Growing up as the only girl in my neighborhood was bad enough. The boys treated me like one of the guys Having two older brothers who were over protective was worse. It was impossible for me to get a date in that neighborhood.
The boys would hang out on the street corner at night. They were usually dressed in cuffed blue jeans and white T-shirts with a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in the sleeves. And here they would harmonize some doo-wop tunes. They were so good, they could have turned professional. They’d sing and watch the girls go by…all except this girl.
No sooner did I make it to the corner then my brothers intercepted me and escorted me back down the street.
But that didn’t stop me from venturing forth into the other neighborhoods that bordered the playground. Here I met lots of nice boys who didn’t know who my brothers were – they just knew they were dating an Italian girl. But just to play it safe, they always dropped me off a couple of blocks away from my street. And who could blame them.
It wasn’t long before Tony and Carmen and half the neighborhood left for the service (Armed Forces). Tony joined the Navy and Carmen joined the Air Force. This left an extra car at home – a black Cadillac.
The boys hadn’t been gone long when I decided to test my new-found freedom and piled all of my girlfriends into the Caddy and drove to the Band Box – an off-limits establishment for me according to my brothers.
I had wanted to go to the Band Box for years But this was my brothers’ hangout so I didn’t dare. Now that they were gone there was nothing to stop me. I was so excited. I got all dolled up in my best dress and high heels. The parking lot was full when we pulled in you could feel the energy in the air.
I lead my girl friends through the door like a pro – as if I had been a regular all these years. They were impressed and so was I. If I do say so myself.
No sooner had we crossed the threshold I caught sight of a familiar face sitting at the first table – it was Tony. He was home on leave and had stopped at the Band Box for a drink before heading home. It was a surprise.
I looked at him and he looked at me. And then I just turned around at walked out the door – like a pro