I was standing on the side of the dance floor at the high school sock hop in 1958, looking around at all the pretty girl wall flowers on the other side of the room. All of a sudden my eye caught a vision of beauty in a lavender satin dress that hugged her in all the right places. Her hair was golden and her eyes were periwinkle blue.
What in the world is this girl doing on the wallflower side? She must have a hundred guys after her to dance. But, no, no one even approached her as she shyly stood by and watched all her friends being whisked away to the dance floor.
Well, this just shouldn't be! I walked over to Lavender Satin Dress with the golden hair and periwinkle blue eyes and blurted out, "Will you honor me?"
I can't really describe what came next. It was a sound like you have never heard before. The girl started to laugh at my "honor me" question and she sounded something like a cross between and hyena and a donkey. First came the laughing hyena and then the bray of a donkey.
This little lavender bundle of femininity started laughing so loud that the band stopped playing and glared at her. Me, being the gentlemen I am, simply took her hand and led her to the floor for a slow dance.
She laughed again. "This is a slow dance," I whispered. You don't have to laugh now." I gently suggested.
She looked ashamed and so demure and quietly danced very close to me in my arms. She smelled of fresh wildflowers and lavender oil.
"What's your name, pretty girl?" I murmured the question.
When the dance ended much too soon, she softly thanked me for asking her to dance.
"My pleasure Mam, my pleasure."
Then came that hyena giggle-donkey-braying sound again and I was mortified as two of my best friends walked up about that time.
"Why are you dancing with the hyena, Donnie? You will be the laughing stock of the school on Monday." Jimmy Taylor said with a sneer.
"I am dancing with a beautiful girl, Jimmy. A lot prettier girl than I've seen you with all night."
"Are you kidding? Nobody dances with "Hyena" and ever lives it down in this school."
Now, all of this conversation was going on in front Angelina, and I could see tears rolling down her face.
Suddenly I took her by the arm and led her outside to the parking lot. She was in full tears by now.
"Angelina, what makes you laugh like that?"
"I-I have to make those sounds when I get nervous, I don't know why. I can't seem to control them."
So, as long as you're not nervous you sound normal, right?
"Give me one of your not nervous laughs"
Angelina laughed and I thought it must be the way the angels sing, it was so beautiful. A melody of sorts.
So ladies and gents, I ended going steady with Hyena Girl and did my best to keep her from getting nervous, and most of the time she sounded like an angel.
There were times, of course, when old donkey hyena came out, but you know what I did? I brayed right along with her, and soon, everyone was laughing that way. We started a craze, she and I.
The day of our wedding came and Angelina was quite nervous, and you know happened then? All the people at the wedding started laughing and braying, and man oh man,what a blast we had.
This went wonderfully the first few years of our marriage, until our first child came. It was a different animal sound that came out with that first baby of ours. It was another sound you've probably never heard.
We spent 56 years together laughing and braying. I have to admit it still, sometimes, got on my nerves, but she died last spring, and I would give anything to hear my hyena girl tonight. My daughter can imitate it, but it's just not the same.
God Bless my Angelina
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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