We were more Iowa than Manhattan…
But we lived only sixty miles from Manhattan.
An hour’s drive up the Quickway from the city brought you to a quiet, farm filled world.
Which meant boring summers in 1966.
Nick DeRosa passed my house on his bike and I called him into the yard…nothing special in mind..was just bored and wanted to know if he knew anything going on with girls, sports, fast cars, fistfights, girls, girls, girls.
Nick smiled…smiled some more.
He was heading up to Bailey Road on his ten speed, and he was on a mission to recreate a situation that was virtually unrecreatable.
Last time Nick was passing through Bailey Road, Diana Radley was sitting outside in a sun dress, smiling at Nick. And her legs were slightly apart, and Nick could see EVERYTHING.
“Saw her cooch, Greg”, said Nick, “nice brown patch, and as she’s flashin’ it, she’s smilin’ at me..she definitely did it on purpose.”
While Diana Radley did not pass through my limited social world much, she was interesting looking. Not gorgeous, but with her thick dark hair, big brown eyes, better than average face, and nice slim figure, Nick ignited a fire in me for a girl I had given ten seconds thought to in the last five years.
Couldn’t sleep that night.
Let me say that any girl in a sun dress moves up five notches automatically. A ‘five’ slides up to a ‘ten’. A sung dress girl on a boring, hot, summer day is almost always memorable, and sends a jolt of electricity to the danger zones of a sixteen year old boy.
I knew, that for the rest of the summer, I would be taking that mile trip up 17K to Bailey Road, and wind down that lonely pavement, pre screening in my mind what I hoped to see when I got to my destination.
Of course, it had to be the right time. First, it had to be a time when Nick would not be around, or heaven forbid, other guys who Nick might have told.
According to my Einsteinian calculations, about 7 PM might be a time when she was just out of the shower or the pool (thus the lack of panties) and she might be massaging her scalp with a bit of hair styling stuff as I Schwinned past (oh dear Lord..the memory).
Had to be careful about this bike voyage. If Nick got there first, had to turn around. But if he didn’t, I would cruise east and west in front of her house, SLOWWWWW, in hopes of catching a nano instant glimpse of what Nick saw.
One night, I cruised up Bailey toward the purple-orange sunset sky, and as I passed her house, Diana was sitting out front on a bench…in a sundress, combing her wet hair.
God, her thighs were perfect (they were perfect because their weren’t any other thighs around to compete with). And, of course, those same thighs were a bit apart. Being a classy guy, I first realized that I had to actually say hi to her, before attempting to observe her wonderful world of sensual delight.
So I did say hi..and she said hi back. She did nothing to encourage or discourage my attention….since I was here, and I had the best chance of getting ‘lucky’, I sure wasn’t about to go home.
But I couldn’t drift east and west all night.
Now, certain guys, at a time such as this, were known as ‘smooth operators’…or, as my 19th century mom might have remarked, a ‘makeout artist’.
I was neither of those.
Hemmed and hawed and pulled up my bike, engaging in conversation so memorable that I don’t remember a word of it.
Being as how it was 1966 and being as how this was ME, the thought of actually engaging in the full Lebowski was out of the question, even though I tossed and turned about that every night.
But I did hope to get somewhere, somehow, soon.
Since you have no way of disproving my story, I could just go down Trumpian truth lanes and tell you that we engaged in fiery, wet passionate love down by the boat dock.
Actually, who would get hurt by such a fib?
Over the course of time, nothing much happened beyond awkward conversation.
During the fall, saw her back in school.
At first, I could not take my eyes off her… a girl I never paid attention to before.
As the weather cooled down, and she dressed for warmth, I lost a bit of interest.
The further away she ventured from that fabulous brightly colored sundress, the calmer I get.
I am now sixty eight years old.
And a sundress still makes me twitch.