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Sweet Sue


Ralph Thomas


  In the early nineteen-fifties I played in a professional dance band. One of the regular attendees at the Saturday night dances always requested the band play the song, “Sweet Sue.” Over the years since, “Sweet Sue” has remained a favorite for me and I frequently find myself humming the tune. Doing so, always brings back a wealth of wonderful memories. Although at that time, I didn’t know anyone named Sue, I was amused when I first heard the song “A Boy Named Sue.” But, I still didn’t know anyone named Sue, girl or boy.    

  Later, I happened to see a female who caught my eye. I had not seen her before and knew nothing about her. For several weeks I would see her, always at the same place. Because I didn’t know her name I picked one for her  . . .  Sue.

  She was a mesmerizing creature and I began to fantasize about having a future relationship with her. She had the most beautiful brown eyes I had ever seen. Her posture was one of great poise and seemed to convey she was in charge of herself. This, of course, made me somewhat hesitant to approach her, even though I had dreamed of doing so for several months. Over time, I found myself becoming obsessed with Sue, so much so that I began thinking of her as Sweet Sue  . . .  a reminder of my favorite song.

  Not wanting to be too obvious about my attraction to this beautiful creature, I casually asked several of my friends if they knew anything about her. It was then that I learned I was not the only one who had their eyes on what had become my Sweet Sue. We discussed her at length, probing each others manner, hoping to pick up a clue as to her real identity. We always agreed on several things, which we began to call Suisms. The more we discussed her the greater our desire to personally get to know her. I was secretly afraid one of us would be the one brave enough to capture her attention and that it wouldn’t be me. 

  Apparently, our covert observations were noticed by others and they would occasionally tease us about our obsession with her. They too, were aware of the name I had given her .. Hardly a day would go by without someone mentioning Sweet Sue. Too, we all seemed to agree what it was about her that made her so desirable. The beautiful brown eyes that seemed to convey a sense of dignity also seemed to be the major common attraction to my friends as well as to myself. When she looked at me her gaze made me feel I was the most important person in the world to her. And yet, I didn’t even know her real name. We all agreed that her glistening brown hair,  long legs and regal bearing were unusual among the other females we knew. Perhaps that is what discouraged each of us from approaching her. None of us wanted to be rejected by such a beautiful creature. To be rejected by Sweet Sue would surely bring everlasting shame on any of us who were brave enough to make an attempt to get acquainted with her.

  Eventually, I gathered the courage to meet Sweet Sue. I knew if I waited much longer one of my friends might steal her away from me. Our first meeting was bittersweet, the kind of meeting that held so much promise but left disappointment and a broken heart in its wake.

  My last glimpse of Sweet Sue came as she was being led into a horse trailer to be taken to some destination unknown to me. But, Sweet Sue’s presence in my memory will always accompany my humming my favorite song, “Sweet Sue.” 


  Ralph Thomas is a Locust Grove resident and the author of Doing Great, but Getting Better and Getting Old Can be Fun.




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