Third Girl’s a Charm

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By: Roselle Havens

It was a very cold November Sunday afternoon at the Oakland Pharmacy in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1945. I had been waiting on tables and serving milk shakes and sundaes to college students all afternoon. I was just a freshman in college myself and was earning my way through by working as a soda jerk.

I heard the store telephone ring but had no time to answer it so I let it ring. Soon, I looked up from the ice cream counter and saw the crotchety janitor approaching me.

“Hey, Roselle, that phone call is for you. Some guy on the phone asked for Jean. She isn’t working I told him. Then he asked for Betty. She isn’t working today, either. Then he asked for Barb but she isn’t working today, either. Then he asked for you, I told him you were here and I’d get you. But I wouldn’t talk to him if I were you because he asked for every girl but you. His name is Dwight.”

After a quick consideration of his suggestion, I decided to take the call. After all, it was my first call from a tall, handsome veteran of the Army Air Corp since I had enrolled in college. I had met Dwight on a bad blind date with another guy and had thought I’d rather be on a date with him than the guy I was with.

Dwight was waiting patiently on the phone. I picked up the receiver and said, “Hello.”

Dwight asked me if I’d like to go skating. “Sure” I said.

“When do you get off work,” he asked.

“In two hours,” I replied.

“I’ll pick you up then,” he said.

The two hours passed quickly. I looked up to see Dwight walk in the store swathed in winter clothing up to his neck and carrying a pair of ice skates.

“You didn’t mean ice skating, did you?” I asked after giving a surprised “Hello.” “I thought you meant roller skating at an indoor rink.”

He took one look at my above-the-knee skirt, sloppy Joe sweater, and saddle shoes and knew his date on the ice was not going to happen.

We went to the movies instead.