After a hard days work, after supper and doing the chores, after the children were safely tucked in bed, Val would sit on the front porch with his wife’s head in his lap, and they would talk or just sit and watch the late summer sun slowly drop over the Blue Ridge. Those few minutes were his idea of heaven. No cares. Just the two of them alone on their own small knob that overlooked the big pasture field, the meandering Goose Creek. Just he and Judith Ann.

“Sweetheart,” he said as he ran his rough fingers through her long golden ringlets, “You think the lord gave you this hair so I could sit here and mess with it? So I could have you near to me?”

She had nearly dozed off, for she too was comfortable. She was content with her man; he was the only boy she had ever liked in school and he was the man she had married. Sometimes when she was with the other girls and heard them talk, she would wonder how it would be to be with, or be had, by another man. She was twenty-eight years old and Val was forty-eight.

“Rub the small of my back please?" she asked as she rolled over. Val had those long fingers, long and strong, and she nearly purred when he pulled her shirt up and slowly worked the aching place.

The last rays of the sun had been gone for awhile now, and it was dark. Val pulled her shirt off, and as he did, she pushed her worn, threadbare jeans down and kicked them off. She stood, as she often did, and when the low melodious notes of a harmonica began to drift across the porch, she began to dance. She always danced slowly, the way they had seen in a movie one time.

He would continue to play as he watched her try to emulate the woman in the movies. Her figure was showing the four children she had borne, but her small breasts were still firm. As she danced, he noticed that her nipples became hard and erect, and when the music ceased, he would pick her up and they would retire and make love. Heck, sometimes they would find her clothes and some of his still on the porch the next morning.

Val loved his blonde-haired beauty, loved her more than anyone else in his life. He had married Becky two months before they finished high school, when he got his draft notice. They had gotten married, spent the night in the car over at the bridge, and the next morning they had gone from there to school. He graduated on a Friday, and on Monday he had reported for induction.

It was Basic training, combat training, and then on to Nam. He was in Nam two weeks when he was wounded and shipped to Germany. As soon as he had recovered it was back to Nam.

The second time he was wounded they did not send him out of the country, and finally after eleven months, twenty seven days, he was again wounded and shipped back to the states. When he got a furlough he did not tell anyone and arrived in town at one in the morning to find his wife and three guys in their bed. The sheriff understood and he went back the next day. He divorced Becky and when he was healed he went back to Nam for another tour. This time he was only wounded twice and when he came back they gave him a discharge and a forty percent disability.

His momma, who cooked at the high school, got him a job as an assistant janitor. Val worked by day, studied at night, and worked on building himself a house up on the ridge. He met Judith Ann when she was playing softball and a foul ball had zonked her. Val, who happened to be there, picked her up, found she had swallowed her tongue, so he took care of it. By the time the medics arrived she was sitting complaining of a head ache.

Judith fell for the tall trim man who smiled a lot as was nice to everyone. One day she asked him, “Mr. Brown, where did you get those scars on your face and arms? Your whole body seems to be scarred?”

Val had blushed and replied, “Miss Eggersly, two tours in Nam and being wounded seven times.” Val had shunned the students but had dated a teacher. She, unfortunately, had only wanted him to do things for her and give her whatever she wanted. She was arrested for possession during the summer. Val did not see anyone until the end of Judith’s junior year when he had taken her home after her sprained ankle. When he helped her to her front door Val had told her, “Miss Eggersly, if I am going to continue to have to take care of you, maybe I should get to know you better.”

Judith’s mother had heard Val’s comments and told her daughter that he was a nice man, much older than she, but he was a nice man. They had met at the annual VFW picnic where Val was recognized because of his war record. They hit it off and when she graduated they had married and moved up on the hill.

Judith got a kick out of telling others what her old man husband had told her after they began to date, “Missy, you need to get an education, a good education because life is tough and with just a high school diploma not many doors open.

The summer Judith Ann graduated from high school Val got a job in the County Clerk’s Office. He had been going to night school and needed one full semester at the University to get his BA. He had his GI bill so with the blessings of the County he and his wife went to the university. To help out he had joined the local National Guard outfit and was commissioned as a Captain since he had combat experience. It helped pay Judith’s way through school and the two weeks at summer camp gave them some extra money.

Judith studied Physical Therapy and when she graduated she had two children; then when she got her Masters she had her third one as Val was named the chief auditor for the county. At summer camp Val who was serving as a Battalion Commander, although a Captain his group had out shone every other one and in the fall he was promoted to Lt Colonel and made the local unit’s commander. That was one thing about local guard units they promoted as they saw fit as long as they stayed within their quotas.

Judith was a natural at her job and soon was head of Physical Therapy at the Regional Hospital. Then she had her fourth child. The two were like newly weds as life was so neat; Val worked all day as a CPA while Judith rehabbed people. But when they got home it was more like a children’s camp as there were animals, games and a family that enjoyed life there on the Knob.

When the Kuwait thing began to boil, Val was activated and shipped to the dessert. This time his unit performed in a stellar manner and he was wounded by a sniper as he dragged one of his young men to safety. He was cited for bravery and promoted to full bull and sent home.

The governor appointed Val the State’s Adjutant General and he was promoted to one star general. Since the job paid him as if he were still on active duty, his pay and allowances allowed him to ask Judith to quit work. She compromised and worked three days a week and the two enjoyed their evenings on the knob watching the sun set with Val caressing her golden ringlets.

© By Tom (




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