April 27th…“DID YOU EVER HAVE A CRUSH ONE SOMEONE AND WAS TOO SHY TO LET THEM KNOW IT?”
It’s all Richie Rich’s fault. He was my comic book hero of those young days in my beloved hometown of Kiester, Minnesota. Being the opposite of rich, I was drawn into the fantasy world of this little, handsome and polite young boy who “had it all”, as far as money was concerned. Some of his boyhood adventures included his girlfriend, Gloria, who enjoyed his millions, but also helped to keep him humble,as well. Maybe it was the fantasy fact that “Richie” had found romance that led me to have what’s commonly known as a “crush” on those of the feminine side of life.
Sure, I was just a midget, in those days of little boyhood, but I still could recognize womanly beauty, kindness and elegance in the gentle gender that lived around me, no matter what her age may be. Whether that “crush” was on my lovely First Grade teacher, Mrs. Loretta Wiehr, or, in this case, the very lovely lady who was the salesperson at our local Rexall Drug Store called, “Paulson Drug”.
When my family drove to our town almost every Saturday evening, our folks went about doing the weekly shopping for groceries, clothes for the family, etc. etc.. They especially looked forward to see if they had won the weekly “Lucky Bucks” drawing that was held every Saturday night at 9pm. For me?….I was off on little boy adventures.
If I had ten cents in my pocket, on those evenings, you could bet I could be found spending it on a Richie Rich comic book. Richie’s latest gold-coined adventures could be found just inside the drug store’s big picture window where they kept the giant rack of comic books and magazines.
Dottie Kinder was the lovely and gentle-hearted saleslady of Paulson’s Rexall Drug. Her beautiful smile and tender voice would greet me each time I came into their place of business. Even if my pockets were empty that week, Dottie would still greet me with the same warmth and allow me to just read comic books to my heart’s content as I’d lean against the ledge of the large picture window that looked out onto the sidewalks of Main Street.
An added bonus to this admiration and “crush” that I had on Mrs. Kinder, was the pleasure that, not only could I enjoy her at the drug store on Saturday nights, but her family also attended worship at our church (Grace Evangelical United Brethren) each Sunday. If my recollection is accurate, I even had her as one of my Sunday School teachers.
Of course, Dottie Kinder never knew this little boy was so enamored with her, yet she was definitely one of the first “crushes” of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.