Eye On Life Magazine

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Eye on Life Magazine is a Lifestyle and Literary Magazine.  Enjoy articles on gardening, kitchen cooking, poetry, vintage decor, and more.

Kissing Carol Ann

Back in 1957 
kissing Carol Ann 
behind the barn 
in the middle of 
a windswept field 
of Goldenrod 
with a sudden deer 
watching was 
something special, 
let me tell you. 
Back then, bobby sox 
and big barrettes
and ponytails 
were everywhere.

Like many farmers, 
Carol Ann’s father 
had a console radio 
in the living room,
and every Saturday night 
the family would gather ‘round 
with bowls of ice cream 
and listen to the Grand Ole Opry. 
It was beamed “all the way” 
from Nashville I was told 
more than once since 
I was from Chicago 
and sometimes wore a tie 
so how could I know. 

On my first visit, 
I asked Carol Ann 
if the Grand Ole Opry was 
the Mormon Tabernacle Choir 
of country music and she said 
not to say that to her father. 
She suggested I just tap 
my foot to the music
and let him watch me. 
Otherwise I’d best be 
quiet and say “Yup,” 
“Nope” or “Maybe” 
if asked any questions
which she didn’t think
would happen. 
No need to say 
much more, she said, 
and after a few visits, 
I understood why. 
Over time, I learned 
to tap my foot pretty good 
to the music because 
when I’d come to visit, 
her father would insist 
I have a bowl of ice cream 
with the family. 
I liked the ice cream 
but not so much 
the Grand Ole Opry. 
I’d been weaned 
on Sinatra in the city. 
Big difference, 
let me tell you.

But back in 1957 
kissing Carol Ann 
behind the barn 
was something special 
since we couldn’t do 
much more until 
I found employment. 
Only then, her father said, 
could we get married. 
I found no jobs 
in town, however, 
for a bespectacled man 
with degrees in English. 

Still, I always found 
the weekend drives 
from Chicago worth 
the gas my Rambler drank 
because kissing Carol Ann 
brought a bit of heaven 
down behind that barn, 
especially on summer nights 
when fireflies were 
the only stars we saw 
when our eyes 
popped open. 
It was like 
the Fourth of July 
with tiny sparklers 
twinkling everywhere.

Now, 55 years later, 
Carol Ann sometimes mentions 
fireflies at dusk as we
dance behind the cows 
to coax them into the barn 
for the night.
I’m still not too good 
with cows despite 
my John Deere cap, 
plaid shirt and overalls
which proves, she says, 
that all that kissing 
behind the barn in 1957 
took the boy out of the city 
but not the city out of the boy.

“Hee Haw” is all I ever 
say in response because 
I know why I’m there.
It’s to keep tapping 
the cows on the rump
till we get them 
back in the barn 
so we can go back 
in the house 
and start with 
a kiss and later on 
come back downstairs 
for two big bowls 
of ice cream. 

Donal Mahoney