Tuesday, June 26, 2012



When he was 4 years old, Buck Boopman cried all the way to and from the all-girl tap dancing lessons his mother made him go to. But he did not cry during the classes. No, that would have been too humiliating. It was bad enough to have to wear that leotard and those shiny black shoes with the little ribbon as a shoelace without bawling like a big baby about the whole thing. The real reason Buck kept it together was simply out of respect for the little girls in that class, especially Teddy, the daughter of the Minister at the church he went to. Buck always looked forward to seeing Teddy there. Teddy was Buck's first love. Tap-dancing lessons may not have made him a dancer, but they taught him that sometimes love is just hoping to see someone, and keeping it together for them when you do.

A few years later, in the second Grade, Buck would walk home from school with Donna for lunch everyday. And everyday he would split the baby Snickers bar his mother had given him with Donna when they met on the corner for the walk back to school. One day when his mother gave him his usual Snickers bar, Buck asked if he might have TWO Snickers bars today.
"Why do you need two today?" his mother asked.
And Buck explained to his mother that everyday he split his candy bar with Donna, and that today he thought maybe Donna might like one of her own.
"Oh yes!" his mother beamed as she wiped her hands on her Watermelon Apron and reached into the pantry for another Snickers "You most certainly may!"

These two events would form Bucks attitude towards women that he kept for the rest of his life.
It was also why he felt a bit nervous and uneasy about the effect that his step-sister Betsye had on him, all the while hoping something might happen between the two of them.


Betsye was 16 years old. She had a father somewhere that sent a birthday card to her on her birthday for the last 14 years. She loved her daddy like all little girls do, but stayed confused as to why he chose to stay away. She had had to suffer the looks and jeers of quite a number of her mother's
boyfriends over the years. She had grown up 'fast" as the old folks say, having started her period at the age of 10 and having her breasts come in when she was only 11.
And oh my, did they come in!
The flat chested girls could not imagine what a curse it could be. Boys never looked you in the eye. Some of them even would just come up and grab at them.
Old men gawked and didn't even try to hide their lust

She didn't quite know it, but she was more than breasts. She was also very pretty and sweet, its just nobody had ever really told her that. She had never  had a boyfriend, she stayed too busy just trying to defend herself at school, and on the walks home, and when she and her girlfriends would get cornered by some boys down at the Bellaire.

So when Fightin' Joe Jarmack, the toughest guy at school, showed an interest in her and asked her out, it made sense to her to say yes. Nobody messed with Joe, and nobody would dare mess with Joe's girl. She was scared and vulnerable, and she did whatever Joe asked, but she wasn't really afraid of Joe. Joe liked her too much to ever hurt her; she sensed that. In fact, it seemed to her that Joe was even afraid of her.
But for her, he represented protection, and it seemed like a good trade, her affection for his protection.
Recently, since her mom had married Bum Boopman, she had taken a liking to her step-brother Buck. He was kind and gentle, and had always showed her a great deal of respect. He smiled to see her in the mornings, and lately she found herself daydreaming about him during class, and at night before she fell asleep.

No one was home when Betsye got there. She took a shower, wrapped herself in a towel, and painted her toenails while she sat on the edge of the bathroom countertop. She didn't hear when Buck came home until she heard him gasp "Sorry" as he rounded the corner and into the bathroom..
"That's OK!" she said as she hopped down from the counter to face him head on.
Buck fought the urge to look at his boot tops.  He held his ground and stood there, looking straight
into Betsye's eyes.
Betsye knew it was up to her.
She was tired of the affliction, tired of playing the role of Fightin' Joe's girl.
She  smiled her best smile, took a deep breath, and let the towel drop.
Buck, in a rare moment of dash,  stepped into the bathroom and pulled the door shut.

Sometimes love is not about keeping it together.
Sometimes love is all about cutting loose.


LinkS to the other parts of this story....click here.
This part should follow Part 2, "The Scariest House on the Block" and come before Part 3, which was renamed at some point to  'The View From The Smoking Area"

If you actually go read all this crap, you may note that the names changed somewhat between Part Two and Part 3. Thats because there were some Baumgardeners that lived in this area, and they had nothing to do with the story, and when I posted the story to FB, I had to clean up the names to protect the innocent.


AnitaNH said...

"...sometimes love is just hoping to see someone, and keeping it together for them when you do."


Kristi PK said...

Oh, I wanna know what happened!! Great story, Steve. I love it.

bulletholes said...

Kristi, if you follow the links I provide at the bottom, you can get to the other 5-6 parts of this story.
Someday, I’ll have to marry them all together.

It starts at the Boys Ranch and ends at the Drivers Ed course at Bell. Did they still have that when you went?

bulletholes said...

I can see now I'll have to change her name again.
To Betty.
That way she can be "Mrs. Betty Boopman".