"It might be too chilly . . ."
Adina J. Pernell
"I t might be too chilly, Hettie," said Bessie.

Bessie, a plump, bright blonde, with rosy lips and a short, wavy, platinum bob stood over the water at the Sutro bathhouses off the coast of San Francisco in a red swimsuit. Seventeen-year-old Hettie had always envied Bessie's figure and hair. She made a sour face at Bessie.

"Oh stop being sucha' baby, Bess," she pouted, dropped her copy of the Great Gadsby by her purse and dove into the water head-first. Her white bathing suit maneuvered under the water until her vivid red hair surfaced followed by green eyes and a pink mouth.

"Excuse, Miss,... you... bumped..."

Hettie realized she had hit a handsome dark-haired swimmer to her right. "You're a regular Gertrude Ederle - a real swimmer," he smarted.

"You're a regular dandy - a real dashing man. You busy tonight?"

"No, sugar, how's about a soda? Dante's the name."


She flirtingly splashed Dante, then planted a small peck on his cheek.

"Aw, honey, SOOOO sweet. Say let's ditch this joint."

"Sure thing, sweetie."

Before long they'd left Bessie and were sipping sodas. Hettie would often treat men like small bits of chaff -- easily discarded.

In the corner of the soda shop, lingered a tall blonde man with simply smashing green eyes!

"Do you like Scott Fitzgerald?" asked Dante.

"Mmmm... Fitz is dull sometimes. Do you mind, sweetie, if I freshen up in the John?"

Minutes later Hettie was strolling down the beach. "So, blondie, what's your name?" she asked.

First published: February 2000
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