Sanford, The Tale Of Two Potholes
Let’s begin our story a few years back in a time where all was good. I’ll take you to a small town in Maine. A place that had glam and luster. Today; makes some wonder. An old mill town that was thriving and booming.
When growing up the place I heard about the most was Sanford, Maine. The town had so much to see stores, movie theater, and hospital.
Sanford had it all, but did it?
Country girl all the way I thought that I would give this so-called city life a chance. We all know deep in our hearts Sanford no city. So, Barbara and I rented an apartment on Brook Street, from on the second floor with beige walls, claw bathtub, and huge living room. Barbara is my best friend in the world. We’ve been friends since grade school. Some say we are twins. I think we look alike. Barbara and I have big plans for the future.
The next morning my Uncle Jake stopped by to say hello and check up on us girls. Uncle Jake helped us get the apartment. He got up to steps, rang the doorbell. I answered the door uncle Jake was winded for he was a round man with short legs. Jake loved his plaid and blue jeans.
I let him in the hallway where he took a seat in the kitchen chair that we haven’t placed yet. I asked my uncle what brought him by. Oh, I wanted to see how you ladies were making out? I told him just fine. I brought him into the kitchen. I just brewed a fresh pot of coffee. We could smell the aroma from the hallway. He said ” I see you still have boxes around” “yes, we haven’t had all much time to get everything in place.” I replied. ” Barbara starts her new job at Goodall today. ” ” I start my job at the Goodall Library tomorrow.” I pulled two cups for the cabinets that my mom gave me to start off with. They were white, pink strip, and big. My favorite. Sherry, he said with a serious face, When are you going to settle down? I looked at uncle jake with my eyes wide open and mouth dropped. I was shocked! Uncle Jake, when the time is right it will happen. I’m only 25. I have plenty of time. Uncle Jake spoke up and said you are a pretty girl Sherry wavy brown hair, fair skin and tall. I smiled, sarcastically Uncle Jake you’re sounding like dad. What about Barbara? He asked. What about her? I said. Is she seeing someone, or going to date soon? I shook my head. Back and forth. It felt like I was being interrogated by the police department. Uncle Jake, I know Barbara is seeing someone. A very sweet, kind and good looking. His name is Stanley. He’s a janitor at Goodall Hospital. Barbara is a nurse. They met at a function six months ago at the VFW. So, you need not worry about Barbara Uncle Jake. We talked and finished up our second cup of coffee. I slowly walked my uncle down the hall and told him I loved him. Kissed him on the cheek goodbye. I went to my window and watched him walked away. I noticed a small limp that I never noticed before.
I walked slowly into the living room and noticed boxes that needed to be unpacked. I shook my head. Took and deep sigh and said to me let’s get started. I picked up the huge box with DVDs. I looked at them. My favorites An Officer An A Gentleman, Steel Magnolias, and Dirty Dancing. I can hear the lines from Patrick Swezey say ” No one puts Baby in the corner.” just before the final dance of the movie. I get the living room set up and take a look around. A job well is done I think to myself. The couch is sitting near the big window in front of the room where the sunlight comes in, light blue curtains are hung for now. The television sits against the wall across the couch so we can enjoy cable. Coffee table in front of the couch. Two end tables my mom gave us. Solid oak and very old sit on either side of the couch. A white lamp with gold fixtures sits on one of the end tables, the other end table has a red vase of fresh daisies. I got from the little store around the corner. The chair is a maroon color, straight back and doesn’t match but it will do for right now. I just love the fireplace in the living room made out of brick and cement. I can see the black soot, so I know it’s been used before. On the wall, I hung a few pictures of family and friends. I lean in to look at some of the pictures on the wall. I see the photo of Barbara and me at graduation. We are wearing our cap and gown. Red and white were the school colors. We went to Wells together. Class of 1994. Those were the best years. We got into some mischief. Skipping class to go to the beach, shopping and fairs. One time our parents knew we weren’t at school. We got caught in Sanford. All places. We were shopping at Midtown Mall. That’s when I met officer Sears. An average size man, bald head and nice smile. He had his full blue uniform on and I saw his shiny badge. I didn’t like his stinky cologne. It made my eyes water and nose itchy. I remember how friendly and kind he was to us. Although he had two other cops with him that day. I thought we were in Mayberry with Andy and Barney. A tall skinny, buck teeth, and lots of hair. He was cute but goofy looking. His name was officer Allen. He was all dressed up. Blue uniform, nightstick, and gun. The last man was the nastiest. He was tall with short blond hair, ***** face, and ugly. He was mean like a bulldog. Never smiled. Dressed in his blues, handcuffs, and one bullet. He was a total *******. I was so gratefully officer Sears talked to us that day. Barney Fife might have pulled his one bullet from his pocket and shot us. Officer Nickles needs to be retrained as a cop.
