“Yeah,” closing his eyes, both reliving the minute and teasing Mitchell, “It’s just that when you slip it in it feels, oh, God, it feels so smooth and so, uh, slickery, an’ so, oh, God, it felt so warm!” Groaning as if in the throes of passion. “Ummmm!”
“You dick! Stop already!”
Smiling, opening his eyes, “Like I said,” Norman said, “it ain’t no big deal.”
“Yeah, no big deal.” Listening to Norman, he’d poked his index finger into the opening of the bottle and, pulling it out with a pop, Mitchell brought the bottle to his lips, hesitated, lowered it and, “Blonde-haired, blue-eyed shiksas,” he said, “Niles is full of ’em.”
“Yeah? Good luck, buddy.”
September 4, 1951
For the first three years of high school, other than on special occasions, other than an occasional pair of chinos, Mitchell Lipensky wore nothing but blue jeans, open-necked dress- or sport-shirts, and his old dirty white-buck shoes, but now, for his debut at Niles Township High School, he wanted to start fresh and make a new, a different, a proper impression.
The style for the “cool guys” at Harrison last semester and, so far as he knew, this semester too, was bright colored slacks with pegged legs; the cooler the guy the peggier the legs.
Knowing his looks had always given him as much attention as he wanted, and on occasion more than he’d wanted, Mitchell had never worried much about style, but in keeping with his desire for a new image he had purchased three pairs of slacks—green, blue and black—all with a slightly modified peg leg.
At 7:15 that morning he boarded the orange and black school bus wearing his new blue slacks, a yellow sport shirt, and shiny, black penny-loafers. After numerous stops to pick up students the bus stopped in front of Niles Township High School and its passengers, at least for this day, the first day of school, reverently disembarked.
The rolling lawn was landscaped with dark green grass, mature bushes and tall oak and pine trees. Fresh and beautiful, everything here seemed so new and so different than the West Side, and Harrison.
Feeling lost within this sea of unknown faces, he stood a minute, then walked up the wide sidewalk and eight steps leading to the school’s entrance, where, waiting for the bell to ring, sitting to the side of the top step, he watched.
Groups of kids were all over—on the steps, on the grass, on the sidewalk—shaking hands, hugging, kissing, renewing last semester’s friendships.
Inside, the black and white tiled hallways shined and the lockers looked new.
The girls wore dresses or calf-length skirts with sweaters or blouses, bobby socks and, for the most part, dirty, white-buck shoes. The boys, generally, were neatly dressed, mostly in jeans, sport or dress shirts open at the collar and, for the most part, dirty, white-buck shoes.
Usually shy in class, on this day, at this beautiful new school where he didn’t know a person, for some reason relaxing, Mitchell allowed his personality to come through and in classes was friendly and gregarious, and without his usual shyness giving the impression of conceit, he made friends, both male and female.
Returning to his locker that afternoon, he found an envelope taped to the door. Opening it, he apprehensively read the enclosed note:
“Mitchell, you are one of the neatest and nicest new guys in school. If you want to make friends here, stop dressing like a Chicago hood. We don’t think you are really that way.
“Your future friends.”
The next day Mitchell wore worn Levi’s, a white dress shirt open at the collar, and, his dirty, white-buck shoes.
September 6, 1951
Sandra was of average height and figure for a sixteen-year-old girl, and did, indeed, have blue eyes and blonde hair and, Hey, he thought, she’s cute as a button. His eyes shifting from her cute-as-a-button face to the noticeable—though small—twin points of her breasts that jutted from beneath her powder-blue sweater and, Yeah! this girl was just about everything Mitchell had always thought he wanted in a shiksa.
The class sat on straight-back chairs in a semicircle in front of the student giving the oration, and when the speech ended they were called upon to critique the subject matter and verbal delivery.
“Public Speaking 1” was the only class he shared with the girl. Knowing that this was the best way to meet her, Mitchell was very vocal in a friendly, positive way.
Sandra and most of the class picked up on his interest, and she felt flattered that this handsome new boy was interested in her and so responded with like friendliness. When she spoke to him, though, standing where she was, about fifteen feet from his chair, she didn’t appear to be speaking to him but to someone behind his right shoulder.
Turning, he glanced at the student behind him, but knowing that she had to be speaking to him, turning back quickly he noticed that, although her face and eyes were looking in his direction, Sandra’s pupils were not, but when she looked at the notes in her hand or at nearby objects they straightened. Putting him off a moment… What the hell, he thought, so she’s a little cross-eyed.
“…Sandra!” Having to shout to be heard above the tumult in the hall, “Sandra!” Catching up, he tapped her on the shoulder.
She’d heard him all right, but wanted him to chase her down the hall, and when he touched her, stopping, turning, “Oh, hi…” she knew his name, but, “uh?”
Though crossing when looking at an object five or more feet away, close up Sandra’s eyes straightened, and… accustomed to usually dark, Semitic eyes, becoming lost in her light-blue eyes, “Mitchell,” he said.
Beginning to walk again, “Oh, yes, Mitchell.”
“Mind if I walk with you?”
“No,” glancing at him, “why should I? It’s a public school.”
“Huh?” Looking at her over his shoulder.
“Call me Sandy. All my friends call me Sandy.”
