The Woman With The Rose by Fenton Moorhead

JOHN BLANCHARD STOOD AND STRAIGHTENED HIS ARMY UNIFORM. HITCHED
UP HIS PANTS AND LOOKED AT HIS WATCH. IT WAS 7:00 AND HE WAS AT
GRAND CENTRAL STATION ON TIME. THERE TO MEET A WOMAN WHOSE FACE
HE HAD NEVER SEEN, BUT WHOSE HEART HE KNEW.
THE WOMAN WITH THE ROSE.

IT WAS ALMOST A YEAR SINCE HE HAD FIRST ENCOUNTERED THE NAME,
"HOLLIS MAYNELL." HE HAD RECEIVED A BOOK DONATED TO A MILITARY
BASE IN SOUTH FL WHERE HE WAS STATIONED. THOUGH HE WAS IMPRESSED
WITH THE BOOK, HE WAS MORE IMPRESSED WITH THE ANNOTATIONS AND
THOUGHTS WRITTEN IN A DELICATE FEMININE SCRAWL IN THE MARGINS.
INSIDE THE FRONT COVER WAS THE NAME "HOLLIS MAYNELL", SO HE SET
ABOUT A SEARCH TO DISCOVER IF HE COULD GET IN TOUCH WITH HER. HE
DISCOVERED THAT SHE LIVED IN NYC AND THEY BEGAN TO CORRESPOND.

A FEW DAYS LATER HE WAS SENT OVERSEAS FOR DUTY IN WW II. THEY
CORRESPONDED FOR TWELVE MONTHS. EACH LETTER WAS LIKE A SEED
FALLING ON A RECEPTIVE SOIL. BEFORE LONG THE TWO WERE IN LOVE.

HE ASKED HOLLIS TO SEND HIM A PHOTOGRAPH, BUT SHE REFUSED.
SHE SAID, "IF YOU LOVE ME, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT I LOOK LIKE."
HOW WOULD YOU MEN RESPOND TO THAT?

BUT THEY DID ARRANGE FOR THEIR INITIAL MEETING. SO IT WOULD BE
AT GRAND CENTRAL STATION ON A CERTAIN DAY AT 7:00 PM.

SO HERE WE FIND HIM LOOKING AT HIS WATCH, REMEMBERING HE HAD
ASKED HER THE QUESTION, "IF I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, HOW
WILL I KNOW WHO YOU ARE?

SHE SAID, "I WILL BE THE ONE WEARING THE ROSE ON MY LAPEL."

LET ME LET MR. BLANCHARD TELL YOU NOW WHAT HAPPENED.













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