Bead Boutique
A beader's paradise to beadazzle you
                            

                        A true story

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform,
and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central
Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he
didn't, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen
months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found
himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes
penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul
and insightful mind.

In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss
Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in
New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her
to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World
War II.

During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other
through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A
romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused.
She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled
their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York.

"You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my
lapel." So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he
loved, but whose face he'd never seen.

At this point, I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened:

A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde
hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as
flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green
suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely
forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a
small, provocative smile curved her lips.

"Going my way, sailor?" she murmured.

Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis
Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well
past 70, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat.. She was more
than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl
in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in
two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing
for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.
And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her
gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers
gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify
me to her.

This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something
perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must
ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the
book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the
bitterness of my disappointment.

"I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so
glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?"

The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what
this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit
who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she
said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she
is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was
some kind of test!"

It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom. The
true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.

"Tell me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "And I will tell you whom you
are."