Mr. Friday's fun

Friday's fun

New fun every week!

What's Friday's fun?

Friday, mars 24, 2000

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and
studied crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He
looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the girl
with the rose.

His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library.
Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words
of the book, but with the notes pencilled in the margin.  The soft
handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.  In the front
of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell.
With time and effort he located her address.  She lived in New York City.

He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond.
The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II.  During
the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the
mail.  Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart.  A romance was
budding.  Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that
if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return home from Europe, they scheduled
their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York.
"You'll recognise me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my
lapel." So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he
loved, but whose face he'd ever seen.

Let John Blanchard tell you what happened:  "A young woman was coming toward
me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her
delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle
firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive.  I
started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a
rose.  As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips.  "Going my
way, sailor?" she murmured.  Almost uncontrollably, I made one step closer
to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly
behind the girl.  A woman well past 40, she had greying hair tucked under a
worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into
low-heeled shoes.

The girl in the green suit was walking quickly way. I felt as though I was
split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep as my
longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my
own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her
grey eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers
gripped he small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me
to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious,
something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been
and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out
the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the
bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you
must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to
dinner?" The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know
what this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green
suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she
said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that she is
waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was
some kind of test!"

It's not difficult to understand and admire Hollis Maynell's wisdom. The
true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.  "Tell
me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "And I will tell you who you are."

Please send your comments or suggestions to

Back to mainpage