Schools Out

June is a great month. One of my favorite. Neva J. went by the name Neva June for the majority of her life…although her birth certificate showed her name as Neva Jane… Neva J. was born on June 29, 1928. She would have been 94 years old this month. Neva J. enjoyed people and having a laugh and a good time. All of her friends were either Kid or Kiddo to her. She loved to read books ranging from the Bible to Gone With The Wind. She thought the actor, Clark Gable, was just about the epitome of male acting prowess. Neva J. sought to help those who had less than she did. She coveted neither acknowledgment nor fame and had a servant’s heart. Life was a free gift of God as far as Neva J. was concerned and she endeavored to impart what riches of life that she could to her neighbors and friends.

Billy B. watched his mom every day and knew that she was the type of person that he wanted to be. When it came time for the June 2nd trip to Pounds Hollow that he and Chet and Jane and Neva J. loved to take…he was not surprised that Rosie was going to accompany them on the Holiday. Rosie was a round little woman that had variations of one type of dress…the Moo Moo…and she wore them with pride. She had lived by herself for many years although Neva J. had told Billy B. that her parents had been famous in Vaudveile and that she had been a first-grade school teacher before her husband had passed away. Rosie had taught at Hillcrest School in the early 50s and had been much beloved by her pupils. In those days she and her husband, Rudolph, had often traveled to St.Louis to see performances of the premier performers of the day. They had seen Bob Hope and Bing Crosby…and the Play…A Streetcar Named Desire…by Tennessee Williams. Rosie had identified with one of the main characters, Blanche DuBois, who had experienced life reversals and had fallen from prosperity to penury… Rosie loved Neva J. and felt totally at ease with her. Neva J. had purchased for her friend…a comely modern bathing suit that Rosie looked like a million dollars in! When Rosie walked out onto the sandy Pounds Hollow Beach…she felt like Claudette Colbert…who she had met many years previously. Neva J. had taken Rosie to the Beauty Parlor in Eldorado and had her hair styled and she looked like a different person than what she had presented to the world since her beloved Rudolph had died. When Mr. Jefferson said hello to Rosie…he was smiling from ear to ear and he remarked how lovely she looked. Rosies’ cheeks became scarlet and she thanked him with a demure smile.

The Pounds Hollow Water was extremely choppy that June 2nd. It was reminiscent of the ocean…although it was just a large lake. ‘I am going out beyond the rope to swim,’ announced Chet. ‘Me too…that is the best swimming at Pounds Hollow,’ replied Billy B. ‘Not me…I am going to stay with Rosie and Neva J. in the shallow end of the Lake,’ Jane said with conviction! ‘Be careful you guys…you know that there are Water Poccassins out there in the deep,’ Neva J. muttered with a worried look on her face. ‘Do not worry…Mom…you know that Chet and I are expert swimmers, Billy B. yelled with a large grin on his wet face.

Chet began to sputter and spit water and gasp as he went under the large waves. Billy B. was trying to bring him in…but Chet was too heavy for him…and he began to succumb to the rage of the water as well. Suddenly…there was Rosie and Jane…and each grabbed one of the boys and began to easily bring them to the shore. ‘Rosie…you swim like an Olympian,’ said Jane. ‘I swam in the 36′ Olympics in Germany…I got the bronze medal…Hitler was a Prick,’ Rosie said.

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