Roy Rodgers and I had something in common in 1955. We both loved a car named NellyBelle. I first fell in love with it when I saw the cute guy who was driving it. Actually, I’m not sure which one I fell in love with first! The 1955 cherry-red Ford with its black convertible top and shining chrome definitely caught my eye. I pictured myself cruising around with its owner on a warm summer night, stopping by the soda shop for fries, burger, and a root beer float, hanging out with the other envious teenagers.
One day, while in the makeup section of Woolworth’s—splashing on the floral, classic scent of Evening in Paris, I glanced over to the lunch counter, and there he was having a soda with a mutual friend. I sauntered up to my friend Paul, not wanting to look too eager to be introduced. After those welcomed words, “This is John,” I realized that that my cherry-red convertible dream could become a reality. And it did.
John called me that same night, and we arranged to see the Fourth of July fireworks together in NellyBelle. I couldn’t slide onto that bench-type seat quickly enough, and the multi-colored fireworks never looked more brilliant than with Nelly’s top down.
Now, after fifty-one years of marriage, the strains of the songs “Barbara Ann” and “Johnny Angel” over the car radio still echo in my mind, bringing me back to a teenager’s dream. Thanks, NellyBelle!