Fast forward several years to 1995.
Estes Park had changed. On a trip back to Estes Park it was so crowded and full of stores, I did not recognize it. The only thing I did recognize was the taffy store and the little section of the river that is now the middle of town, where we had our picnics in 1945.
Ginger drove Mom, Bernie and me up to Estes Park. As we were walking down the street, we ran into our niece Jill, who was working at Highlands Park Church Camp. We had so much fun and Mom, who had the first stages of Alzheimer's, did too, in her quiet little world. She grinned from ear to ear as she licked on a hand dipped ice cream cone. We all joined her, licking away! It was so good.
Then Bernie spotted a photography place where they had nice looking beautiful curvy bodies on a background photograph and you stuck your head through the cut out and they photographed your face on the body. We got to pick out the body we wanted. Bernie picked the skinny curvy body with blonde hair and I picked a curvy brunette. They both had skimpy bikinis on. That would be the only time I would wear a skimpy bikini.
The bathing beauties were surrounded by a couple of hunk-a-men in skimpy bathing trunks. We had our photos taken with the crowd of people peering in the shop window, watching these two grown ladies, Bernie and I, laughing until the tears rolled down checks. "Wait and till King and Bob see us!" (Bernie has that tears rolling down your cheeks affect on me whenever we go and what ever we are doing!)
Bernie was going to take her photo home to Alaska in her suitcase and show it to King. I had a better plan. When we got back to Boulder from Estes Park and Gingers house, brother Jim was there from Grand Junction. I asked him to mail the picture from Grand Junction, when he got back. I wanted to see Bob's reaction when he got a sexy photo of two lovely gals in bikinis in the mail, with a post mark Grand Junction, Colorado.
When we got back to Alaska, and not without many incidents, I might add, as you see I was traveling with Bernie, the envelope arrived from Grand Junction, marked Mr. Robert Ricks and the words "confidential" written in big red letter on the bottom. As I am the controller of the post office key, I had this situation under control! I eagerly waited for him to open the big envelope, not appearing to be too snoopy or anxious. He pulled the photo half way out, looked at me and I thought the game was over! Instead he said to me "YOU are not going to believe this!" I innocently asked why? He said" Now-now I don't know these gals!" Then he pulled the photo of Bernie and me in our bikinis out of the envelope. Then he looked and looked and then he had another look and then looked at me. I thought the jig was up.
He handed the photo to me and said "Do you know who these gals are?" I took my time and looked and said "No, but the guys are sure nice-looking hunk-a- hunks!" He said "and the girls?" I said "I don't know they are." He said in total innocents, "I wonder who would send this to me?" as he looked at the postmark. "Oh, from Grand Junction, must've been from your brother." I said, "No, he is in Boulder with Mom and Ginger"-a big white lie! I said "Are you sure you don't know them? AND then he said "The blonde (Bernie) isn't too bad looking but the Brunette," (me,) studying the bodies, continued, "not a nice face, but a good body, guess I prefer blondes!" I almost grabbed the photo and smacking him with it and almost told him who the Brunette AND who the blonde (me) was, but that would've spoiled all the fun even though I was little fumed inside. Serves me right!
I personally think you never recognized either one of us, as he never looked at our faces, just a skimpy bikini clad bodies. This little game went on for months. Every once in a while he would say "wonder who sent those photos?" and I'd say "what are you going to do with it?" "I don't know" he would say and put it back in his little drawer of things he keeps for years.
Finally at one of our bonfires with old bonfire gang standing around, Bernie and I could not stand it any longer. We had to tell Bob! So I went and got the photo, passed it around to everybody standing around the bonfire, asking the question "do you know these people?" The remark from the gals at the bonfire, was "look at the bods on those on the guys!" And the guys would say "look at the bikinis on those gals" and then when it got back to Bob he took another look. I am sure he only looked at the skimpy bikini bodies! Finally I said "look at that face." he said "Okay I still don't recognize her." Bernie and me at the same time said "It's me!"
He looked at the faces, I am sure, for the first time, then looked at us, started laughing. I'm not sure if he was laughing at us or with us!
When Bernie got home from our trip she showed King and ask him if he knew they were. He knew it was Bernie right away. I still think Bob studied the bodies in the bikinis and didn't give a second look at our face. Well he can dream; touching is what will hurt hum.
Next week. Bernie and Ann: Our trip back to Alaska 1995