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Puerto Rico Paradise

Why would a guy quit a good job, turn down the offer of an even better job, and then go to Puerto Rico?

ani flirty smile

That's what I did in 1956.

The "Cornet Variety Stores" owners treated me very well, and I felt being their employee was a career opportunity that would last the rest of my life.

    (Besides, I had begun dating Joe Junior's secretary Patricia.) Cornet secretary Pat

But when Joe Cornet Senior (the long-retired founder of the company) suddenly appeared and began meddling in the day-to-day business operations, I began to feel a little insecure.

Cornet store

So I decided to see if Cornet's main competitor (Rasco Variety Stores) would be interested in hiring me.

I was elated when Rasco's CEO asked, "When can you start?"

"Whenever you say, sir," I happily replied, and showed up bright and early the following Monday morning.

But I never started.

I apologetically told Rasco I had changed my mind and had decided to go live in Puerto Rico.

I felt badly turning them down. The Rasco people seemed very sincere and I have no doubt we'd have had an excellent working relationship.

    (In case you've nver heard of Cornet or Rasco, they were small town "Woolworth-like dime stores" that went out of business in the mid-1990s along with most other "variety stores"such as Montgomery Ward, Kress, Ben Franklin, Kreskge and Sprouse-Reitz.)

But I was young and impetuous and felt sure I could start my own sign-painting business in San Juan and live there contentedly for the rest of my life.

I even found myself wondering how long it would take to meet a loving señorita whom I would marry and with whom I would raise a beautiful family.

Well, it didn't take long to meet an attractive señorita; but things didn't quite work out the way I had envisioned. Here's what happened:

One evening I decided to look for a night club where I might meet someone for dancing. I found such a place and noticed three young ladies in a booth on the other side of the dance floor.

While trying to decide which one I should ask for a dance, the decision was made for me when one walked over and sat down at my table. "So where you from?" she asked, giving me a quizzical look.

I said, "California," and she continued with, "So what you doing here?"

When I told her what I had in mind she asked, "So why you come to this place? You're looking for a woman — right?"

"Well," I replied, "I did hope to meet somebody with whom I might do some dancing.

"Okay," she said, "let's dance." So we did.

rumba-dancers

The band was playing some romantic boleros by Rafael Hernández, so getting lost in the music was very easy to do. And Marta turned out to be a very good dancer.

After another couple of dances, Marta said it was time to go.

"Go?" I asked, "go where?"

"Your hotel, your room. Wherever you're staying."

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting this, but I said, "Uh, okay."

Once inside my hotel room, Marta sat on the bed and tested the mattress by bouncing on it a few times. Then she smiled and said we should get undressed and go to bed.

I was more than a little unnerved by the rapidity with which events were unfolding. But before I could say anything, Marta had removed her clothes and gotten between the sheets.

Continued >




© Donald Ray Edrington - All Rights Reserved
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