This is a picture I took, from my computer screen, of “Jenny’s Library” as it looks today. The world knew this library as the “Paterson Eastside Library.” It broke my heart to see that it had closed up due to lack of funds. In 1971, it looked in much better shape!
Tender Be The Young Love
Chapter 2: Jenny’s Library
By Richard Mabey Jr.
Jenny’s Library, as I called it, was on East Thirty-third Street in Paterson. It’s proper name was not “Jenny’s Library,” rather it was named “Paterson Eastside Library.” It was a rather small library, for being in an inner city. It was actually kind of cozy inside.
There were about four or five wooden tables inside Jenny’s Library. Each of the wooden tables had six hardback wooden chairs. Jenny and I would always study and do our homework at the table furthest away from the desk of the Librarian. We sat at that table because I could keep an eye on my Ford Falcon. But I never did tell Jenny that I felt the need to keep an eye on my Falcon, being that we were in the Eastside of Paterson, an area where car break-ins were not uncommon.
Also, by sitting furthest away from the Librarian, we could whisper to each other. On some days, when the stars would properly align themselves in favor of my sun sign of Virgo; Jenny would rub her foot up and down my leg, beneath that old wooden table. O’ the simple joys of life.
Sitting there at the old wooden table, across from Jenny, I looked up from my Business Administration text book that I was reading. Penny was reading her American History text book. She looked so absolutely beautiful. As I watched her read her book, I thought to myself, “what does she see in me? Man o’ man, she’s drop dead gorgeous, she’s brilliant, she lights up the place when she walks into a room! I must be dreaming, I must be dreaming. Oh dear Lord, I love her so!”
A thousand and one times I had thought those very same thoughts when I looked into Jenny’s face, stared deep into her brown eyes, and memorized her face with the tips of my fingers. For Jenny was my breath. She was just so elegant and charming. I felt like a big clunk whenever I was with her. I always tried to hide it, but I felt like such a big clunk whenever I was with her. Her beauty, her elegance, her incredible intelligence; all of it intimidated me to the end of the earth.
Suddenly, without warning, Jenny looked up from her book. She had caught me, mesmerized and hypnotized by all of her feminine charms. She smiled. Jenny smiled that impish smile as if to say, “I caught you boy, you think I’m hot!”
“You know we can’t go back to my house till four-thirty. Daddy says you can’t be alone with me at home any more. He says if we do, I can’t see you any more,” Jenny whispered to me, across the graffiti engraved table.
“I’d die, if I couldn’t see you any more. I think we better listen to your father,” I said to Jenny with a smile.
“Daddy still thinks I’m a little girl,” Jenny whispered to me.
“I understand,” I replied.
“But you ruined me. You ruined me, you wild country boy. You’ve turned me into a wicked girl,” Penny mockingly whispered, with her very sexy smile.
“You drive me crazy. You know that. You drive me crazy,” I whispered.
“One day I’ll drive you so crazy…..” Jenny whispered, holding back her laughter as not to get into trouble with the Librarian.
“Maybe, I’ll just kiss you right here in this library. Right here, right now. I’ll kiss you,” I whispered to Jenny.
“My daddy’s right. You’re nothing but trouble. Daddy’s says you’re gonna ruin me,” Jenny slyly whispered.
“Well, for once I agree with your daddy. I’m nothing but trouble. Nothing but trouble,” I quietly told Jenny.
“Here I am an innocent little girl studying my history. And, you talk to me like that! Why I ought to tell that Librarian how bad you’re talking to me!” Jenny quietly said with pretended annoyance.
“I guess I better behave myself then,” I quietly said with pretended sincerity.
“You do that and you’ll have to find yourself another girlfriend,” Jenny quietly said.
“Find another girlfriend! Why there’s not another girl on the planet as cute as you!” I whispered to Jenny.
“I bet you talk to those college girls like this! Dontcha?” Jenny quietly asked me.
“Not in a million years. Why, I could travel the seven seas and not find a girl who can hold a candle to you,” I whispered to Jenny.
“Oh, Richard, this is so much fun. But I got a history test tomorrow,” Jenny whispered as she brought us both into reality.
“I know. And, I’ve got a big test in my business class, first thing at eight o’clock tomorrow morning,” I replied.
“We better study,” Jenny said in a more serious tone.
“Yea, we better study,” I replied.
So, we studied without further interruptions. That’s the way it was with Jenny. She could be such a flirt and then…it was time to be serious. It was one of the things that I admired so much about her. So dearly, I admired that very trait of hers.
To be continued….