Mr. Ruff and Tuff: Part 2


Mr. Ruff and Tuff Part 2

I have been asked to change the spelling of the title and so be it

I have also been asked to delve further into the inner me and see what I can add as part 2, so be it.

Before I begin, thank all of you for your loving support. Thank you for not mentioning the grey streaks in my hair and the crumpled up hunch back that Physical ‘therapy has promised to help. God Willing.

Ring, ring, ring, “Hello.” Is this your inner self??” “Yes.”

“Remember, dearie as you write, you have more memories of the past than things coming in your future. Write, Write, and Write, to your hearts content!”


I was in the sixth grade when the teacher’s introduced Square Dancing as our 6th Grade culmination dances. Everyone was terribly upset, as they would be required to hold the hand of the opposite sex. Oh, my goodness what fear and loathing of handholding became the conversations of the days to follow. And so it came to pass, we all held hands and danced with our partners regardless of what our thoughts beheld.


I have not asked permission to use Johnny’s name. I do not know if he is living or not. I haven’t seen or heard of him in more than 60 years. Having established that our encounters happened so very long ago, I can still see Johnny’s most handsome face and feel his gentle touch. We met at the Christmas Parade held every year down Pacific Blvd in Huntington Park, California. For me, it was astonishing to have a boyfriend. At last, I sighed over and over again during those months we shared. Many boyfriends have come along, plus a husband with all of the characteristics everyone would desire, so why do I preach Johnny’s as golden? Probably, because, he displayed such dignity, a love of humanity, and a morality not heretofore seen often by me, in budding young men.   Johnny and I parted ways due to religious differences. His mother explained to him the difficulties melding the two religions and he shared them with me. So, my first love for almost all the right reasons died on the vine. I still love you in my fashion, Johnny, for your truth, and your love of humankind.


This inner me story comes next because Johnny is still partly in my life for a little while longer.

I was a new driver and pretty proud of my new licensed skills. I picked up Johnny and we chatted all of the way to church for Mass. I parked the car and as we walked up the huge stairs, I could hear my inside voice in a begging format.

Dear God,

“Please give me a sign that you are really here, caring for us and letting us know of your work. I will not need to ask you again if you just send a sign my way. Just one.”


Mass was over and the congregation began to exit the building. I quickly scanned the parking lot to find at my dismay, my car missing from the lot where I had parked it. It boggled my brain and my knees went week. I continued the scanning and came upon my car. It had rolled through the parking lot across the sidewalk and thankfully to God had stuck itself upon the light post stopping it from rolling into the street and causing a horrible accident.

Do I ever need to ask for sign again? Ever? The answer is no, never do I need a sign again. Thank YOU GOD!

The Temple Rabbi and I:

Oh my, I was called into the Rabbi’s office for a conference.

Since I have never been called into the Rabbi’s office on any other occasion, I figured, this could be very serious. As it turned out it was short, but quite serious.

Rabbi: ” I am sorry Sheila, but you will not be able to be confirmed with the other girls in your class.”

Sheila: ” Why not? I am a top graded student.”

Rabbi:” Oh it has nothing to do with grades, but the fact that your birthday is Sept. 19th and the cut off date for conformation is Aug 31.

Sheila: I begged and pleaded furiously. I could not budge the Rabbi: so my parting remarks were:

‘ Shit, I hate your rules and am not coming back to temple ever if I can work it.”

I rarely came back or have come back and when I do, I love being there with all of those familiar sounds.

The dearly departed Rabbi never stopped trying to make it all up to our family and me. He asked to be taken to our Family Seder and brought 20 brand new Hagadah’s to accompany us throughout the coming years. He filled our home with bits and pieces of Judaism. Thank you Rabbi.

I asked my dearly beloved husband to marry me which was definitely against the rules 55 and 1/2 years ago and he said,” If I want to marry you, I’ll ask you.” And as you can see, he did!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mona Gustafson Affinito
    Apr 17, 2017 @ 12:47:03

    55 and a half years. I’m so glad he asked you! And what a lovely photo. 55 and a half years — Wow! what a great accomplishment.


  2. Nancy Cousins
    Apr 17, 2017 @ 13:08:02

    what a lovely picture! Love hearing from you.55 and a half years to the same wonderful person is a true blessing. thinking of you. take care.


  3. Bill Hinckley
    Apr 28, 2017 @ 14:28:35

    That’s a great picture!


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