Officer Sears brought us to station that day. Then called our parents. The look on our parents faces that day. We would be dead if looks could kill. I got grounded for a month and couldn’t see Barbara. I thought that a month took forever. Barbara’s father John gave her two months. I thought that was a little steep but she was an only child and John was a single dad. He was trying to do the best he could after the loss of his wife. John very good man. Tall, little overweight, and jolly. Loves life. Huge sports fan. I loved going to his house because of the sports memorabilia in every room. One of my favorite items was a Patriot hamlet with signatures from the football players, which sits next to his big screen television. John and Susan were married for 15 years. She died of lung cancer two years ago. Barbara still today has a hard time with the loss of her mother. I do have to admit she was a wonderful woman. Susan with her long golden blond hair, striking blue eyes, and slender figure. Barbara and I would come back from a bike ride. Run up a couple of wooing stairs into the kitchen. The kitchen had the smell of cookies from the oven. Chocolate chip cookies. I knew they just made by the how the heavenly strong scent filled the air. Susan was sitting at the kitchen table smoking a freshly lit cigarette. Having a morning Allens Coffee Brandy and milk. Playing solitaire. Susan raised her voice at us! “Slow down!It’s not lee Speedway threw here!” “Have a cookie, they just got done” she said to us. They were so good, warm and chewy. Mrs. Gilford poorer a tall glass of cold milk. They were so good we just had to have another. The kitchen at the Gilford house reminded me of something from Good Housekeeping. Yellow walls with sunflower wallpaper. White countertops all around the kitchen. Double door refrigerator. The oven was built in the wall. The stovetop was on the counter. They had an island in the middle with stools around for seating. Mrs. Gilford always kept fresh hanging plants in her windows. She took pride in her spider plant. The spider plant hung over the window with a bench built in so you could sit and look at her beautiful gardens. She had the best garden I know. Roses, daisies, and sunflowers. Herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary. Her rosemary won prizes at local fairs and smelt divine. Vegetable with tomato, carrots, and cucumber. Mrs. Gilford entered a pumpkin into the Fryeburg Fair and won for the biggest and largest pumpkin that year. It was so exciting! The news spread around fast in small town. I just love sitting there and talk to Barbara about school, jobs, and boys of course. We were in the band. I played the flute. Barbara for some strange reason liked the tuba. That was the year Wells high went to the state finals and won the competition. We were so proud that year. We even ended up to go to New York City and play in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The excitement of playing in New York. I remember the tall buildings, lights, and busy streets. The people. Millions of people. You could never count them all. People of all race and colors. Barbara and I went to a broadway show while were touring the big apple. We saw Cats with a few other class mates. I just loved the song Memory. I just had to sing along with the singer. Memory, not a sound from the pavement….alone with a memory…. Her voice was majestic, powerful, and electric. You could feel the pain of the old cat felt as she stood there singing her song. She was the oldest cat with grey dirty fur. Ready to move on to the next life. I cried as I saw her fading away. I looked over and I saw a tear on barbaras face too. The Broadway show will be something I will never forget. Lights, ocharster and cast. The stage was a mini new york city. The next day the band toured on a doubled decker bus. The double-decker bus reminded me of the buses in England. They were red too. We were riding in style. All the tall builds hurt my neck looking up at them. Where we live in Sanford, the tallest building is three stories high. The fire department has five hundred foot ladder. I have to smile. We saw times square, I mention to Barbara that I wish we could see this at night. Everyone had to be in their rooms at nine. Quiet time at ten. We we’re going to be tourist. It was beautiful bright sunny day. Sometime you couldn’t see the sun with the smog.The next day the band toured on a doubled decker bus. The bus reminded me of the buses in England. They were red too. We we’re riding in style. All the tall builds hurt my neck. We saw times square,I can just imagine the night life. We all took the boat over to the Elis island where the lady stood before us. Later on we went to the statue of liberty. She was even more glamorous in person then on television. We listened in to what the tour guide had to say about the history of the statue as she stood there in all her glory. At night the sky line was lovely. The world trade buildings were still up before 9/11 and the empire state building was brite as far as you can see. It was truly the city that never sleeps. Yellow taxi cabs were always running no matter the hour. It was truly the city that never sleeps. I would look on the balcony of our hotel room for hours. We made a promise to return to New York, New York one day. We need more adventures in our life.
