Friday, January 28, 2005


I think every person had a defining moment in their lives where they realize that things will never be quite the same every again. It is as if you are shedding a skin of the person you use to be and emerge into a new life.

That is how it was that summer of 1974. I was able to secure a job working at Ken Lake as a waitress enabling me to stay in Murray for the summer. I moved out of the dorms and began to share my first apartment with a friend. My friend was recently divorced, and a very sad story. Marred to one of the locals after the summer of our freshman year, it did not last six months.

I left the campus, and ultimately most of the college students I was so use to hanging around with and entered the realm of the real world of Murray. I was able to mix the two together, somehow and that summer of 1974 was to be the most fun, the most memorable of all my time in west Kentucky.

I spent the entire summer working and enjoying cash tips, going to concerts, such as the one above, meeting the owners of an up and coming sun tan lotion business who loved to party, spent endless hours at the lake on the beach, riding around on boats, trying to learn to water ski, enjoying house boat parties, meeting the town bootlegger and company and being totally immersed into that crazy crowd of people. The locals.

My most endearing memory occurred late one night, sitting on the banks of the lake, drinking beer and listening to the lull of the water and the sounds of the talk around me. I was fixed up with one of my roommates friends, a local man named Ricky. Ricky also was bruised by love, had built a very successful masonry business and accumulating more money than he knew what to do with. So, he spent it freely on his friends. He decided he really liked me, I was the woman of his dreams and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

This is how he proposed............."Dogs, diamond's...........What's your deal?"

And then waited for an answer. I was dumbfounded. Then I started to laugh. Then he began laughing. Everything he saw me after that (i.e., sober) he would sing out, "Mary, Mary, marry me. Dog's, diamonds, what's your deal?"

About a year ago I found a journal written by a woman from Murray. I emailed her and we found out we were about the same age and knew many of the same people! It was with great sadness I learned that in the 1980's, Ricky was killed by a police officer at the scene of a crime taking place. Ricky was unarmed. It was a mistake. I cried for him, seeing him as that young man, arms wrapped around himself, rocking back and forth as was his habit singing that verse to me.

"Mary, Mary will you marry me?"

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