After Suzy and Jon reconciled I continued dating Pamela. In May of 1959 freedom came, not from girls, but from school; I graduated. After the ceremony there was an explosion of chaos: relief, excitement, and a sense of what do we do now. Classmates and family were mingling en masse and the air was full of babble. Someone grabbed my arm and asked if i'd like to go to a post-graduation celebration. I don't even remember who it was and maybe I ended up in a car with some other party. There is a fog of memory when so many years have passed.
Anyway, next thing I know I am entering Silver Lake Inn, which back then was a pretty nice restaurant somewhere along Route 422 east of Pottstown (if I remember that correctly). I do recall being swept in with this pocket of people and sitting somewhere about the middle of this long table. Next to me was the blond gal and it turned out it was her parents and aunt throwing this little dinner party for her and her friends among the graduates.
Now, I knew the name of this blond gal, and I knew she played the piano because she had performed
And besides, the blond and I had a nice chat the whole evening. At the end of the affair, she wrote her telephone number on a napkin and told me to give her a call sometime and that they had a pool and maybe I'd like to come over and swim.
I really consider this the end of it. School was over for us and our paths weren't going to cross again, unless I did take the step of calling her, which I really wasn't planning to do. But a couple weeks went by and it was a hot June, so one day I did call and inquire about this swimming thing. I did like to go swimming when the chance arose. She told me to come over that Saturday in my bathing suit.
So came the weekend and I drove out into the country near Spring City and found her place. There wasn't a lot about the area then. Homes have been built up since and the other year I tried to find her place and couldn't, but on that bright sunny Saturday I could. I drove down their long, tree-lined lane, cross a little bridge over a creek and pulled up in a parking area before her house. I stepped out.
Yeah, I was gone, I was in instant love. I stepped closer and the air smelled so sweet. I think I was able to talk. I stayed that afternoon and we swam and her aunt brought out iced tea and her mother fed us and I floated home and couldn't wait to see her again -- foolish young man I be.
She was exactly Russian. She was Latvian, but in those days Latvia was part of the USSR, and Latvia is tense these days after what happened in Crimea that those days could return. Her parents and aunt had migrated to the United States to escape communism. Her father was some kind of scientist, I think. He was very quiet, but very smart and he had built their house himself as well as a small airplane tarped behind the building.
All the family history was probably pretty amazing, but I was interested in the present creation in the family that being Sonja. It sorta became apparent that I was her first boyfriend, a fact that should have been a cautionary warning sign, but I wasn't seeing much in that summer but this golden girl.
It was kind of funny, I guess, because I had a crush at one time on Sonja Henie, a former Olympic skating metal winner that had gone on to have a movie star career. Granted, Sonja Henie was old enough to be my mother (or let's face it, old enough to be my grandmother), but here was a young replica of that fantasy love. They not even spelled their name the same, Sonja, but bore a physical resemblance, this is Sonja Henie on the right and my Sonja on the left.
Early on Sonja threw a party. Several boys and girls were invited. Her mother and aunt served alcohol at this get together. I didn't drink. I didn't drink or smoke or even curse in my teens (and I was also a virgin), which had earned me the sobriquet"Holy Joe" from my friend Richard and his brother. It had nothing with being holy, it was I had chosen not to do these things. Richard thought I was missing out, but this had its advantages. The boys at the party all got drunk and sick and spent most of the evening laying about or staggering off to the bathroom. This left me the lone sober boy and I'll tell you, you always win in a game of spin the bottle with all girls.
Well, I wasn't technically the only boy that remained sober. Ronald was
There was more to this than just shyness, but it wasn't something I was to learn until several years later.
I wasn't too concerned about Ronald and what he and Ginny were doing. I was just doing everything to be around Sonja. I knew she was very big on music, so I wrote a musical play in an attempt to impress her.
We went to a lot dances at the Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown and even attended the Sesquicentennial Ball in Downingtown.
Now back in high school, Sonja wore glasses, but in her senior year she got these new fangled things called contact lens. These little clear discs did have a habit of sometimes popping out of place and during our whirling about the dance floor one went flying, forcing us to our hands and knees to weave between the dancers legs as we ran our palms across the wood trying to feel where the truant lens was lying.
Didn't matter, if this was embarrassing, I was willing to be so humiliated to be with this gal. I also felt the sophisticate in this relationship. I had girlfriends before she accidentally came into my life, but from what I could gather I was the first boyfriend in her own. That may have been a bit flattering, considering how stunning Sonja could look, but if I had really been this man of the world I would have recognized the danger in this.
Now I am assuming we are all adults here as I relate what happened next and you will understand what I am speaking of without getting too graphic about it.
We began kissing and the kiss went on and on. As we kissed she pressed into me and began to rub her body up and down against mine. Well, I was just turned 18 years old and this had the expected effect on my anatomy. Teen boys can't help it, but I was very aware of this sudden situation and I didn't want her to notice my condition, so I kept kind of pulling my hips back and away from her, but she just kept stepping into me more. I remember thinking, "Please stop, you don't know what you are doing to me", but years later I realized she knew exactly what she was doing.
That fall she went off to school in Philadelphia and there she met big city boys. She wanted to be friends, but I wanted to be a bit more than that, which was not going to happened. She broke my heart. I didn't know how I would get over her. My life was over. I didn't know she would become a different kind of haunt.
I went back to dating Pamela and another young lady named Louise (pictured right).
Ronald still continued dating Ginny and we were back at Sunnybrook and other places on double dates.
That is Ginny, Pamela and me on the left and Ginny, me and Louise on the right.
I had fun, but I just couldn't get my mind off the Russian Blond.
I didn't know the Irish were about to arise.