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Terri Martin

© 2005


I wasn’t a very nice girl.

Your grandpa Harry Martin built three houses on the corner of 38th and Aldrich in Minneapolis. In one of these lived a girl named Pat Coghlan.

In those days, all of the young men and women went to the same mass each Sunday at Incarnation Catholic Church. Afterwards we congregated at each other’s houses. Even though we were different ages, we did everything together. There were about 10 or 15 of us and we called ourselves the JJ’s, which stood for the “Jack and Jills." Sometimes, we’d sit for hours arguing about religion. 

One of the houses we went to was Pat’s house. Her family was renting it from Grandpa Harry. Pat got married and I went to the wedding reception with a boy whose name I don’t remember. I met a different boy named Fran Schlatter at her reception. I liked him because he was a gentleman and they were few and far between in those days. He was from Fairibault and had come up to the cities to go to Minneapolis Business College. While studying there, he met and became good friends with Don Martin. Don worked in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and had also been invited to the wedding. Everyone was waiting for him to come.

Meanwhile, I told my date I had to leave for choir rehearsal so he should drop me off at church. But no sooner had he done so, than Fran came and picked me up! We went down to the local pub. As we were going to get out of the car Fran said to me “Mary Kay, may I kiss you first?” And I said “I guess so." While were sitting in the pub the boy that I had ditched showed up and said “So you’re having choir rehearsal here tonight?” At the end of that evening, Fran took me home and agreed to come back in the morning to take me to church. 

When he appeared the next day, he brought along his friend Don Martin who had gotten into town very late the night before. When I first saw Don, I was thrilled to have not one, but two young men there to escort me to mass. I didn’t pay much attention to how Don looked until he smiled. His smile was enough to turn your heart over. He was about six feet tall, had black hair, and clear blue eyes.

After church that day we all drove down to Eau Claire. Evelyn Scmisek had come up from Fairibault and rode along with us. She was Don’s date for the day. I rode down with Fran and spent my time throwing daggers at the Scmisek girl. I didn’t like her family. 

Don showed us where he lived with Grandma Fleming, a lady who took in boarders. She was a wonderful cook. That day, we were in time for a fresh hot homemade donut. We spent some time visiting friends and then Don and I drove back to Minneapolis and Fran came along in his own car. I don’t remember what we did with the Scmisek girl.

One weekend Fran and I were supposed to go out on a double date with Fran’s friend Don and his date. Don’s girlfriend was supposed to come up from Eau Claire and Fran was supposed to come up from Fairibault, but neither one of them showed. I talked to Don on the phone for quite a while and we decided to go down to the local pub. We shared a pitcher of beer. Later, when he kissed me goodnight I remember giggling. He shook my shoulders gently and said, “Doesn’t this mean anything to you?” You see, I’d had more than a glass of beer and that was the end of me! 

The next day was Sunday and both Fran and Don took me to church together and I held hands with both of them at the same time! I’m telling the truth here and I don’t think I want to do that.

When they dropped me off at home after mass, I ran in the house and up the stairs shouting “Mom, I’m in love, but I don’t know which one I’m in love with!” 

I wasn’t a very nice girl.