IJMC Ladies And Gentlemen, Start Your Engines...

              IJMC - Ladies And Gentlemen, Start Your Engines...

It's been a long week. Don't even think that I've spent all week trying 
to get this thing to work, but, well, the more insightful of you will 
notice that the From: line is now saying ijmc-l@ijmc.com. The 
International Junk Mail Clearinghouse is running on my server now. Enough 
of Netcom...in a few weeks I won't need them anymore. Anyway, I'm back, 
the IJMC is back, and I've got a bit of a backlog to process right now. 

Now then, if you are on the IJMC, and don't want to be (horrors!), send 
me an e-mail and I'll take you off the list. But the problem is fixed, 
and the new server is stable. And the IJMC will be two-a-day for about a 
week. Just til I'm caught up...                                    -dave

 John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army
 uniform, and studied the 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

 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 penciled 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
 from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the
 Grand Central Station in New York.  "You'll recognize 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 never seen.

 I'll let Mr. 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 graying 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 away. I felt as though I 
 was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep 
 was 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 gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not
 hesitate. My fingers gripped the 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

 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 
 "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am 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 go and 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 Miss 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."

IJMC January 1998 Archives