“Okay, Sandy.” Thinking, All her friends! She wants me to be a friend! Shiksas are sure friendly here. “Sandy, uh…” not even wondering at his new-found courage, “how’s ’bout if you’n’me go for a Coke or something after school?”
“Sorry, I can’t.” She could. “I’ve got to get right home today.” She didn’t have to get right home, but did not want to appear to be too anxious.
“Well, then, how’s ’bout if I walk you home? You mind?”
Pretending to think, “It’s a public sidewalk, Mitchell.”
“Mitch! All my friends call me Mitch, or,” he smiled, “when you get to know me better, Mitchie.”
Looking at him, becoming no less lost in his smile then he had in her eyes, “Uh, anyway it’s a public sidewalk, and if you want, you can walk me home.”
“Yeah, Sandy,” he said emphatically, “I do! Where can I meet you?”
Without so much as a moment’s hesitation, “In front of Roundy’s.”
Living about a mile southwest of school, by the time they said goodbye Sandra and Mitchell had a date to go to a movie on Saturday.
Living about two miles northeast of school, on the long walk home Mitchell congratulated himself for finding a cute-as-a-button, blonde-haired, blue-eyed shiksa, almost the girl of his dreams—Okay, so she’s a little cross-eyed—on just the third day of school, yet.
Walking her home the next day, reaching to the side he tentatively touched Sandra’s hand and when she didn’t move hers, their fingers intertwined.
In late August, on the Monday following his seventeenth birthday, Walter had taken Mitchell to the Department of Motor Vehicles where he’d passed the written test with only two wrong answers and the driving test after just knocking two rubber cones over while backing into a parking space.
On Saturday, with his temporary driver’s permit ensconced in one of the plastic sleeves of his wallet, and held firmer yet by the long-carried, but never-used Coin-Pac prophylactic, Mitchell—only after promising his father that he would not drive faster than thirty-five miles an hour, and that he would not leave the boundaries of the Village of Skokie—was allowed to use his parents’ 1950 Buick Roadmaster for his first date with Sandy.
Having a car was a surprise and did impress Sandra.
Sandra’s parents, on the other hand, being rather straight-laced and more than just slightly old-fashioned, were not impressed, and the only way they would allow their daughter to go on a date with this new boy was if he would leave the automobile parked in front of their house. Sandra and Mitchell could either walk to the movie theatre in the village of Skokie or take a bus.
In this sense Sandra’s parents were not discriminating against Mitchell per se because they would never allow their sixteen-year-old daughter to go on a date with any boy in a car. On the other hand, though, looking anything but Jewish, they didn’t ask and he had no reason to say.
In the theater he sat with his arm around Sandra’s shoulder and, or, holding her hand.
Afterward the theatre, at the Skokie Inn for ice cream sodas…
“Mitchie,” blushing under his gaze, “why are you staring at me?”
Being with Sandra, truly forgetting her problem, “Your eyes,” he said.
Always a source of embarrassment, hiding her eyes, she covered them with her hand.
Remembering, realizing that she might be self-conscious and certainly not wanting to embarrass or hurt her feelings, “Oh, no, Sandy!” moving her hand from her face. “I’m sorry,” he said sincerely. “It’s not that! I like looking at your eyes because they’re so beautiful! You’ve got the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”
Being gentile, blue eyes were not a novelty to Sandra or the people she knew, and this was the first time anyone—especially a boy, especially with her problem—had ever told her that she had the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen.
Relaxing, blushing, “You know, Mitchie,” she said, “yours are pretty beautiful, too.” She tried to out-stare him by looking into his eyes, but could only hold her intense gaze for thirty or so seconds, till, covering her eyes once again, “Stop, Mitchie. You’re embarrassing me.”
Having had all of her, to date, five dates on foot or by bus, Sandra knew of a place where a boy and girl, if they so desired, could be, somewhat, alone.
Leaving the Skokie Inn, Sandra led Mitchell into Oakton Park, to a bench in a “darker place” at the far end of the sidewalk.
He put his arm about her shoulders. They moved closer. Turning their faces, their lips brushed lightly, then lingered.
Mitchell’s lips were eager, open.
Sandra’s lips were so warm and so soft, and so tightly closed.
Finally, after a number of moments, using the tip of his tongue he was able to pry her lips open… then, a few seconds later, her teeth, and the very tips of their tongues touched… and when the tips of their tongues touched she immediately retracted hers, leaving him to wonder if this forced, momentary meeting of the very tips of their tongues might be the most sexual thing he’d ever be allowed to do with this girl, which, in fact, it was.
And Mitchell Lipensky learned that, whether the girl be Jewish or a shiksa, those girls with high morals and in-bred ethics all valued their principles and did, indeed, think their tits, and everything else were “made of gold.”
When a girl said No! to Mitchell, it always had, and always would, mean no. Now, this is not to say that he wouldn’t try, because sometimes it had to seem to the girl that his hand was like a yo-yo, being moved away then, within seconds, returning to the vicinity of her breasts.
With Sandra, though, this very modest necking session never remotely became a petting session and Mitchell was not too sad when, a few days later, having enjoyed her company and thinking he’d try one last time, asking for a second date, Sandra told him that her parents thought he was too “fast” for her—and really, she did, too—and that she could not go out with him again.
On the other hand, having asked their daughter, Sandra’s parents had learned Mitchell’s last name and figured that Lipensky was not exactly the name of a white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant boy.