My just-published novella, Meeting Margo, is a prequel to my novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson. It’s the story of how Brian and Margo met and became best friends, second grade, 1967, Quaker Valley, Pennsylvania.
In this excerpt, Brian gets a birthday surprise the Saturday morning after he and Margo have a sleepover party in Brian’s basement.
Meeting Margo is available in print and ebook editions. For more information, scroll down or click here.
Sometime in the middle of the night, while I dreamt about taking a ride through the battlefield with Margo and my Grandma Pressley, I felt a pair of adult hands nudging me gently.
“Come on, sport… move it on over!” I heard Dad say as he edged me off of Margo’s mattress and over onto my own, and then he chuckled as he tucked me into my sleeping bag. “Eight years old and they already want to sleep together, Laura,” he said.
“Dan…” Mom said…
…and after a few more dreams, I was waking with Margo sitting on the mattress next to me in her sleeping bag, watching The Cisco Kid on channel 8.
“Bon jour, Brian!” she chirped, like nothing at all had happened the night before. “You guys get channel 8 clear.”
“We have an aerial on a tower,” I said as I sat up, and we watched The Cisco Kid and the channel 8 kids show together.
I watched the channel 8 Saturday morning show (after The Cisco Kid) every weekend growing up, but for some reason I remember absolutely nothing about it.
O.K…. not “nothing”… two things. The first is the dippy cartoon they used to run when they announced the birthdays. It was three reindeer singing
Have a happy birthday,
Whether you’re nicey or boo
We would like to wish a
Happy birthday to you!
Three hundred and sixty five days
Seems like an awful lot
But then before you know it
Another year is sh-sh-sh-shot!
Back then, stuttering reindeer were considered cutting-edge comedy.
The second thing I remember about the kids show is that the Dippy Stuttering Reindeer were immediately followed by the birthdays, and the morning that Margo slept over, the first one they read was “And a happy birthday to Brian Pressley in Quaker Valley, who’s eight years old tomorrow. Happy birthday, Brian!”
I was on TV.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Margo yelled, and she kissed my cheek. “You’re famous! ‘Happy Birthday to Brian Pressley in Quaker Valley!’ There’s not another one, is there?”
My heart was racing and I was short of breath.
“I don’t think so,” I whispered.
“Wow!” Margo said as she sat back. “‘Happy birthday to Brian Pressley in Quaker Valley,’” she repeated. “You were on TV, Bri. I want mine on TV, too. Wow! God!”
We watched the rest of the show and then went upstairs and got dressed, Margo yammering the whole time about The Announcement. “He’s famous, Mr. Pressley. You shoulda seen it!”
Dad, of course, was Totally Surprised. “I wonder how they knew…” he said, a faint smile on his lips.
“I was gonna call him on that,” Margo said later, “but I didn’t wanna ruin your birthday.”
About Meeting Margo…
A prequel to my coming-of-age novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson, Meeting Margo tells the story of how seven-year-old Brian Pressley met and became best friends with Quebecoise tomboy Margo LeDoux.