Elnora at fourteen

Elnora at fourteen
My first year at high school was exciting. The seniors gave the freshmen a welcoming party. At our party they played all of the Top songs of the day. We danced to the Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley, Banana Boat song, Harry Belafonte, Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino, Goody Goody, Frankie Lymon, Chances Are, Johnny Mathis, Tammy, Debbie Reynolds, All Shook Up, Elvis Presley, Come and Go with me, The Del-Vikings, Searching, The Coasters, You send Me, Sam Cooke, Silhouettes, The Rays and many, many more. It was a great party. The seniors behaved as if they were genuine glad to see us.
Kenneth was in the eleventh grade. He had friends that were seniors and they made sure I got all the refreshments I wanted. He was a friend of the DJ and they played SAVED THE LAST DANCE FOR ME. Kenneth came in to help his friend put everything away. While he was there, he danced to “Save the Last Dance for Me” with me. I even started to like Samuetta again.

Lemon happily lived with his Mom. He played on the basketball team at his High School after shooting ball over the summer for the first time. I heard he was awesome. Lemon could score from half court. Daddy even said “Look out, Bill Russell. Lemon Pettaway is on the court”.
We listened to his games on our radio because no station played Negro High School Games on TV at that time. That year Lemon led his team to victory. Everyone took notice. He was only a freshman with three more years to go. Under his leadership, his school became state champions. Mr. Pettaway would even be friends with daddy during basketball season. My uncles would come by the house and listen to the games with daddy.
One day after a game, the announcer called Lemon over. He said you know you are a triple threat. You are a freshman captain of your school’s debating team, you are an honor roll student, and you are captain of your basketball team. Where can you go from here? Will you go to college when you finish high school? You don’t have to go. The NBA will make you a first draft. If you keep going the way you are going, they will be crazy to let you slip out of their hands. Mr. Pettaway screamed: Yo, that’s my boy!
Momma said: What happens if he gets hurt? Uncle Bob shouted: She is right. The boy needs an education. The first time I ever heard daddy disagree with Momma. Daddy said: If he doesn’t get hurt, he is going to be a very rich man. He is my Hometown boy. From that day on my daddy, my uncles the church and even Mr. Pettaway called Lemon “Hometown”. The name “Hometown” stuck and even the radio announcers called him
Kenneth and I went all over the state speaking with confidence until one day we went to Lemon’s mother hometown. Kenneth spoke to the boys and I spoke to the girls. After we were finished speaking, we asked the participants to come sign the pledge. I looked over at Kenneth and there stood Lemon. I walked over and asked Lemon was he there to sign. He said no. He and his girlfriend only came to see what the commitment was all about. Lemon turned around and looked at a very pretty girl. I asked Lemon if that was the girl he was going to marry. He said no. It would not be fair to me. He had always loved me and if I had not married when we finished school we would have to marry each other. It was obvious I was shaking, Kenneth put his arms around me and said: Don’t talk to him; he can sell fire to the devil. I didn’t know what to say so I told Lemon to his family I said hello. I could see the disappointment in Kenneth’s eyes. I was so obviously shaken I told the girl with me to close up by herself.

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