Finishing up my meal, I flagged down the waitress as she was sashaying past me to another customer, and told her I was ready for my bill.
She stopped to look at me, and asked, "You new in town? Don't remember seeing you around here." Her smile was big, and her eyes were inviting. I had seen girls like her before on the Army base, and wanted nothing to do with her.
I simply smiled back and said, "I'm not from around here. Reckon I won't be staying long enough for any entanglements to speak of." I certainly wasn't planning any with her, that was for sure.
She gently laid the bill down on the table and said, "The cashier will take care of this for you. Come again, Cutie Pie." She left with a wink and a smile, apparently not having given up.
Whew! I reckoned I would meet Glenny outside and take her somewhere else for supper. I wouldn't want to subject her to that kind of tomfoolery; I knew that waitress wasn't the kind to let my date interfere with her overtures.
I paid my bill and left, glad to shake the dust of that place from my feet. Heading on down the street, I saw where Billy's Barber shop used to be. Now it was a beauty shop and nail salon. I guess old Billy was gone, too.
Pretty soon, I was back in my old neighborhood once again, and headed for old lady Grogan's house. Yeah, sure enough, there on the front lawn was a sign proclaiming it to be Nellie's Boarding House. Funny thing, I didn't remember having ever met Mrs. Grogan's daughter, or even hearing about her. Well, I was going to meet her now.
The lawn was well-kept, and that boded well for what the house would be like on the inside, I figured. Same old doorbell, I noticed. New mailbox on the side of the porch wall, though. A few flower boxes on the edge of the porch gave evidence of having been used in the summer time.
It seemed it took awhile for someone to answer the door. When the door opened, it was a little girl. She was wearing a large apron wrapped around her and carrying a dusting rag.
"Yes? Are you a salesman? We don't need anything, if you are," were her first words to me. "I'm Katy, and I work here."
"You do? Well, Katy, I'm Zebulon, Zeb for short, and I'm looking for a room to rent for awhile. Is your mother here?"
Just about that time, a lady came hurrying to the door and told the little girl, "Katy, I've told you a hundred times not to answer the door! Don't you have a job to do?"
Turning to me, she smiled and said, "Yes? I think I heard you say you wanted to rent a room? She knows she's not supposed to answer the door."
"Yes, ma'am, I just need it for a short time; perhaps a month."
"Do you have references? I can't rent to just anyone. I have to be careful."
(To be continued)