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Who Is That Masked Woman?



They were in Hadley Joy Morris-Whitfield’s apartment on the third floor of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community.


Robinson Leary was poised behind the ironing board, iron in hand, brilliant patterned fabric flat on the board.


Marge Aaron was at the table, carefully folding hems in to what she hoped would turn out to be a face mask with a daisy pattern. The daisy pattern was safe. The outcome of the mask was what worried her.


Hadley was seated behind a sewing machine.


Mary Rose McGill was behind another sewing machine.


“I don’t mind getting old,” Robbie said as she pressed her fabric, “but my body is taking it badly.”


“I know,” Marge said. “I look in the mirror every morning and say, ‘Well, that can’t be accurate.’”


“I just miss the 90’s,” Mary Rose added. “That was when white bread was good for you and no one had ever heard of kale.”


They were making masks.


“We’re going to be wearing masks for awhile,” Hadley announced the day before. “Let’s go to Mangelsen’s, get some fabric and design our own.”


Mary Rose had her own sewing machine and she had borrowed a second from a friend on the second floor.


Mary Rose was an expert seamstress.


Hadley had trouble finding the needle.


“Marge,” Mary Rose said. “You have to make the hem rally tiny. Like this.” She flattened the daisies, rolled up a tiny hem, and it flew into shape beneath her needle. “And the elastic goes inside the side hem, not on the outside.”


In less than five minutes, the mask was done.


“I’m a cop,” Marge replied as way of an explanation.


“I think wine would help this situation,” Hadley suggested.

“It’s 10 a.m.!” Mary Rose said.


“I think a Bloody Mary Morning would help this situation,” Hadley replied.


“I think a glass of wine at your lips makes a fine social distancing mask,” Robbie joked.


“A bottle of wine in one hand and a glass of wine in the other keeps you safe,” Hadley added.


“You can’t touch your face.”


Mary Rose had finished three masks.


Hadley was going to conquer the Minnie Mouse pattern in front of her. A soft whirring sound came from her machine.


“This isn’t so hard,” she said as she pulled the fabric through.


There was silence.


She lifted the mask.


“What happened?” she asked.


“You sewed it to your sleeve,” Mary Rose said.


“Well, I don’t see well,” Hadley said.


“That’s an excuse,” Mary Rose answered.


“True,” Marge put in. “When we were exercising the other day you begged us not to hurt you again.”


“And you had only done one sit-up,” Robbie said. “One sit-up!”


Hadley raised her arm and the Minnie Mouse mask hung gracefully from her sleeve.


Mary Rose got up, came around her machine to Hadley and snipped the mask from her sleeve, brandishing her scissors like a pro.


She looked at the mask.


“We got a really thick elastic,” she said. “I have an idea. You three talk to each other and leave me alone.”


She limped back to her machine, bent a little.


“SHIT!” Hadley and Robbie said together.


“Shoulders back, Head high, I’s straight ahead and Tummy tucked in,” Marge finished.

It was on purpose,” Mary Rose told them. “I was imitating and old lady.”


They talked to each other.


“Alphoso picked up a hitch-hiker on his way to Lincoln,” Marge said.


They looked at her.


“The guy said, ‘What if I’m a serial killer?’ And Alphonso said, ‘Not to worry. What are the chances of TWO serial killers being in the same car?”


They laughed.


“I love the scary movies where the victim comes into the dark house and says, ‘Hello?’”


“Right!” Robbie continued. “Like the killer is going to say, ‘I’m in the kitchen. Want a sandwich?’”


Robbie smiled. “Raven asked me if he was the only one I’ve ever loved.”
 They looked at her.


“I said, ‘Yes, the others were all nines and tens.”


It took Mary Rose a minute, then she laughed, too.


Hadley went to the kitchen, brought out the coffee pot and poured the cups that were in front of them full again.


It was a long, hot morning in Omaha.


“I’m changing my life,” Marge announced. “With this heat, I know I’m not going to like being in Hell.”


“There!” Mary Rose announced, holding up a masterpiece.


“You made panties!” Hadley said.


“Daisy panties!!” Robbie and Marge said together.


“Watch this!” Mary Rose dared them.


They watched.


Her hands turned the daisy pattern around in her machine. She created two circles, then whizzed through strips of the elastic.


She held it up.


“A daisy bra to match!” she exclaimed with a large note of pride in her voice.


“You’re coordinated,” Hadley said. “Your underwear matches your mask.”


“It’s the best mask we’re going to have, looking at the rest of us,” Marge noted.


“Oh shut up!” Mary Rose laughed. “Give me the fabrics. Hadley, go find some Bloody Mary mix. Robbie? You want your undies and masks in the bright yellow with stripes or the purple with pink flowers? And Marge, we’re going to need more fabric for your set. You up for a quick trip to Mangelsen’s?”


Mask up, ladies! Be stylish! If the Lone Ranger, Batman and Superman can do it, we seasoned beauties can do it better.


SHARE THIS WITH SOMEONE WHO NEEDS A SMILE. FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS.


Have some ideas? What should the girls be doing during this difficult time?

Send ideas and adventures to joy.johnson@msn.com

As they used to say on old time radio: Stay Tuned.



This looks like a long summer.

Time to read and give gifts.

Buy any set of eleven books and get a

Free Book Twelve: The Last BOOB Girl Book

Your set will be mailed immediately. Book twelve in September or October.

Give the books as gifts or put them in your library.

If we are able to have the launch party November 22

you can pick up your free book there.


Full set of twelve! = $125


For telephone credit card orders call phone number below.

For an invoice for libraries email:

Joy.johnson@msn.com


Credit cards on the website.


Or any orders by phone, and you’ll speak to Joy

402-639-2939


To pay by check, send to

Joy Johnson Brown

8141 Farnam Dr #322

Omaha NE 68114


For another really special gift: BOOK I, read by Sue Mouttet, the real Maggie Patten.



Be hopeful and save the date:

Sunday, November 22, 1-4pm

Launch Party for BOOB Girls XI: The Last BOOB Girl Book

New Cassel Retirement Center

900 North 90th St, Omaha, Nebraska

We want you there!


Forward this to all your friends. Let’s surround our summer with BOOB Girls.



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