several times for trusting people on FB, only to find that they were sleazy. That said, I just came across a note you wrote to me three years ago, asking if I was the little girl, back in 1947 who spent time in Coney Island? I AM THAT GIRL!! In fact about a year ago I was searching FB for you, but there were so many Marty Radners, I gave up. This is so weird! I had a mad crush on you, too. We were in Coney Island for two weeks. If it's you, feel free to contact me. Laverne

He did.

We have since exchanged quite a number of FB messages, but 70 years is a lot to catch up on. I did learn that when he spotted me on the beach back then he thought I looked like Esther Williams, which caused me to laugh out loud — a 9-year-old Esther Williams. Amazingly, he remembered I was from Union, N.J. and had lived on Erhardt Street, but neither of us remembered whether or not he had written.

We are both happily married and may, or may not ever meet. But, it has been such a lovely experience to go back in history and recall, once again, warm and wonderful feelings.

So, say what you want about Facebook, it does have merit. I’m not interested in pictures of what people eat for breakfast, or the fact that they’re about to take a nap. And, I’m tired of sending prayers and white light to everyone who asks for it; especially the woman who asked us to pray that her nail technician would be available because she had broken a nail and desperately needed it repaired…immediately.

Seriously?

Facebook is a wonderful vehicle for people who are housebound, lonely, shy or just bored. But, even if you’re none of those things, you can still enjoy it.

 

Laverne's book, "How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?" is available at amazon.com and other online bookstores. Website: www.lavernebardy.com - E-mail her at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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