Jerry's View: My future wife.....a logger in disguise

by Jerry Robinson

We were both Franklin high school students in Portland. I was walking passed the auditorium and heard somebody playing a piano. The song Deep Purple resonated through the doors. It was a favorite of mine. I stopped, opened the doors and saw a pretty girl on the stage. I was 18 and instantly in love. She never saw me, so I went on my way.

  My family home was about two miles from Franklin and our house was about two blocks from another gorgeous girl I had my eye on. Her name was Orpha. One Saturday I walked over to Orpha's place,  an apartment house on 22nd St. I climbed some stairs and knocked on her door. Nobody answered. I was about to leave when I heard a voice from down the hallway yelling "Orpha is not home"

 I turned and saw a girl about my age so I walked over to the voice and I recognized her. She was the same gorgeous chick I had seen playing a piano in the school auditorium.

   I was a little stunned by the coincidence but not too frazzled. I learned she was dating one of the star athletes at school and asked her if she had seen me when she was playing the piano. She hadn't.

   I was no athletic star. In fact I was a skinny guy but had brown eyes my sisters admired. I was a lousy dancer and always admired my older brother Russ who was smooth and graceful on the pines. He also had a car.

   I asked him to lend me his Model A Ford so I could take Lee Bower, the beautiful piano player, to a dance at the Jantzen Beach ballroom. He said no then changed his

mind. He was dating a girl named Betty. She asked her dad if Russell could drive the family car. He gritted his teeth but okayed it and I got to use the Model A.

 At the dance Russ was dressed in a vanilla ice cream colored summer suit. He was out on the floor when two guys got into a scuffle. Brother Russ tried to break it up when one of the battlers swung at him and hit his nose. It bled all over his ice cream suit, ending his night of fun.

Lee and I left in Russ' car. I was in a snuggling-up mood and pulled the Model A to a stop in shadows. I turned off the gas valve then complained about running out of gas.  I put my arm around her and kissed her behind her ear. She knew about the gas valve. "Turn the gasoline back on,” she said.  Drat it! How did a girl know there was a gas valve under the dash? I motored her home soon after.

   A year later we married. I went to work at Boeing in  Seattle. We found a run-down old summer house on Star lake near Federal Way. We rented it for 25 bucks a month. The roof leaked a ton but the water ran out under the front door down to the lake. The kitchen wood stove had to heat the house. It was so cold that winter the pipes froze up and I had to crawl under the floor and replace the pipes. The rats kept me company.

   We were so unprepared for winter we had no firewood.

Lee was not timid. She was also resourceful. She took our battered old Dodge and some chain and went up in the woods and dragged a huge log down to the house. " I didn't even know she knew how to drive a car.

 She wanted to cut the log up with an ax before intervened. She knew it was my job. I borrowed a saw from a neighbor and after several backbreaking hours we got wood for the kitchen stove.

 Whenever we had a disagreement after that she gave me  a note which said: "Remember the log."

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