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Walking on Sunset
Facilitated By Gwendolyn Copeland
February 5, 2022
I loved to walk on the sidewalk and miss the lines that separated the segments. No matter how hard I tried to, I'd stand in a line. One time we wanted to bet with each other. We said, "Step on a crack, break your mother's back!" Very crude but that was back then. Superstition included going around ladders because it was considered bad luck to go under. Another superstition was watching out for a black cat. If it crossed your path, that was bad luck! And our crazy defense was to actually carry a rabbit foot for good luck! Grotesque! At 15 years old, I never thought I'd be walking quickly down my street with the boy that I would one day marry. He was our neighbor. We went through elementary school all the way through college. He studied engineering and I studied history. Our wedding was beautiful, full of flowers and tears of joy and so many guests. Our honeymoon was in Paris, France. We walked around the city of lights drinking in the multiple historic monuments, shopping, and eating French cuisine. It was so romantic. We traveled on the Metro getting lost in the Pigalle and stumbled into an underground jazz bar. The music was absolutely fantastic. I asked for the Saxaphone player autograph, Dexter Gordon obliged. The next day after a huge breakfast we took a train to Switzerland and skied. I wasn't out of shape and Carl was puffing on the lift. When we got back to the ski lodge we were warmed by a rushing fire and complimentary hot chocolates! They gave us the cups as gifts. Since we were newly weds it seemed that everyone smiled at us. It was a beautiful time. Carl and I lived sports. We went to several soccer games and cheered for both teams. We bought schnitzel on the train ride back to France. I felt that my stomach would pop, but we moved around a lot. I'd got out of my routine of sit-ups on our honeymoon but promised myself that I'd be back on celery and carrots as soon as we got back to the states. Our last days were strolling along the Seine bridge, buying gifts, it was like a feature film: lights, camera and action. We went to a movie theater named the Bijou to watched a movie starring Bridget Bardot and Yves Montand. Both of us had studied French in high school and college. We were able to understand the dialogue without any problem. The Parisienne theater was so different from America. Viewers watched while smoking their cigarettes and wine was served. I guess that's the way it was there. we enjoyed the two weeks of sunshine and rain interspersed were glorious. We dressed for the weather on the wrong days. We didn't feel worse for the cold. We were in love and time seemed to fly by. Carl and I knew that our brief honeymoon would end with a wrinkle. He had enlisted in the Navy and would be leaving for Great Lakes Michigan to train as a commissioned officer. Viet Nam was a new name that I'd learn about. He would be in the Corp of Engineers building with the Army. No combat for him but there was still concern. My husband was a superhero for me. The perfect gentleman always patient and so thoughtful. I really had a guy from the vintage days.