One Winter Afternoon in Chicago: MY FIRST KISS

One Winter Afternoon in Chicago: MY FIRST KISS

Early college and we are inseparable.


FIRST KISS–1960’s style.

Picture a young teenage couple in the dining room of the girl’s home. There’s a record player there and she puts on a 45 and it begins to play HEY HEY PAULA. But there’s also a large bay window in this dining room and this is Chicago—houses are close together. So as the sun begins to sink in the western sky, Mrs. H, the girl’s neighbor and the best cook on the block, stands at her kitchen sink doing some food preparation. She has a great view of the girl’s dining room and is familiar with the young teenage couple. When she looks up from the chicken she is cleaning at the sink—she gasps!

The couple is there, in the window, dancing. They are very close together and the girl has nuzzled her face into the boy’s shoulder. After a while, Mrs. H realizes the water she is using to clean the chicken has become very hot, it’s burning her skin, maybe even cooking the chicken. She turns it off, but stays by her post. She can’t turn away. She needs to be a good neighbor and report to the girl’s mother everything she witnesses.

The couple is still dancing, slowly, barely moving, trance-like. And then the girl moves back slightly so she can look into the boy’s eyes. Mrs. H holds her breath. And then, and then—they break apart—only to carefully pull down the shade that covers the bay window. Back in each other’s arms the kiss begins, tentatively at first, then with more involvement, a little more passion, working on that learning curve.

Mrs. H finishes preparing her chicken.

When the kiss is over, there is laughter and hugging. They know they have something and it is thrilling and wonderful. Their first kiss! One of millions to come. So they remain as they are, holding hands, smiling into each other’s eyes as the sun goes down and the room grows dark.

But finally, with thoughts of homework and the routine of their lives calling, they turn on lights, he finds his jacket and she walks him to the front door. But it has begun. And those moments will be vivid and tender memories for both of them throughout their 44 plus years of marriage.

And Mrs. H? She went to their wedding, lent them her fancy car to get them to and from the church. She shared some of her furniture with them as they created a house and home. I guess you could say, Mrs. H was the first witness to a love that–though she didn’t see it–was sealed with a kiss.

One Winter Afternoon in Chicago: MY FIRST KISS

We’re married, cuddling in the back of Mrs. H’s car!



One Winter Afternoon in Chicago: MY FIRST KISS

A street on the south side of Chicago.


Thanks to WBEZ 91.5

and family photos!



12 thoughts on “One Winter Afternoon in Chicago: MY FIRST KISS

    • I’m so glad you found it, Laura. I know you are supremely happy now. And yes, I have been blessed.

  1. Hi Brenda,
    Mrs. H had her let’s say over-doing it moments, but a heart of gold. I think
    it’s always a good thing when someone in the neighborhood is watching over
    you. Thanks. Beth

  2. So sweet! I felt like I was looking in another window, watching everyone, hearing the song, “Hey Hey Paula”, and witnessing that first kiss! How you remember those details is astonding…….a memory I’m sure you’ll never forget!
    Thanks for the blast from the past!

    • Hi Gay,

      Thanks for reading. Yes, that’s the way it was and Mrs. Hanke, our neighbor, is fondly remember in many ways. But she was a little nosey!

      Thinking about you, so sorry about Laura’s husband, Me

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