By Dee Newman
I realize it may be difficult for those of you who know me to believe that I was once in the military and that I volunteered to serve. But, it’s true. In October of 1964 I joined the United States Navy. After boot camp in San Diego, California, and nine-months in Millington, Tennessee, just north of Memphis, training to become an aviation electronics technician, I spent the remainder of my four years, except for the last three-months, in Sanford, Florida, at the Naval Air Station there in Attack Squadron THREE. The mission of the training squadron was to prepare pilots to fly the Mach-2 RA-5C Vigilante reconnaissance aircraft that was effectively used by the 7th fleet during carrier air wing operations in the South China Sea throughout the Vietnam War. The supersonic aircraft could operate at altitudes from sea level to above 50,000 feet.
In early spring of 1968 we were inform through the chain of command that the entire base would be moved to Albany, Georgia. Sometime in late May my wife, Jo, and I were given a long weekend to travel to Albany to find a place to live. It was during that weekend that Heather’s indiscretion occurred.
The plan was to use Friday and Sunday as travel days and Saturday to locate and rent an apartment. After arriving in Albany and securing lodging for the night, we bought a newspaper and went out to eat. Later, after circling a number of apartments that were listed in the paper for rent, we drove around to acquaint ourselves with the city.
We awoke early the next morning, had breakfast, and began our search. Within the first hour we past a charming old apartment complex that had a “for rent” sign out front which looked inviting, but we were set on finding an apartment in an old home much like the one in which we had been living in Sanford.
Though we began our search confident that we would soon find what we were looking for, by noon our confidence had waned considerably. By late afternoon we had looked at nearly twenty-five different apartments. Unfortunately, they were all either out of our price range or lacked the character and qualities sufficient to meet out aesthetic standards.
Feeling a bit depressed we reluctantly drove back to that old apartment complex that we had seen earlier in the day that look inviting. After sitting in the car awhile critically examining the overall appearance of the quaint old two-story complex, we decided to locate the manager. Following the signs that lead us to an apartment on the second floor, we knock on the door and waited. There was no response.
We knocked again, this time a little louder. From inside the apartment we heard a woman’s voice saying, “Heather, could you please answer the door?” A few moments later a very lovely dark haired young woman in her late teens with incredibly beautiful blue eyes open the door. We told her we were interested in the apartment for rent. She asked us to come in and have a seat, politely telling us that her mother would be right with us.
The living room of their apartment was small but comfortable. Jo and I sat down on a large sofa. There was a television to the left of the sofa near where Jo was seated that was on with the volume turned down and a large chair that matched the sofa just to the right of me. Behind the chair was an open space that lead to a dining room and the rest of their apartment. It was through that space in which the young women, Heather, left to inform her mother that we were waiting to see her.
Within a few minutes, another very attractive young women who looked more like Heather’s older sister than her mother entered the room and introduced herself, apologizing for our wait. After exchanging pleasantries and informing her who we were and why we needed an apartment, we began asking her the standard questions regarding the apartment’s appearance, layout, size, and the deposit and monthly rental fee required.
Though the apartment manager’s face and figure appeared nearly as youthful and stunningly beautiful as her daughters (very pleasing to the eye), it soon became clear that she was also a very astute businesswoman with an engaging and pleasant personality.
As she began to provide us with the description and details of the apartment, the phone rang. Expressing her regrets, she excused herself and left the room as she had entered. It was a good ten minutes before she returned. Apologizing profusely, she indicated that the phone call was extremely important, the continuation of an ongoing transacting and negotiation with which she had been involved for most of the day.
Once again, she began telling us about the apartment, describing it in detail, apparently trying to leave nothing to our imaginations, informing us of both its shortcomings and virtues. Just as we were about to ask if we could see the apartment, the phone rang again. Excusing herself, she left the room, once again, as she had entered through the open space behind the chair.
While she was gone Jo and I decided that we would rent the apartment if it turned out that her description of it was accurate. As the minutes ticked by, an event on the television caught our attention and we turned to watch it.
At this point in the story, it is, perhaps, important to make clear that nearly 40 minutes had elapsed since Heather, the managers daughter, first invited us into their apartment. Her mother was still talking on the phone in the other room. So, it should not be too difficult for you to believe that what I am about to tell you is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Without warning, while Jo and I sat there watching the nightly news, out of the corner of our eyes we perceived the figure of someone entering the room. We turned, expecting to see the manager. Instead, it was her daughter, Heather, completely naked carrying her clothes. Her long dark hair was still wet from, perhaps, a bath or shower. She came in rather nonchalantly and sat down in the matching sofa chair to my right.
And then, as her bare left knee touched mine, she suddenly realized that she was not alone. There was a long silent moment that I will never forget when Heather’s large beautiful blue eyes focused on mine, and then, began to actually increase in size until her slim, firm, adolescently mature body, suddenly, found the necessary impetus to react.
But, instead of clutching her clothes to her exquisite bare-naked breasts and body, she jumped up and screamed, threw them into the air and ran out of the room. I can still see her clothes – her cotton summer dress, her panties and bra – flying into the air and then falling in slow motion all about the living room as her beautiful bare bottom disappeared from view.
More aesthetic than erotic, the memory of that moment still takes my breath away.
From somewhere in the back of there apartment we could hear her mother saying, “If I’ve told once, I’ve told you a thousand time to get dressed in your own room!”
Moments later, Heather’s mother returned, once again, profusely apologizing, but this time for her daughter’s indiscretion.
Later, after the three of us had regained out composure, she asked if we would like to see the apartment? Without hesitating, I replied, saying, “Nah, that’s alright . . . we’ll take it.”
For the first month after we moved into the apartment every time I would see Heather she would divert her eyes and disappear as quickly as possible from view. And then, one afternoon as I was parking my car I noticed that she was hanging clothes on the line just outside our apartment. I walked over and asked her about her plans for the fall, telling her that I had heard from her mom that she had been accepted at Auburn.
"Congratulations," I said. "You must be really excited."
Her responds was both enthusiastic and apprehensive. She was obviously thrilled about her new adventure, yet was sincerely reluctant to leave her home and community. As she began to speak, her discomfort and embarrassment appeared to melt away. From that day on she never again diverted her eyes or seemed uncomfortable in my presence. Indeed, over the next two months Jo and I actually became friends with Heather and her mom, Charlotte.
In late August 1968 my tour of duty in the United States Navy finally ended. On the day we vacated our apartment to move to student housing at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Charlotte came down to say goodbye. For some idiotic reason, in jest, I foolishly asked her a question that my mind had discreetly entertained from the moment we first rented the apartment.
“Now tell me, Charlotte,” I asked rather blithely, “was Heather’s indiscretion really as innocent as it seemed, or was it, in fact, a planned, calculated enticement on your part in order to rent the apartment?”
At first, Charlotte just smiled, and then, repositioning herself to stand beside my wife, said rather pointedly, “Dee, I realize that you may have been beguiled by my daughter’s lack of discretion, but I’m quite sure Jo was not.”
The names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent.