Much to my relief my work day at the beauty salon was almost over. There was chaos from the moment I stepped through the door that morning. The phone was ringing and a lady was sitting in the waiting room that said she had an appointment at 9:00 AM. She was not in the book.
My 9:00 o’clock was late so I said I would take her. All the operators were busy working on their patrons. I shampooed and started to set her hair when my regular patron showed up. clearly dissatisfied that she had to wait. That was the beginning of a stressful day.
I drove home and parked the car in the driveway. I walked over to the neighbor that was taking care of Susie,who just had her second birthday. we walked back to our house together. As we approached the house I could hear Caesar barking in the backyard, he was happy we were home. I fixed his food and took it out to him, and for once he didn’t pee on my shoes, which he always did when he was happy to see you.
Now it was time to cook dinner. Mac and cheese and a side dish of peas were Susie’s favorite; that was a quick meal and I went with it! After we ate dinner it was bath time for Susie which she loved and then into pajamas. I laid her down in her crib kissed her good night and closed her door ever so gently.
A 50’s movie was on at 8:00 PM. that I wanted to watch “The Father of the Bride” with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. I had enough time to take the ice cream out of the freezer and scoop it into a large bowl, then I poured hot chocolate over it and topped it off with whipped cream. I set my bowl of ice cream on the coffee table while I adjusted the rabbit ears to get a halfway decent picture. It’s was a little snowy, but that was the best we could get until cable came along.
In California we had a rainy season instead of snow in the winter. It had rained off and on all day. Now the wind was blowing and the rain was beating against the window pane. The movie was just starting as I got comfortable on the couch. Time for my delicious sundae I scooped up a big spoon full of ice cream when the phone rang. I said hello and on the other end came a man’s deep voice that I didn’t recognize. He quickly went on to say he was a television repairman and had made an appointment with my husband earlier in the day. He was to come over that evening to fix a problem we were having with our television, The set was on and it was working fine.
He was very persistent that he was to come over at 8:30. He went on to say my husband had given him our address. He knew my baby would be asleep and it would be a convenient time. I was really getting scared! John worked nights at United Airlines as a mechanic in South San Francisco and wouldn’t be home until 1:30 AM. During the day he studied and took lessons on a Flight Simulator to eventually obtain a commercial pilots license.
In the early 60’s there was no caller ID. I hung up the phone and proceed to dial my neighbor Ben one digit at a time, I was nervous and messed up the number and had to start all over again! After what seemed a long time, Ben answered the phone. Ben and his wife Barbara Jean were the first couple we had met when we moved into our new house. I managed to blurt out my episode of the disturbing phone call to him, with the impending worry of the unsuspecting “anonymous electrician” arriving at any time. Ben and Barbara Jean’s house was next to ours, so he could see if a car pulled up in front, he said he would keep an eye out if anyone should stop.
I bought Caesar in from the back yard for protection. This disturbing night also brought back memories of living in San Francisco and being eight months pregnant with my daughter. I was home alone that night. Caesar was laying beside me on the couch when he heard a noise and jumped off the couch… I looked around and saw a big brown work boot coming through the window. Before worry would set in, Caesar tore the venetian blinds off the window and grabbed the man’s pant leg. Surely, the perpetrator took off running. That was the night that Caesar saved me and my unborn child from potential great harm.
Back to my movie, well, my ice cream was melted and my movie was almost over. The show that was on next was the “Twilight Zone”, and I too felt like I was in it. I got up and turned the television off. (Yes, in the good old days you actually had to get up and walk to the TV to shut it off or change channels!)
I was sitting in the dark and was startled every time a branch brushed up against the house. I was waiting for John to come home when the phone rang it was going on mid-night. I finally gathered up enough courage to answer it. Ben came on the phone and was laughing all the while he explained that the previous caller was him, and that he was just having some fun and knew I would call him.
To say the least I was furious with him!
I thought I’d moved to a safe neighborhood, Now I had a creepy neighbor, When John home from work he got an earful about his friend Ben. John thought it was funny and that Ben was just playing a harmless prank.
I didn’t see it that way I was frightened. I didn’t like either one of them that night. I didn’t feel safe being alone at nights with just my daughter. John had two guns and I was thinking I should learn how to use one. I didn’t like feeling so vulnerable
Until we meet again!