Her Name was Katie

Katie, was a cashier at the local supermarket in a town where I once lived in upstate New York. She was in her late twenties, still just a girl, as any of the ladies in their forties will tell you. She was tall and buxom, with her blonde hair cut short. There was a grace and simplicity in the way she stood and worked that reminded me of women from an earlier time. Her lips and her lashes were full. I don’t remember the color of her eyes, blue perhaps, but I do remember that they sparkled when she smiled.
Many years ago Geoffrey O’Hara wrote a song about a stuttering lovesick soldier. Shy with women the soldier finds the courage to sing to his girl.

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You’re the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the cowshed,
I’ll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door

Not everyone may remember that tune, but looking at the way Katie carried herself, I was willing to bet that her dad had sung it to her when she was a little girl. The next time I came into the store, I whistled it just to find out if I was right. Way back in one of the aisles where she couldn’t see me. I’m a pretty good whistler, and it came out melodious and strong. Sure enough, her head popped up, and she looked around curiously a surprised smile on her face. “Her daddy had sung it to her!” I thought. I finished my shopping and placed my groceries on her counter, looking at her and smiling politely, not saying much of anything. I paid my bill and I left. She didn’t know it that it was I who had whistled that song for her.

This went on for about a year. I drew the task of doing the shopping every week or so, and I would go to that store, and Katie would be at one of the checkout lines. I’d go on about my business, and at some point, somewhere in the store, close enough where she could hear but not where she could see, I’d whistle that tune. Sometimes secretly watching her, sometimes not. Now when I would whistle her song, I would be rewarded by the brilliant, excited smile on her face. She would call to her girlfriend at the next register and together they would stand on tiptoe and look for her admirer. After an appropriate amount of time had passed, I’d wheel my cart though her check out line, pay for my groceries and be on my way. Still, she didn’t seem to catch on.

There is a day in every man’s life when he sees a beautiful girl and realizes that although she is old enough for romance, and perhaps even amenable to his advances, yet she is young enough to be his daughter. That is a sobering day indeed, and the measure of a man’s character. For any time love is offered, it is implicit that the offer is being made for eternity, or at least for a lifetime. It is unseemly to make such a promise and be unable to keep it. In any case, I was married at the time, albeit unhappily, but there was more to it than that. The passion that stirred within me when I looked at her was always mingled with sympathy, and by an unspoken prayer that she should never be hurt, especially by love.

I was moving. Circumstances had conspired to the effect that I was selling my house and relocating to another state. Some last minute shopping had brought me to the store and there she was, at her checkout line. This time I waited until I had finished selecting my purchases, and then in her line, three or four customers back, I started to whistle.

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You’re the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the cowshed,
I’ll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door

Her smile was broad, and I could see her breath quicken as she continued to glance my way, as she finished ringing up the items of the customers in front of me. Finally we were face to face. I looked into her beautiful eyes and said, “Katie, this is my last day here, I am moving away. I just wanted to tell you what a pleasure it has been to know you these past months.” “Yes”, she replied, “Me too.”

As I drove away, I thought about how often I had reached out to others with the best of intentions, and how rarely those relationships were free from regret. I don’t regret anything about knowing Katie. It’s likely that someday she’ll meet a young man who’ll sing that song to her. I pray that he will love her with all his heart. As for me, I wound up getting divorced and remarried again, happily this time. I have always been a pretty good whistler.

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About Louis William Rose

“I stand for Liberty. What I do for Liberty I do not do for profit or fame. I seek no office other than the office of parliamentarian, and no reward other than for myself and my fellow men and women to live in a free country.” Louis William Rose is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, he lectures on the subject of parliamentary procedure and political process. He serves as parliamentarian for various organizations. A political philosopher, poet, singer, and writer, his articles have been published on-line and in pro-liberty papers in Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, and Montana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Florida, graduating summa cum laude in 2004. Mr. Rose is an outspoken supporter of the basic rights of man, especially freedom of speech, association, religion, individual rights to personal defense and property, and of republican, constitutional forms of government. Mr. Rose is an outspoken supporter of the basic rights of man, especially freedom of speech, association, religion, individual rights to personal defense and property, and of republican, constitutional forms of government. He is married to the lovely Jamy Sue Rose, an award winning nature photographer and a Florida Master Naturalist and guide. He has two sons, Edward, a local businessman, and Alexander, a successful real estate professional here in Jacksonville.
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