Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women. Chapter V (Wild Women Don’t Get The Blues) 1/27/20

Wearing shades in the classroom
while writing tunes
Appears to have gone over
like big lead balloons

Ahh, my second summer in Transcona, but contrary to the song, the livin’ ain’t so easy. My father had decided that it was time for me to become gainfully employed so he got me a job at a service station where I pumped gas on the weekends.

Around that same time, I’d started growing my hair out hoping to look more like James Dean’s. This, of course, didn’t go unnoticed at home so once again I had to hear, “If I buy your clothes, you wear what I buy you, you eat what your mother puts in front of you, and if I pay for your haircuts, you’ll get it cut how I want it cut.” Oops, “Sorry Dad, ain’t going to do it, I’ll pump a little more gas on the weekend and pay for my own haircut because I won’t be needing that many. {pictured above in with my James Dean doo and shades)

How’s that old Sam Cooke tune go again? “Another Saturday Night, And I Ain’t Got Nobody.” Well, once again, he was singing my life, but that was about to change.

So there I was in front of the East End Community Club one hot Saturday night cooling off as a car pulls up and sits there. Finally, a female voice calls out and says, “Hey, sweetie, can you come over here for a minute?” Doing my best, James Dean, I stroll over to the car, and when the back window went down, suddenly, I was staring at the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. She looked like a young Marilyn Monroe, and I was just mesmerized, so I just stood there staring until she asked if I had a light? When all I could manage to mumble was that I didn’t smoke, she asked if I could get her one?
Within minutes I was back, and while I was firing her up, she said, “Hey, you’re kinda cute, what’s your name?” After I told her, she placed a piece of paper in my hand and said, “George, why don’t you call me sometime,” and with that, she disappeared into the night.

It took me several days to work up the courage to call her, but she seemed delighted that I did. After a little small talk, she asked if I knew of any dances that were going on that weekend? When I told her that there was one on Friday at the Maple Leaf Community Club in Transcona, she asked if I’d like to pick her up and take her. Thankfully, before I could confess that not only didn’t I have a car, I didn’t even have a driver’s license, she saved me by stating that it would be easier for her to take the bus rather than try to explain where she lived.

Ok, picture this if you can, a fifteen-year-old punk like me strolling into the dance with this voluptuous young Marilyn Monroe look-alike on my arm. Suddenly, a bunch of seniors from TCI surround me and are treating me like we’re best friends. Hell, I didn’t even think that they knew my name, but they sure did tonight.

“Oh, what a night!” I spent most of it wishing and a-hoping that my date was one of those bad girls my Dad had warned me about long ago. Being only fifteen, I desperately wanted this 17-year old to teach me about love.

Unfortunately, all she taught me was how to smoke, which I did in an attempt to look older. However, I did learn something that night that I’ve used my entire life. No matter how much money you may have, where you went to school, where you came from, who you know, or who your parents are, “It’s he who walks into the room with the best-looking lady on his arm, wins the game.”


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