I'm still back in the Coast Guard in my mind and blog entries. There have been three women I have lived with in my life; My Mother, of course, my bride and Mrs. Beardon. I needed a place to stay when I got to Cape Vincent in the fall of 1969. I stayed with a elderly couple for a couple of weeks at first until I found more permanent residence. Here is where Mrs. B enters the picture.
Mrs. B lived alone. In the summer,she ran a "Tea Room" in the dining room of her house. It was very proper and fancy. Unfortunately unlike her hygiene. She was somewhere in her 70's in age. I think she charged me about $10 a week for room and board. Her food was delicious. The meal I most remember was a hot beef with a sweet cold slough on top. I have yet to have something even close to that since. It was so good and very filling. I would get full fast because I had been cooking for myself for awhile.
I had my own room in the second floor. A small narrow stairway led to the it. At night we would watch Gunsmoke, Hazel, (she loved Hazel the maid) Along Came Bronson with Michael Parks, Holly wood Squares and other programs that I can't remember at the momement.
I teased her and she loved it. However, she could hand it back too. She confided in my about her life and it had tragedy to it. It seems that her marriage was an arranged one. She was married at very young age (16?) to a man in his late 20's. She told me that the honeymoon was torture. She hated sex and would weep and beg him not to have it with her. I felt bad for her; what she had missed out on; marrying for love and having a meaningful, pleasurable, intimate relationship. I also felt for her husband to have a wife that just hated sex. She had one child and one grandchild by the name of Candy. She would go on and on how spoiled Candy was. I rarely saw her daughter and granddaughter, just heard about them.
She always had her music with her, humming constantly. No tune, just humming. I think it kept her company after being alone for so many years.
She babied me. I remember one time I had gotten pretty sick with a cold and she ORDERED me to take off my shirt. I was a little shy about this but thought I would go along. She "Vicks" up a piece of wool cloth and pinned it to a pajama top just like my Mother used to do. Must have been a era thing.
I lived through the winter with her until May of 1970 when I found the apartment that I wrote about just previous. When Dinah and I returned to the Cape after getting married and having a very short honeymoon, we found we were broke. We had about $100 of wedding money but we wanted to put in savings as "seed." We were even out of milk and bread. Mrs. B hired my bride as a waitress so that we could at least eat until my next check. Tips were good because people that ate there had money. It was the fanciest place in town. Dinah worked there through the summer until school started.
That same summer Mrs. B called me up one day and said there was an animal in the crawl space under her house and would I come over and it out. When I got under the house, there was this orange newborn kitten. Its eyes were all matted shut. I rescued it and took it home. Well, let me tell you, my new bride was ecstatic. She always love cats and I always had no time for them. I thought, well I could use it as a science experiment and see if I could keep it alive. We had to use a doll baby bottle bought at a local variety store to feed it milk and we treated the eyes so that they would mat anymore. Charlie cat became our first child and he made it all the way to Amery. He died at about the age of 17 one night as he slept next to the wood stove. That cat always liked to be warm.
Sorry if the cat story was a digression but it had Mrs. B as a source. I don't remember exactly when she died. I think she was gone when we returned in 1985, 12 years after my discharge. I have to say, she was a good companion for me to come home to each day and she did a nice job taking care of me, 1000 miles from home. It is always interesting how God puts people in our lives to make us a more rounded individual. Here was a woman, almost 50 years my senior that I first learned to relate to and appreciate. What a gal!
(A note about the picture: She did not want her picture taken so I told her that my new camera was actually a pair of binoculars. She bought it.)