Editor’s Letter – Nov 2010


Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.


I awoke with a start. What a vivid dream! I reached for my pen and wrote down what I recalled.

I go to visit McGruders (my first love’s family cottage) at The Lake and am showing (my son) David, around. I talk to Bob’s dad and sister but not to first love Bob himself.

My friend Ginger, who runs the in-school suspension room (where I work at Kelloggsville High School), is going to teach with me now. She says, “Tell the boathouse story from long ago. It’s good.”

Boathouse? What boathouse story?

Later that day, I reread the dream and decided to honor Dream Ginger’s request. Since I could not remember anything specific about a boathouse, I’d make up a tale based on the people and place of my dream.


Summer of 1960 arrived with a sunny June. Tenth Grade was finally over. My folks again rented a cottage at Syracuse Lake — this time for three months. Yippee! I’m at the lake all summer! During the winter, looking at snapshots of friends in bathing suits, sitting by the lake made me smile. Fun! Now I was at the lake and waiting to see Bob the first time this summer. I looked at the same photos spread over my bed and paused at a snap of Bob. His tight smile showed he didn’t much like posing. He’s a year older than me and this summer has a car!

I stood and gazed out my bedroom window that overlooked the parking area at the back of our two-story cottage. I crossed the room to my dresser and picked up a crown-shaped perfume bottle. I dabbed Wind Song on the insides of my arms, listening for my summer love who lived in Phoenix, Arizona the rest of the year. Setting the scented liquid down, I thought of Bob’s brief phone call, “I’m here! Wanna get together Friday night?” Bob said he had a car — an El Camino. I’ve never seen one, wonder what it’s like.

Gravel crunched in the back lot. I turned to the windows and saw a white vehicle, part car/part pick-up truck stopped behind the cottage. A lanky, dark-haired guy stepped out. He’s here! I scampered down the wood steps, reaching the back door just as he knocked.

I opened it, grinning. “Welcome back, Bob!” Golly he looks so different. Suddenly I felt shy.

“Hi Fritzie.”

I pushed open the door, “Come in and say hello to my folks.”

“OK.” Minding his manners he said, “Hello Mrs. Ridenoure” to my mom and shook the hand Dad offered. I glanced at Bob. He’s so tall!

“Bring her back by midnight.” Mother directed.

Bob opened my car door and I slid onto the seat. I used to scoot close to him, but sat more on my side this night. I hardly know him anymore.

“Let’s go out to my house,” he said. What? We never go to his house or stay at mine. The summer before we water-skied by day. Some evenings we went out in his boat. Once out of sight from our cottage, we lit up Marlboros, looked at the stars and made out.

“OK.” Why do I feel so strange with Bob? Isn’t he my summer boyfriend?

“So, tell me about your new car,” I said.

“First of all, it’s not new. It’s a 59.” He described the engine, tires and other

guy stuff. He finished telling where he and his dad found the car just as we turned the last corner to reach his family’s cottage on nearby Wawasee Lake.

Bob parked behind his house and said, “Come say hello to my parents.”

This is so odd. We used to go to town on dates. Wonder what’s up.

 As we stepped in the back door, Bob’s mother stood in the kitchen drying dishes. His two little sisters played cards at the kitchen table on the other side of the room. The little blond excitedly told her sister, “Go fish!”

“Mom, here’s Fritzie.”

His mother turned to me. I nodded and said, “Hello, Mrs. McGruder.”

“Nice to see you again, Fritzie.” She put the plate away and reached for another.

Bob said, “And you remember my sisters, Patty and Cheryl.”

I waved at the dark-haired preteen and the little blond and said, “Hi.”

About then, Bob’s dad walked in from the main part of the house.

Bob looked over and said, “Here’s Dad.”

Using my best manners, I said, “How are you, Mr. McGruder?”

“Come on in,” the older man invited. I glanced at Bob for a clue. He moved to follow his father. Bob and I took armchairs in the main room as Bob’s dad stood and asked about my parents. “Is your dad still at Salem Bank? Your mom works there, too, doesn’t she?”

Sitting straight with my feet together, I said yes to both queries, and he went on.

“So you are at Syracuse Lake again this year. Where are you renting?”

“The Miller cottage on North Shore Drive.”

Then Bob’s dad sat on the couch across from us and asked how my school year had been. This feels strange… not like a date at all.

To be continued.

Frances Fritzie

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