Estelle and I became very
good friends and we spent a lot of time together. We both loved to paint
canvases of flowers, found objects, landscapes or whatever happened to
be of interest at that moment. Her art club met once a month and she was
always full of information with the goings on of that. My friend took
pictures of the other womens paintings and brought the photographs home
to show me. Some of the work was incredibly professional. One of the
women was her closest friend. Estelle told me the womans father had
been in a banking business in the old part of town, Oak Cliff. It was
now one of the largest banks in downtown Dallas so I had no doubt the
woman was well heeled, as the saying goes. It was the one with the joke
circulated that said, "A Texan went in to ask for a loan of 60,000. When
they asked for collateral, he replied, 'I'm not accustomed to having a
need for collateral for my pocket change."
She and Estelle often
chatted over the phone while we were working on some of our art work
One topic of conversation
to take priority over everything else was regarding the man who lived in
an apartment on Estelles friends, estate. His name was Henry. The two
women were unmerciful with their chit-chat regarding Henrys life. He
wasnt present to defend himself so in my mind I had formed an opinion
and image of that one who was someone with a weasel like appearance. I
just knew he must have been shifty eyed and rude with probably, dirty
"Henry didnt come in
until three last night!" Lila reported on the mans private life and
affairs. Estelle repeated to me what her friend had just told her. As if
I cared. Usually, I never answered aloud but only raised an eyebrow or
some such gesture to let her know I had heard.
"My art club is meeting
at the Harris estate and would like to know if you want to join us for
the evening?" Evidently I was a topic of discussion, too, and I wasnt
sure I wanted to be. "You will enjoy the ladies. Art is a great hobby of
"Ill see if I can get
Rodney to watch the kids." I told her but I still wasnt sure I wanted
"Go on and go." Rodney
was okay with the outing. "You will enjoy it."
Their get together wasnt
for two weeks so I had plenty of time to get myself ready. I bought a
new red wine colored jumper and put a soft blouse of delicate organza
under it. I worked on my then almost black hair for a good two days,
using my cosmetology skills to pull it all up into barrel curls at the
top and back of my head. A pair of high heeled sandals were the exact
color of the jumper and completed my outfit. When the day arrived I felt
my appearance was good enough for even the pickiest person there.
When we arrived at the
rambling estate house I could see anyone would be impressed with the
appearance of wealth. The parking lot was beautifully landscaped to have
groups of plants and lights under them to show off their night time
beauty. The house was huge, and seemed to ramble on forever.
A party was now being
held around what was a dessert table and I dont believe Ive ever seen
anything like it before or since. Ill bet there were two hundred
different desserts and Im not exaggerating. Any drink a person could
desire was offered from wine, to martinis, margaritas, shaved ice with
blended fruit laced with vodka, whatever.
Native American people
have to watch the fire water but certainly, I was sampling a bit of this
and that from a lazy Suzan of a table which was big and took up a good
space. A very handsome man walked up to the table. He was tall,
extremely well-groomed with the most expensive suit I had seen in a
while. Even his fingernails looked to be manicured. His demeanor was
suave and it was as if his diction was from some well bred old family
whose culture allowed them to send their son to the best of schools.
We visited for just a
moment and then he said, "Oh! Im so sorry, I havent introduced myself.
It would have been so
rude to laugh out loud, so I didnt, thank heaven. "So this is Henry."
I'm thinking, well hes a bit of not what I expected. My lady like
person I was trying to present wouldnt let me even grin but what a
strain it was not to do so.
"Im pleased to make your
acquaintance, Henry. I was trying to be casual and praying there
wouldnt be a giggle forthcoming. Im a mother and a housewife who likes
to do art work. What is your profession?
"Im an engineer," came
his polite answer, "an electronic engineer."
Henry spent the evening
at my side as we danced and enjoyed visiting. My senses made me aware
the ladies were probably observing every move we made.
"How I would like to be a
fly on the wall beside their telephones the next day." I thought. "Let
that be a lesson to you, Lady," I chided myself, lest you ever listen to
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