Barbara ran through the front door like a tornado whipping the wind off a barn. I jumped off the couch almost bumping my head. Oh, my ******* god! Having my hand on my heart. She was laughing and giggling hysterically. Stan and I are in love! What??? After nine months? I asked yes she replied with a twinkle in her eyes. I knew then that the love bug has hit and was hard. Really hard. She said to me. Please come with us to dinner. How could I refuse? She was looking at me with puppy dog eyes. I was going to meet this mystery Stan, I heard all about. Stan this, stan that. Sometimes Barbara drove me nuts about Stanley. He was taking us to supper at a local Resturant in town. Nothing to fancy after all. Pizza Hut is where we ended up. I haven’t been them since I was a child. I can taste the buttery crust now. My favorite was pepperoni with extra cheese. Barbara and I took a taxi over because of no wheels and we may just want a drink or two. We met Stan at Publik House in Springvale. A small village just outside of Sanford. It was a quaint little pub. The bar reminded me of Cheers in Boston. Stan had a friend with him and I leaned over and whispered into Barbara’s ear. and said ” who is that? , I thought that I was meeting Stan? ” Barbara whispered back ” you are and his friend Chris.” before we proceed any further I grabbed her arm and said, ” you said nothing about a friend!!” she smirked and replied ” he’s nice, hard worker and good looking” I rolled my eyes in a whisper and said” he’s old! Don’t forget OLD! As I clenched my teeth together! She had to remind me fast of the past losers I dated. Just give him a chance. She said with a smile. You and I know that you would never show up if I told you Stan was bringing a friend. ” fine” I said with a huff. We got to the table and Chris was a very polite man. He pulled the chair out for me. We all ordered drinks. Stan introduces to Chris. This my fiancee Barbara and her friend Sherry. I thought to myself fiancee?? What?? When was Barbara going to tell me they were getting married? She never said anything to me. I dropped my napkin on the floor and tapped barbara’s chair. She knew wanted to talk. ” you’re engaged ?” I whispered under the table. ” yes” she replies last night. ” I wanted to tell you but you were already in bed when I got home.” I’ll tell you later. Meanwhile, Chris was making googly eyes at me. I wanted to run and hide. Maybe a glass of wine might lighten the mood. I just love a good glass of white zinfandel. Chris and Stan are Budweiser men. Barbara loves her sweet drinks white Russian. Chris was telling me all about himself he is a painter, father, and oldest child of nine. He had a southern accent but raised in Maine. His birthday is in November and he is a Scorpio. He has a daughter thirty-seven years old. He has gray hair, Brown eyes, and just a little shorter than me. I was five seven and a half. I heard it all about Chris. I did have an easy time talking with him. I ended up telling everything about me by the end of the night. We got into Stans Ford dual pick up truck. I have to admit I was a Chevy girl myself but for a ford, it was very nice. Two thousand Dark blue with silver hubcaps and two rear tires. Barbara told me he loved that truck and it was his baby. He told us the story of how he bought his Ford. We heard the story a dozen times. He sounded like a broken record. We all ended up at the top of mount hope. Where we sat talked and looked at the stars. The two lovebirds went to make out while they left Chris and me to be lone. That’s when he asked for a second date. At first wasn’t too sure if I was going to on that date I still said yes. We got back to the apartment and Barbara and I talked about her engagement. She told me, Stan isn’t romantic at all he practically gave me the ring. He said ” I know what the answer is., will you marry me? ” I said ” what?? ” with a dumbfounded look on my face. “I wouldn’t have said yes to that!!! She explained he’s so cute. Cute!!!! My foot! I’ll boot him in the ass! I already know the answer!!! I was horrified by the Stan proposed to Barbara. Sherry, he does love me. I rolled my eyes. A man should get down on one knee and ask for your hand in marriage. In a voice change like a man, I know what the answer is. Sarcastically I said. She laughed and said that’s my Stan. Okay, whatever. If he makes you happy. I’m happy for you. She then said I’m hoping you’ll be my maid of honor. Took a deep breath and said yes. She jumped with happiness and joy.
The next morning Stan and Chris called wanting to know if us girls wanted to come over for a fire. I was reluctant to go but I put on my best smile and went over Stan’s. I decided maybe a card game and some wine may help with the mood of the fire. Stan didn’t live too far. Over by Cigarette City. A local store that sells cigarettes, beer and wine. In a way, I was kind of looking forward to seeing Chris. Barbara was right. He was better than some of the other ******** I dated. As Barbara and we’re walking we noticed how Sanford was looking run down. The roads were getting a little shabby. Potholes and ruts everywhere. Sherry, have you noticed the streets are getting worst? And just as I was ready to reply. I stepped into a pothole and fell into the street laying there like a starfish. It was my only defense to be a slug. Then the street light turned green and Barbara was doing everything to get me up off the ground before traffic came towards me. I was up and we ran to the other side where we dodge out of the way of traffic before we got hit. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I could hear it in my ears thump, thump, thump….like footstep coming slowly down the hallway. I stop to catch my breath.
I looked up and saw Chris and Stan running towards us. I couldn’t believe my eyes Chris had his painting clothes on and looked like he just got out of work. White pants with a white t-shirt and long grey beard. He reminded me of Grizzly Adams. Then what took the came was Stan with hiking boots and shorts. These two are a most diffently wood booger. A New England term for a country boy. It was a warm day so shorts with boots is a new one for me. I rolled my eyes when he told me that he always wears shorts. We went back to Stanley place got the fire pit roaring. The flames were bright colors of flaming red, orange and yellow. coals we’re brick red burning. We were all enjoying the adult beverages that we have bought for that evening. Barbara and I get some silly when we have a few drinks in us. I think we are lightweights. Chris decides something sweet for the evening would be a great treat he brought delicious marshmallow. White, fluffy and gooey snack. Barbara liked them golden brown. Myself I liked them in a ball of flames. I felt like I was in Hawaii doing the hula. The joy of blowing out the burning ball of fire just gave me thrill.