By Anita Rothfeld, a member of Get Your WordsWorth
My life began and ended on a train.
It was August 1, 1943, a gorgeous summer day. I left the beach early because I had made an appointment with Aunt Labella to go to see “This is the Army” at Radio City Music Hall.
Just as I got to the platform of the Stillwell Ave. station, the train doors slammed shut. O dear.
The platform filled up. Suddenly, clearly, someone was whistling the lovely “Meadowland”
I turned to see a handsome soldier whistling away.
Another train came. The people piled in. I went for a pole.
I didn’t dare sit down. The bathing suit under my slacks was still wet.
When the soldier, who was holding on to the same pole, said, “There’s a seat” I said, “I have only two stations to go. Two stations came and went. The soldier said, “Your station?”
I said, “No. I made a mistake. I first have two more stations to go. I got off at 50th Street. The soldier got off. “May I walk you home?
When we got home, Aunt Labella said, “I see you brought the army home.” So I did.
That night we walked many miles to Prospect Park.
The soldier said, “May I call you darling?”
What do you do with someone who asks, “May I call you darling?”
You marry him.
Three weeks later, that’s exactly what I did. And we lived happily ever after.
Until one autumn day, November 9, 2004. After my ophthamologist appointment, we ran for a train. The same elevated West End train.
We just made it. We got in as the door slammed shut.
The train lurched forward. I grabbed a pole.
Mur flew into the air. I cried, “oh, no – oh, no!”
Five weeks later, the handsome soldier, the whistler,
My Darling – died.
It was good while it lasted!But like all good things, it came to an end.
October 20, 2008