This morning right after breakfast, Vivienne's mom called us into her sewing room and said she had a surprise for us. When we saw what was in there, we stopped dead in our tracks.
New dresses! Three new dresses. Mrs. Walton explained that tonight after dinner we were going to the park for an outdoor concert, and Betta was coming with us! Far out!
Vivienne and I were so excited we jumped up and down and hugged each other.
"Well what are you girls waiting for?", Mrs. Walton smiled. "Try them on and see how pretty you'll look." She left us to try them on.
Outta site! The one with the blue rick-rack was mine, the one with the yellow rick-rack was Vivienne's, and the one with the red rick-rack was Betta's.
After we put on the dresses, we went to Vivienne's parents' room to show Mrs. Walton how we looked.
"Oh girls, you both look lovely!" Mrs. Walton told us. "You'll be the prettiest girls at the concert."
'We have GOT to call Betta!", Vivienne squealed. "She'll flip!"
When Betta rang the doorbell, we answered it together.
"Hi girls", Betta said. "Those are dynamite dresses. Where are you going?"
"Close your eyes and come with us", Vivienne told Betta.
Betta looked confused. "What?":
"Just close your eyes and come with us", I repeated.
"Why", Betta wanted to know.
"Don't ask questions, just do what we say!", Vivienne said.
"Oh, OK". As soon as Betta closed her eyes we each took one of her hands and practically dragged her into the sewing room. We stood her in front of the dressmaker dummy and told her to open her eyes. Her jaw nearly hit the floor!
"It's beautiful", Betta said. "But what's this all about?"
"We're going to the band concert in the park tonight", Vivienne said to Betta. "And you're coming too! My mom said so."
"This is the grooviest day ever!", Betta almost yelled.
Mrs. Walton took a snapshot off all 3 of us in our new dresses.
"OK girls...let's get out of those dresses so they will be fresh for tonight. We'll pick you up after supper, Betta."
"Thanks so much, Mrs. Walton", Betta said to Vivienne's mom. "I'll see you guys later." She took her dress and went home.
We changed out of our dresses and helped Mrs. Walton clean up the house. Then we had to take naps, because we were gonna be really late.
"Nine-year-olds don't take naps, Mom", "Vivienne tried to tell her mother.
"They do if they want to go to that concert tonight", her mom told her.
We were both too excited to nap. We kept giggling and talking, but after awhile we fell asleep for a couple of hours. By the time we woke up, it was almost time for dinner. Mr. Walton came home from work, and we sat down to eat.
We had tuna noodle casserole, watermelon, fruit punch and Jell-o for dessert.
"Bless this meal, oh Lord, and thank you for letting us go to the concert and for being together. Amen"
It was all so yummy! The only person that cooks better than Mrs. Walton is my mom! After we ate, Vivienne's sent us upstairs to take baths before the concert. She got out a brand new box of Mr. Bubble. Yay! I love bubble baths!
"Rub-a-dub-dub...I like to soak in the tub!"
After we bathed and dressed we picked up Betta and drove to the park. It was a pretty warm night and we didn't even need jackets. That was good 'cos we wanted everyone to see our groovy dresses. The park was already getting pretty crowded.
We had to walk way in the back by the benches. We finally found one that was empty and sat down.
We couldn't see very well, but we could sure hear the music! The concert was a Motown revival! Dynamite! It was kinda tight with all 3 of us sitting on that bench and I was starting to feel like a sardine! Vivienne's mom brought along an extra blanket, in case any of us got cold, so I pulled it out of her tote bag and sat on it.
The music was outta site! They played The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and The Supremes! Since we were wearing matching dresses, when they played "Stop! In the Name of Love" we got up and started to dance and sing like the Supremes! Vivienne's parents were cracking up!
When it was time for Intermission, Vivienne's dad gave us each 50 cents for the snack stand. Vivienne's friend Lydia who went to Camp Falling Waters with us last year was running it!
"Hi Lydia!", we all said.
"Hi girls. Hey Julie! It's great to see you again! I heard you were here for a visit. How have you been?"
"Like the song says, I've been "Feelin' Alright". It's really cool you get to run this stand all by yourself."
"Well this is part of fund raising for our church", Lydia began. "We're raising money to send our youth group to the Philippines later this summer."
"Yeah, we heard about that in Sunday school", Betta said. "We're happy to help."
Just then, 2 more girls, Marcie and Evelyn from Camp Falling Waters and another girl I didn't know walked up.
"JULIE!", they shouted and hugged me. "You're back! How are you?"
"I'm doing great! I've really missed you guys. Who's your friend?"
"Oh this is Mika. She moved here a couple of months ago.", Evelyn explained.
"Oh yeah. Vivienne wrote to me about you. It's nice to meet you, Mika."
"It's nice to meet you too, Julie", she said in a really quiet voice. "Vivienne talks about you a lot. It must be nice to have a pen pal."
"It's really super", I answered. "We started writing to other kids through our school. Maybe that's something that you can try some time."
"That's a good idea", Mika said.
"OK, what's everyone having?", Lydia wanted to know.
I ordered a strawberry swirl ice cream cone.. It was really delicious!
When the intermission was over, we all said "See ya around" and went back to our bench for the rest of the concert. It was really far out. Right before the concert was over, Lydia, Marcie, Evelyn and Mika found us and listened to the last song, "Going To A Go-Go" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Vivienne's mom took a group shot of all of us.
Well, the concert was over and it was getting late. I hugged all the girls, including Mika) good-bye, 'cos I'm leaving tomorrow, and I wouldn't see them again. But I promised we would hang out on my next visit. When we got back to Vivienne's house, we got ready for bed. We were kinda punchy and weren't ready to sleep, so we played with Vivienne's Magic 8 Ball for a while. In case you don't know what that is, it's kinda like a fortune telling toy. You ask it questions, shake the ball and it gives you answers. (But of course we know, it's just a toy.).
"Will Vivienne and Julie ever stop being friends?", she asked it.
"Will Julie come back to West Virginia soon?" I wanted to know.
"Will Vivienne come visit Julie in Springfield this year?" she asked.
"Will people in the future dig up my time capsule and read about all my adventures?" I asked the 8 Ball.
"Does Kevin Fleagle like Julie in a lovey-dovey way?"
"Vivienne! You promised not to tease me!"
"I'm not teasing, I'm just asking a question." She shook the 8 Ball and it said:
"Does Kevin Fleagle like Julie Newman in a lovey-dovey way?"
"Oh that doesn't mean anything", I told Vivienne. "You know this thing is just a dumb little toy."
"I know that. But wouldn't it be funny if it were true?
"No, it wouldn't", I said.
"C'mon Julie, you're not mad are you?"
I yawned. "No I'm not mad, but I am tired. Let's go to sleep, OK?"
"OK. I'm glad you came to visit me, Julie. I'm really gonna miss you."
"I'm glad I came too, Vivienne."
"Friends forever?" Vivienne asked.
"Forever and ever", I answered.
Until tomorrow, future readers,