The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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This is the story about my grandfather, Barkley or Bart as he likes to be called, and my grandmother Marilyn. It details the time they first met each other in Washington, New Jersey. This date would be their first of many as the two eventually got married, had 3 kids, and now a plethora of grandchildren as well as great-grandchildren. This past November they celebrated 52 years of marriage.

“That’ll be 15 cents.”

“Wha.. Uh.. Oh right here ya go” said Barkley perplexingly to the cashier.             

Barkley’s attention had fixated onto the blonde-haired girl in the corner after placing an order for a milkshake at Dodd’s.

He shuffled back to his booth where Pat awaited him.

As slyly as possible Barkley proposed to Pat to look at the girl across the restaurant, but not too much, can’t look creepy.

Pat looked back at Barkley puzzled, “Oh yeah I know her, that’s Marilyn, we used to work together at the corner shop. You don’t know her?”

“Wow no,” said Barkley, “I would definitely remember such a face.”

“Want to meet her?” Inquired Pat.

Barkley replied, “Would I ever, but I don’t know Pat, she seems out of my league ya know?”

“No way!” exclaimed Pat, “She’s a really nice girl I swear, C’mon Bart.”

To Barkley, the trek across the restaurant seemed like miles as his mind raced to make sure he would say all the right things.

Barkley was swiftly acclimated to Marilyn and her friend Carol by Pat. Almost instantly, Barkley’s nerves were suppressed by the calming presence of Marilyn with every exchanged word.

From there, the conversation bloomed and branched off to topics unique to a 20-something year old from Jersey. The shore, work, school, those things. As the conversation progressed, Barkley knew that Marilyn was different, she gave off a vibrant warmth that he was consumed by. Marilyn didn’t chase guys, she was too good for that. Barkley caught that vibe and knew he would have to make his move eventually.

Soon enough, the pairs split ways and Barkley sat solely with Pat again.

“Nice girls, right?” asked Pat.

“Yeah, I really like Marilyn, she’s a pretty sweet girl” Barkley replied.

“Say, Bart, I can get you her number if you want. I have it from the store, you want it?”

“Ya know what, yeah let me have it.” Barkley said determined.

A few days later Bart sat in his room, left palm clutching a little post-it note. Anxiously he rolled the ten numbers on the note into his rotary phone. With every passing ring he grew more and more fearful. Eventually, the ringing seized and what he heard next put all his worries to rest.

“Hello?” said the soft voice on the other line.

“Hi uh, is this Marilyn?” Barkley nervously asked.

She obliged and also recognized Barkley as well. The conversation flowed smoothly and soon enough Bart pulled together enough courage to ask the million dollar-question.

“Hey, if you are free Friday, I’d love to take ya to go to the theater, if you are free of course.” Bart said in a trembling tone.

“I’d love to!” Marilyn exclaimed.

The terms of the meeting were agreed to, 6:30 Friday, it’s a date. That was it, Barkley feigned calmness as he hung up the phone then bursted into uncontrollable joy! He knew he couldn’t mess this one up, he wouldn’t let it happen.

Bart and Marilyn

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The late 1950's
Washington, New Jersey

This is the story about my grandfather, Barkley or Bart as he likes to be called, and my grandmother Marilyn. It details the time they first met each other in Washington, New Jersey. This date would be their first of many as the two eventually got married, had 3 kids, and now a plethora of grandchildren as well as great-grandchildren. This past November they celebrated 52 years of marriage.

Tags: Love Story
Decade: 1950s
Rating:
Recorded by Caleb Kantor on December 6, 2017
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