TRAVEL BUG TALES: WHY I ALMOST DIDN’T MAKE IT TO RACINE
Let’s see, where were we? A busload of Baptist teenagers had ridden from Dallas to St. Louis and had visited The Arch. Then we checked into a hotel and rough housed in the pool – at which time Lenny Loud had revealed my secret – that modest little baby-doll swimsuit could be transformed into a bikini!
After the Bikini Baring Episode
The picture on this post was not taken on the mission trip, but the shot shows you what was revealed when Lenny ripped off my modesty panel After pool time was over, everyone went upstairs to get ready for dinner.
Janis and I had finished our ministrations when we heard a tap-tap-tapping on the connecting door. Remember how we were in the room with the female counselors. Well, guess who was on the other side of the female counselors room? The male counselors room. And do you remember who was bunking with the male counselors? That’s right, Lenny and Steve.
Today, this story would probably go to a very different place. The episode was long before mothers started buying birth control for their teen-aged daughters, so I get to keep my G rating. I assure you however, at the time, the situation was beyond thrilling.
Opening the Door on Scandal
After a few verbal exchanges through the connecting door, Janis and I opened it and the guys came in to check out our room. I’m sure we knew on some level that this was taboo, but I doubt we’d been specifically warned against it. I was that much of a
rule follower – nerd. Then the guys invited us over to check out their room and we giggled our way over there.
After a tour of the two rooms, we ended up watching an episode of Leave It to Beaver in one of them, I forget which. At this point the most thrilling part of the event was that Lenny was actually paying attention to me. ME! Nerd-girl!
The counselors, male and female, were somewhere having a pow wow (probably discussing disciplining me for wearing a tear-away babydoll-swimsuit). Imagine what they thought when they came in and found mixed company lounging around the hotel room! Only then did I get even the slightest hint that impropriety, not just rule-breaking, was involved.
I remember being sternly lectured and hearing the counselors discussing whether calls would have to be made to our parents. I did not want my parents to be called. If these adults thought I have behaved badly, I was scared to death what my parents would think and do. I might have been sent home and that was the last thing I wanted to happen when I had just gotten Lenny’s attention.
Since all of us were fully dressed when the counselors came in and repeated questioning always returned the same innocent answers, we were spared the indignity of the calls to our parents. Years later when I finally confessed what happened, my parents thought it was hysterically narrow-minded. In fact, they thought the counselors were short-sighted in booking the connecting rooms. I wonder if that would have been the way they would have felt if that call had come to them at the time.
We were sworn to secrecy and assured that if anything else we did even hinted at indiscretion, we’d be on our way back to Dallas. Since the ensuing days included rumors of skinny dipping, use of Quaaludes and other indiscretions, without anyone getting sent home, I guess there were a few other things the pub staff didn’t find out until after publication.