By Charles Towne
The pandemic has caused me to remember Louie and Nellie.
Louie and Nellie were sweethearts.
They had each known tragedy firsthand. Some said that Louie had been kicked in the head by a horse, which left him a little addled, and Nellie had lost her nose in some freakish childhood accident, which was the reason she was called, “Noseless Nellie.”
Nellie lived in a little white house that she had inherited when her folks died.
There was a doctor in my home town that was much loved. His name, for this account, was Wizeman, Dr. Wizeman. He delivered babies, set broken bones, amputated farmer Nesbitt’s leg when his seed bull got a little frisky and hooked him with a horn. But the doctor’s absolute claim to fame, and the way he became wealthy, was removing bullets from human anatomy.
All of this was going on back when prohibition was the order of the day and tommy-gun-carrying bootleggers were transporting whiskey all over the nation, because even though it was against the law, people seem to gravitate toward whatever it is that is going to give them a buzz at any particular moment.
There were violent shootouts between the police and the bootleggers, and people were shot, and some of them died.
The doctor became very adept at removing bullets from both the cops and the bad guys, and it was this doctor that Louie worked for.
Louie served the doctor in many ways. He was Dr. Wizeman’s chauffeur and all around handyman, mowing the spacious lawn on the Doctor’s estate, making general repairs, and doing whatever it was that needed done at the moment.
And then there was Nellie.
Louie and Nellie could be seen each Sunday sitting in the same pew in the Presbyterian church, and as they walked down the street they would be holding hands.
Nellie never seemed to notice that Louie was anything less than perfect, and Louie smiled at Nellie and seemed to think that Noseless Nellie was the most beautiful woman in the world. And I guess she was, at least to Louie.
Eventually Louie and Nellie became Mr. and Mrs. Louie.
When old Doc. Wizeman passed away he left quite a bit of money to Louie, enough for him to live comfortably for the rest of his life. And the first thing Louie did after the doctors passing, was give Nellie’s house – the one her folks had left her – a fresh coat of white paint. He even painted the shutters a nice blue because Nellie liked blue.
Louie and Nellie lived together for several years. They were in love, I reckon.
More years passed and Louie died in his sleep one night. About a week later, Nellie, beautiful Noseless Nellie, was found sitting on her porch in her rocking chair, having passed away as well. I guess she didn’t want to live without her man.
Dear Papa God, please help us to treat our sweethearts the way that you want us to treat them. Blind us to their imperfection and help us to love them with a Holy love. Praise you O Holy one. In Jesus’ wonderful name, Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.