I asked Mr Gardner who she was, and he answered, "That's Marilyn Riley, Cut Riley's daughter."
I was flabbergasted, to say the least. The Rileys lived just around the corner from me.
I walked across the gym floor to introduce myself and said, "Hi, I'm Jack Joseph."
"I know who you are," was her not-too-friendly response.
"Would you like to dance?" I asked.
"No!" she shot back.
"I'm working," she replied.
"Can I call you next week for a movie date?" I asked.
"No," was her response.
I could see no reason to argue, so I thanked her for nothing, tucked my pride in my coat pocket and left.
For the next month, I phoned, trying to set up a date. She always had the same answer: No.
Then one rainy afternoon in March as I was driving home after basketball practice, I saw Marilyn, the "No" girl, walking with no umbrella, no raincoat, no hat.
I pulled alongside her and asked if she needed a ride, half expecting her to say no. Instead, she stepped over the curb and plopped down on the seat next to me. It was only a few blocks to her house, but after pulling into her driveway we talked for 45 minutes. It was magic from then on.