Embarrassing Moment

Painted Post is a village closely connected to the city of Corning. I had put out applications to all the schools around Corning because my boyfriend lived there. One afternoon, I returned from class to pick up my mail. In my box was a note: “Call Corning, Operator 2”. There was no email or cell phones in 1953. I was thinking that perhaps Don was going to come visit me for the weekend. I was excited.

I ran back to my dorm reception room, where the only phone in our section of the dorm resided. I dropped my books on the floor. My fingers shook as I dialed the operator. Soon, a male voice answered. “Hello.”

“Hello, dear, how are you?” I said.

“Miss Neff?”

“Yes.” My voice had turned hesitant.

“This Mr. Clowe, principal of Painted Post School.”

I felt my face turn bright red. I think I stuttered a “Oh.”

Mr. Clowe laughed. “That is best answer I’ve had all day.”

He went on to ask if I could come to Painted Post the following weekend for an interview.

I called Don and he found me a room for overnight with a family that he knew.

I was very nervous meeting Mr. Clowe that Saturday. He delighted in telling the school board members about my greeting. I finally relaxed. I got the job.

Fast Forward to living in Painted Post. Don and I saw each other from time to time. He wasn’t as devoted as I thought or hoped he’d be. I still believed I was in love with him. Then he confessed that he was dating the young woman, a high school senior, in whose home I’d stayed and been welcomed. I forgave Don because he brought me to Painted Post and my true love of the past sixty years.

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