Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Courtship of Jim & Elaine 2.1 - Saturday Night Dates

Having a date on Saturday night was very important to girls in our day. Remember, in those days the girl had to wait by the phone for some guy to call. I don't know when Elaine fell for me romantically but I am sure the main attraction for some time was that I was a steady, reliable Saturday night date who cleaned up pretty good. Of course my motives for showing up every Saturday night were not exactly pure.
In those days everybody dressed up when going out on a date. I always wore a suit  or sport coat and tie and shined my shoes. Elaine was a fashion plate. I think she spent most of her meager salary at the women's clothing stores in beautiful downtown St. Joe. One reason she could do that is that she was living pretty cheap at home at Herman & Ruth's Bed and Breakfast (and Lunch and Dinner).
Here is how Saturdays went. The work week with Fried Bacon & Eggs ended at noon on Saturdays. From wherever I was I would take off for Watervliet. Maybe Joliet, Illinois; Detroit or even Ottumwa, Iowa. When I got there if I had time I washed the Kaiser out in the west side yard under the big elm tree. Then shower, get dressed up and head for St. Joe down US 12. Elaine would be doing her hair and nails and taking a bath in that old claw-footed tub at Belke's and getting all prettied up for me. Always a dress (with nylons and a garter belt in those days...happily panty-hose hadn't yet been invented).
Taking her home in the wee, small hours of Sunday morning at first I would park in front of her house on Broad Street (a steep, brick-paved hill), climb the steep steps to her front porch and kiss her goodnight in the glow ot the street lights. Eventually I wised up and took her around the back way, a dark, dead-end alley, and kissed her goodnight in the car for a while before I walked her to the back door.

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