Chapter 15 1957 - Buddy and Annette

Annette did not feel like a model now, and she wasn’t getting the kind of looks she used to do as she waited on the patrons at the Stomping Grounds. Her flattering outfits had given way to maternity wear, and her carefully styled hair had taken on a stringy look. She was tired all of the time, and her feet hurt constantly. Her normally pleasant demeanor had slipped in favor of an attitude with a bit of an edge.

It wasn’t easy to be expecting and to care for her stepson Adrian while Buddy was out on the road. Finally, she’d had enough. She walked into Len’s office.

“Len,” she began, “I’m tired. I can barely keep up each day, and I’m afraid I need to take some time off. Maybe a lot of time. The baby’s going to be here soon, and I don’t know if I can come back.”

Len understood, and even was a bit relieved as some of his customers had stopped coming in and he felt it might be related to Annette’s attitude.

“I’ll be sorry to see you go,” he offered, “Can you stay on a few days until I can get a replacement?”

Annette conceded and they set her last day for the end of the week.

When Buddy called her that evening, he was surprised to hear of her decision, but also a bit glad that she would be home more with Adrian. His babysitter was complaining that he was getting a bit rough with the other kids, and hinted that she no longer wanted to care for him. Perhaps Annette’s attention would calm him down.

Adrian spent his first three years mostly with Buddy’s parents, and only occasionally with his mother’s parents. They had a tough time accepting him, because of their unspoken blame for him as the cause of their daughter’s death. Now with Annette in the picture, they had practically severed all contact.

Annette had loved Adrian as if she was his own, even if he was a handful at times. Now that she was at home, she was getting a first hand look at his rambunctiousness. He got into too many things, and when he didn’t get his way, he cried until Annette finally gave in.

Annette was exhausted even more after a day with Adrian than she had ever been on her shift at the Stomping Grounds. She began to wonder if taking time off was a good idea.

One particularly trying day, Adrian could not be calmed down. He would run across the room, knock over a lamp then run back and throw a pillow. Annette had had enough; she grabbed him, stared him right in the face and firmly said, “Stop it!” Adrian struggled to get away, but Annette held tight. Adrian dodged one way and when Annette shifted her weight to keep up with him, he dodged the other. Annette took a stumble and landed hard. Suddenly, a pool of water gathered beneath her. She knew what that meant; the baby would not be far behind.

Struggling to get up, she finally reached the phone and called Buddy’s parents. “The baby! It’s coming!” Buddy’s dad assured her he would be over right away to take her to the hospital. In the excitement, Adrian was concerned and cried “Mommy, what’s wrong?”

Annette hugged him, and said “It’s OK, little one, you’re about to have a new brother or sister.” A cramp made her gasp as she said “Grandpa is coming to take me to the hospital and Grandma will be here to watch you.”

“Mommy! Don’t go!” he cried. “Don’t go!”

Annette hugged him even tighter and he calm a little. A few minutes later Buddy’s parents were there.

“Thanks, Dad,” Annette was relieved. “It’s getting very close.”

They climbed into the car and rushed to the hospital. “No need to speed, Dad. There’s time to be safe.”

When they arrived at the hospital, Annette was admitted right away, and taken directly to delivery. Two hours later, she was the mother of a beautiful baby girl.


When Buddy called at his usual time in the evening, he was surprised to hear his mother answer the phone. “What’s wrong? Where’s Annette!”

“Annette’s fine. The baby came early,” his mother said.

“But it’s still two weeks before she’s due,” Buddy protested.

“These things happen,” his mother tried to comfort him. “You have a new daughter.”

Buddy told her, “I’m leaving right away. She needs me now!”

He was home by morning.