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Emily Frankel. All rights reserved.

Rose – page 2
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He stood there, wanting to cross to her. They were thirty-five feet apart, but when he got there he'd say...what? He couldn't find in his brain a greeting that wasn't more than bashful boy blabbering gosh gee whiz you're something special.

She turned away. "For heaven's sake Rose, people are going to wonder what's the matter with you? You're here to sell refreshments, not stand around!"

rosequote2bHe watched her smooth her sleek black dress as she hurried into one of the decorated
booths. Watched her tie on an apron and give a sunrise of a smile, a warming, genuine greeting to the lady who was already in the booth, and found himself smiling. He told himself, "Come off it Wynn, quit mooning around," and hurried into the sound booth but the smile on his lips wouldn't go away.

A buxom lady in a glittering long dress adjusted the microphone. "Quiet please!" The crowd was still buzzing with excitement. "Can everyone hear me? That certainly was a rousing start to the Fair!" People laughed and applauded when she said "Don't you love this Florida weather?" They listened attentively as she thanked a long list of businesses, and urged everyone to check out the booths, sample the foods, beverages, games and spend a lot of money because it was going to buy equipment the high school urgently needed. "And now ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, let's enjoy the music for dancing that Harrisburg's own favorite station WHPX is providing."

It was Wynn's cue. Wynn punched the switch on the recorder on which he'd taped two hours of dance music, golden oldies mostly, but a little country, a little rock to keep the teenagers happy.

Hank the custodian plugged in the rotating mirrored ball and said, "Her daughter went to school here ten, twelve years ago." Wynn fiddled with the equalizer. He knew Hank meant the proud Dandelion Lady. The custodian was a slowpoke guy who knew everything about everything that went on in the school. If you didn't interrupt with a bunch of questions, he'd answer the questions before you figured out what to ask.

"Daughter was right friendly, good-hearted like her mother," Hank said, as he turned on more lights over the bleachers. "Mrs. Marechal works in a fancy restaurant downtown, but by golly, when the kitchen folks went on strike she pitched in. She helped out in the lunchroom
serving, cooking cleaning every day for more than a month."

Wynn lowered the treble, boosted the bass, not too much, just enough to emphasize the
beat, give the old timers something to complain about, which actually they'd enjoy.
Hank nodded. "Music sounds good. Kinda warm in here, huh?" Turning off the blowers the custodian said, "Fine lady Mrs. Marechal. Husband died awhile back. She's a widow like you, Wynn."

"Careful, it's hot!" Rose placed the two mugs of cappuccino on the tray and nodded to the customer who put six dollars in the empty donation bucket. As the customer moved away, Rose reassured herself and Ginger, a friend who was helping, "Business will pick up after the dancing."

Ginger Thomas, a successful real estate agent, wasn't afraid to be aggressive. "Maybe we should ask your boyfriend to play some old time ballad, something to get everybody out on the floor."

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