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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 28

Iím Henry

Estelle and I became very good friends and we spent a lot of time together. We both loved to paint canvases of flowers, found objects, landscapes or whatever happened to be of interest at that moment. Her art club met once a month and she was always full of information with the goings on of that. My friend took pictures of the other womenís paintings and brought the photographs home to show me. Some of the work was incredibly professional. One of the women was her closest friend. Estelle told me the womanís father had been in a banking business in the old part of town, Oak Cliff. It was now one of the largest banks in downtown Dallas so I had no doubt the woman was well heeled, as the saying goes. It was the one with the joke circulated that said, "A Texan went in to ask for a loan of 60,000. When they asked for collateral, he replied, 'I'm not accustomed to having a need for collateral for my pocket change."

She and Estelle often chatted over the phone while we were working on some of our art work together.

One topic of conversation to take priority over everything else was regarding the man who lived in an apartment on Estelleís friendís, estate. His name was Henry. The two women were unmerciful with their chit-chat regarding Henryís life. He wasnít present to defend himself so in my mind I had formed an opinion and image of that one who was someone with a weasel like appearance. I just knew he must have been shifty eyed and rude with probably, dirty finger nails.

"Henry didnít come in until three last night!" Lila reported on the manís private life and affairs. Estelle repeated to me what her friend had just told her. As if I cared. Usually, I never answered aloud but only raised an eyebrow or some such gesture to let her know I had heard.

"My art club is meeting at the Harris estate and would like to know if you want to join us for the evening?" Evidently I was a topic of discussion, too, and I wasnít sure I wanted to be. "You will enjoy the ladies. Art is a great hobby of theirs."

"Iíll see if I can get Rodney to watch the kids." I told her but I still wasnít sure I wanted to go.

"Go on and go." Rodney was okay with the outing. "You will enjoy it."

Their get together wasnít for two weeks so I had plenty of time to get myself ready. I bought a new red wine colored jumper and put a soft blouse of delicate organza under it. I worked on my then almost black hair for a good two days, using my cosmetology skills to pull it all up into barrel curls at the top and back of my head. A pair of high heeled sandals were the exact color of the jumper and completed my outfit. When the day arrived I felt my appearance was good enough for even the pickiest person there.

When we arrived at the rambling estate house I could see anyone would be impressed with the appearance of wealth. The parking lot was beautifully landscaped to have groups of plants and lights under them to show off their night time beauty. The house was huge, and seemed to ramble on forever.

A party was now being held around what was a dessert table and I donít believe Iíve ever seen anything like it before or since. Iíll bet there were two hundred different desserts and Iím not exaggerating. Any drink a person could desire was offered from wine, to martinis, margaritaís, shaved ice with blended fruit laced with vodka, whatever.

Native American people have to watch the fire water but certainly, I was sampling a bit of this and that from a lazy Suzan of a table which was big and took up a good space. A very handsome man walked up to the table. He was tall, extremely well-groomed with the most expensive suit I had seen in a while. Even his fingernails looked to be manicured. His demeanor was suave and it was as if his diction was from some well bred old family whose culture allowed them to send their son to the best of schools.

We visited for just a moment and then he said, "Oh! Iím so sorry, I havenít introduced myself. Iím Henry......

It would have been so rude to laugh out loud, so I didnít, thank heaven. "So this is Henry." I'm thinking, well heís a bit of not what I expected. My lady like person I was trying to present wouldnít let me even grin but what a strain it was not to do so.

"Iím pleased to make your acquaintance, Henry. I was trying to be casual and praying there wouldnít be a giggle forthcoming. Iím a mother and a housewife who likes to do art work. What is your profession?

"Iím an engineer," came his polite answer, "an electronic engineer."

Henry spent the evening at my side as we danced and enjoyed visiting. My senses made me aware the ladies were probably observing every move we made.

"How I would like to be a fly on the wall beside their telephones the next day." I thought. "Let that be a lesson to you, Lady," I chided myself, lest you ever listen to gossip again.

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