Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Mailman's Beautiful Daughter

L to R: The mailman's daughter; lucky me; Jughead McCarty's girlfriend; Arnie Ballard; and Deanna Caldwell--who was my first steady girlfriend up there.

I'm second from the left and right where I wanted to be.

That cozy little scene took place about eleven months after Deanna and I had gone out together a few times. The photo was taken during Deanna's birthday party. She and I had only gone out on three or four dates together. But in the great little Town of Patten, Maine - way up there in Penobscot County - during 1968-69, when you hit that third anniversary mark in your dating relationship, no one else would date you until you and your partner broke up.

On our third or fourth date, I became casually aware that Deana and I were not meant to be together any longer. So during my next Saturday night in town, when I met a different pretty Patten girl, I asked my new female acquaintance to accompany me to the movie show playing in the old, worn out Patten Opera House that night.

Jeeze oh wiz! The way she reacted! Well, shoot man, you'd have thought I had asked her to have my baby! Or to just go get in some real quick practice at it.

That attractive young lady had twisted her upper body up and back away from me, with a dark, harsh frown deeply chiseled into her lovely kisser, and she very tersely said, "NO! You're going steady with Deanna Cauldwell! Aren't you?"

My shocked reply was, "No! We only went out a couple of times! I haven't asked her to go steady yet."

Then the lovely young lady explained Patten's three date rule to me. I told her I had no idea I was supposed to inform Deana that I wasn't planning to ask her out anymore. Let's just say, on that Saturday night, I was glad the new girl understood.

That three date rule actually worked most of the time. The resulting monogamy cut down on wicked-bad arguments, fist fights between jealous boys and such.

Up in that photograph, the long-haired-long-legged-good-lookin' girl all the way to the left was the mailman's daughter. Her family lived on Rural Route 11, near Bumpas Hill, between Katahdin Lodge and Patten. The family had a nice sized, healthy vegetable garden out in their dooryard. The mailman, his sweet and gregarious wife and their attractive teen daughter worked that garden to near-perfection together; all through the short North Woods growing season that serious gardeners are saddled with up there.

On most days, at least once a day, my daily bear hunting guide responsibilities required me to travel by their inviting, well maintained, mid-sized country home. If any of the mailman's family members were out in their garden, when I was briskly motoring past, we exchanged friendly, sincere waves of our hands.

Everyone living on that road waved to any passing vehicles they saw going by, and local drivers all waved back. That was just one such wonderful way that people everywhere up there, in amongst that heavily forested section of God's Country, got along real well.

During 1968-69, for the entire God-given time that I was a resident of Maine, I longed to get to know the mailman's daughter.

Before that evening at the birthday party, she and I had never met each other. And she had one, steady boyfriend, the entire time I was up there, back then. Consequently, whenever I was motoring by her house, when she was out in the garden, I could never slow down and pull into her dooryard, to stop and strike up a flirtatious conversation with her.

When her long time, steady boyfriend was off beginning his first semester at college, on my last friggin night in Maine, before I reported for U.S. Army basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, the next morning, she and I finally met.

Man o' day, was I ever happy to be sitting with her and enjoying our first conversation, which I had so desired for almost a year. Except I had to hold back on the flirtatious part, because it would have been very rude in the company of our mutual friends and acquaintances.

I had to leave the party while it was still going good, because I had an early flight to catch the next day. But while I was saying my so-longs to all of my treasured and lovingly remembered friends there, I couldn't believe it when the mailman's daughter asked me for a ride home.

But alas, even though common sense softly whispered into my ear that her boyfriend was going to hookup with some fine, young college coed and breakup with her real soon, I was a complete gentleman to her that night.

I knew that most boy-girl relationships don't last too long when one of the two goes off to college by themselves. That information could have easily allowed me to circumvent feeling guilty, if I had gotten the mailman's daughter to 'go parkin' with me on the way up Rt. 11 to our separate homes, to stop and get the windows of the pickup truck all steamed up.

Problem was: there were too many small town type nosy witnesses there at Deanna's house. They were sure as I knew 'um gonna snoop around the next day to find out exactly what time that she gotten home that night.

And they probably did it too.

I had to take her straight home, past all of the good, safe 'parkin spots' over in the dark fields and woods roads up there. I made it a short, but oh so intensely sweet, goodnight conversation with her in her family's driveway.

Any other way of conducting myself would have caused her a lot more small town trouble than it would have for me.

The next morning, I was beginning another great traveling adventure, one that could have gotten me killed in Vietnam. Had I chosen the way of the cad that night, she was going to be left there all alone to face the gossip and scorn of a typical small town in America, while I went on my merry way into the U.S. Army.

I cannot honestly say that I have never chosen to be a cad.

I can honestly state that nothing untoward happened on that beautiful night in Maine, when I finally met the mailman's daughter.

If you look at how she is reclined there close to me, you will notice that she had obviously sat down next to me, because her shapely left side is resting slightly, softly over onto my right side. That's all I needed, on that final evening of my youthful, civilian life, that and her request for the ride home, is all that I needed to be quite contented in knowing that she was also attracted to me. That the beautiful young lady and I could have been close friends and lovers, had circumstances permitted us to.

Who was it said, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, if you try sometimes, you'll get what you need?"

Oh yeah, it was that scrawny little limey Michael Phillip Jagger and his Rolling Stones who said that.

That Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stone's song sings about a fact of life that was paramount for blessed little me. Because, even though the mailman's beautiful daughter was never the grateful recipient of the natural pleasures of the complete Dave Crews experience, you can bet your bippy that a goodly little number of other country girls around town sure 'nuff were.

And it was my pleasure to have been of some useful service to the several deserving lovely young ladies of Maine, whom I was blessed to have known well.

Thanks ladies, it was real.

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