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Bianca Boonstra

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She left on the 17:09”.
By Bianca Boonstra
Sunday, June 02, 2002

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The train left.
And she was in that train.
The 17:09 left from Charleston.
He couldn’t even prevent her from going away.
Just when he needed her the most.

He met her somewhere in the States. He was traveling around, with hopes of getting recognized as a country musician. He could play the guitar very well, but only sang songs that others had written. Earning a dime here and a dollar there… hardly enough to buy something to eat.

She was a waitress in a restaurant, where he was hired to play for one night.
He looked at her, she saw his eyes and fell hopelessly in love with him.
Since that day, life became more complicated. Clumsy as she was, she dropped a plate filled with glasses. Immediately her boss showed up and she got fired. So there they went…two people without a future.
Their eventually goal had to be Nashville Tennessee – the place to be for country singers.
At first, all seemed to get better, how clumsy she might have been as a waitress, she had a golden voice.

So they traveled around together, playing in restaurants for the audience, receiving payments for a night sleep and at least one dinner a day. Only the breakthrough didn’t come…
When they arrived in Charleston, at their first evening in the Tavern, she fell in love with another man. Loaded was he, but he couldn’t stay. He was the one, who gave her money for the train.
“Come to me…”, he said. “I will make you rich.” She believed him and left the other day. With the 17:09, without even saying goodbye…

He tried to catch her but failed…It started to rain. Desperate was he, especially feeling lonely.
“Oh why not…!” He saw the tavern and went inside.
There was music playing softly there…

“Come, kiss me love, before you leave me
Come kiss the one, you have betrayed,
And when I’m dead, my love, come and see me
And throw sweet flowers upon my grave.”

This song of Bobby Bare was reflecting his feelings right. He wished he wouldn’t exist. Searching for a table, he found one in a little corner of the tavern. A waitress came and he ordered one coffee.
When she arrived with his coffee, she saw him crying…


He must have slept a few hours after drinking his coffee, being awakened by a hurting arm. It was almost eight o’clock and he looked around him. The tavern was filled with people but the waitress came directly when she saw he was awake.

“I know you…”, she said. “You are playing the guitar quite well.”
“Thank you.”
“I have people around asking for some live music. Would you care to play?”
“I don’t have a guitar anymore”, he said softly. “I had to sell it this morning, so I could buy me some food and arrange me a place to sleep for tonight.”
“Just a minute”, she replied and went to the back.
Two minutes later she came up front, with his guitar.
“Play for me, I will pay you.”

He couldn’t refuse and started to play. A wonderful audience he seemed to have that night…they stopped talking when they heard the tones of music, coming out of the guitar.
“Sing!”, a lady did shout.
And gently he sang the songs, all covers, out of his repertoire.
That night was a success. So he decided to stay in Charleston for a while, playing his guitar in the tavern.

One afternoon, while he was rehearsing in the tavern, the waitress came, with a piece of paper. He saw music written down, lyrics under it.
“Shall I try to play it?”
“Sure”, she replied.
He started to play the music, she started to sing the words…

“I saw you drinking coffee dear,
Sitting all alone…
Mourning over a loved one who has left…
When I saw you crying, dear
I couldn’t do a thing
I tried to keep you here, freed from all pain

Now I have succeeded dear,
Together we sing songs,
In the tavern, where the audience are friends
The start of a new life for you
Has to be a happy one
So you can be aware of my love so true …”

The tears jumped in his eyes. So beautiful she sang, only for him. Then she sat down and told him, that she wasn’t just a waitress… she owned the Charleston Railroad Tavern. He would never strike fame and richness like the great country stars…, he decided to stay with her in the tavern.

They married six months after he came in the tavern for the first time…he didn’t have to struggle anymore…

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 7/3/2002
well done!........ ;0)

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