Ahh, Dora. The girl who blindsided Rudy out of nowhere.
Shortly after Rudy’s return in early August of 1963, he and his close group of friends began the tradition of meeting at Jahn’s Ice cream parlor on Flatbush Avenue almost across the street from Erasmus Hall High School. The usual cast of characters, Ralph and his girl; Eileen, Eddie, Bobby, the Massa twins, Marie and her coterie, met on Friday nights at around 8pm, many times after taking in a movie either individually or in small groups. During the second or third such outing, Rudy noticed the presence of a stunning redhead sitting across the table from him. She noticed him watching and flashed him a bright smile and said “Hi Rudy, I’m Dora.”
“Pleased to meet you. ” replied Rudy, “You must be new to the group, as I certainly would have noticed you.”
“Sure, quipped Dora, “If you took the time to take your eyes off of Marie long enough to see anyone else.”
This elicited a laugh from Ralph and Eddie. “She kind of has you there Rudy” said Ralph.
Rudy glanced over at Marie who was watching the exchange with a guarded look on her face.
“I am acquainted with Marie,” said Dora “Chris and I are old friends. Chris thought we might make a good pair and I am inclined to agree. Are you busy tomorrow? If not, I might hop a bus and come see you.”
Wait one, thought Rudy did she just come on to me? Yeah she did, and rather brazenly.
Ralph made a gesture as though wiping sweat off his brow while Eileen giggled. No one else seemed to notice the exchange except for Marie who gave Dora a sharp glance.
Rudy caught the glance and thought to himself Do I detect a hint of jealousy in Marie’ glance? This may work out in my favor.
“Why not?” Rudy said to Dora “Give me a call in the morning and we can see what is what.” He wrote his phone number on a napkin and passed it over to her.
“I’ll call you first thing tomorrow.” Dora said “I have plans for you.” she smiled
When the gang broke up they waited outside while Dora caught a bus home. With a quick peck to Rudy’s cheek she boarded the bus home.
The gang proceeded to go their separate ways home. When Rudy and Marie reached the point where their paths split, Marie turned to Rudy and impulsively kissed him on the cheek “Good Night Rudy.” she said.
Rudy watched dumbfounded as she walked away. He turned to Ralph and said “Did you see that?” Ralph only shook his head and waved as he left.
Wow, thought Rudy, I have finally gotten a kiss from her, not a full on the lips kiss, but better than nothing. Could it be my plan is working and she is getting jealous of Dora? She is certainly showing enough interest in me. Well, let’s see what develops
Next morning Rudy’s dad came to his room and said” Leoni, there is a girl on the phone for you.” Rudy’s dad had never acknowledged the existence of Rudy.
“Thanks dad.” Rudy replied as he went to the kitchen to pick up the phone. “Hello?” he said
“Hi sweetheart,” Dora said “Are we on for today?”
“Sure,” Rudy replied “There is a bus stop right in front of my place, at Flatbush and Linden.”
“Great.” said Dora “We’ll be there in about an hour. See you then.” and with that she hung up the phone.
Wait! thought Rudy We? who the hell is we?
The answer became apparent an hour later as Dora stepped off the bus with a female friend.
“Rudy” said Dora “I’d like to introduce you to my best friend Caroline Quigly”.
“Hi!” was all that Rudy could manage. Caroline was the quintessential hanger on best friend She was rather roly-poly, chunky, and awkward in her mannerisms.
“I hope you don’t mind” Dora said “but we go almost everywhere together.”
Rudy escorted the girls up the two flights to his home and introduced them to his dad who suggested Rudy offer them lunch and then made himself scarce.
After lunch, Dora wrapped her arms around Rudy and asked what they should do today.
“Well” Rudy said, “we can hook up with Ralph and Eileen and head on out to the parade grounds.” Rudy and close his cohorts had a park bench at the parade grounds where they loved to spend time with one another. Rudy gave Ralph a call and Ralph readily agreed to spend the afternoon with Rudy and the girls.
As soon as they arrived at Ralph’s place, his sister Marty voiced her disapproval of Dora. You see, Marty had a crush on Rudy even though she was seven years his junior. She had developed a relationship with Rudy’s sisters in order to be that much closer to him. Rudy, for his part treated her as an annoying younger sibling.
Throughout Rudy’s relationship with Dora, Marty voiced her disapproval of the relationship.
They left Marty at home and spent the afternoon together. Though for the most part, Dora acted as though no one was there besides Rudy. She began kissing Rudy in a way that left his head spinning.
“Rudy” said Dora “I am not letting you loose anytime soon.” And so it was that Dora branded Rudy as her own. Rudy was perfectly happy with this arrangement.
At the next meeting at Jahn’s, Rudy paid very little attention to Marie.
Rudy and Dora spent most of their spare time together, Sometime without Caroline.
School was fast approaching and they knew their time together would be limited.
Came the Labor day weekend and the Murray the K holiday review at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre. This was a holiday event usually held three times a year, Easter, Labor day and Christmas. Rudy loved theses shows where, for a little more than the price of a movie ticket, you could enjoy ten live acts and a movie (usually an Elvis film). Rudy had attended many of these events in the past and enjoyed many popular acts. This Labor day showed bragged such acts as Dionne Warwick, The Dovells, Lou Christie, Dick & DeeDee, The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, Chuck Jackson, Ben E. King, andThe Shirelles. Rudy was looking forward to Taking Dora to this event..
Alas, at the last minute Dora was unable to attend. By this time they had become almost inseparable. In the end, Rudy attended the event alone.
Shortly after that, Rudy made their relationship official by asking Dora if she would wear his ring. Not surprisingly she said Yes.
Before he knew it, Rudy was attending his senior year at Erasmus Hall High School. At first it was all cool. But before long, the academic officials began saying that due to his hiatus during the previous year they did not wish to accept his Junior year credentials from Easter High School in Lansing. They decided to demote him back to his Junior year..
This did not sit well at all with Rudy. He convinced his parents to sign him out of school. So at age sixteen Rudy left school and joined the workforce. He took a job in a department store in Manhattan. A 45 minute subway commute from his home.
Somehow he and Dora managed to carry on their relationship during this period. Their relationship had advanced to the stage of heave (I mean really heavy) petting by this time. One fine Saturday afternoon, Dora arrived at Rudy’s without Caroline. They proceeded to make out passionately. Suddenly Dora turned serious and took Rudy’s face in her hands and said “Rudy, I want us to do it.”
“IT?” asked Rudy. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” she said “I want us to make love. But I don’t want you to see me.”
Well as you can imagine, the ill conceived event of two inexperienced would be lovers was a total disaster. Rudy blew his chance at losing his virginity. A chance that would not reoccur until after his nineteenth birthday in Paris France.
That evening his father took him aside and said “Leoni, be careful. It is not always the woman who gets fucked.”
Rudy was never to forget this conversation.