By Judd Holt
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Extra info for A Promise to Catie
Don't you like it? " I asked, not answering her question. " I can still picture Beth sitting on a short stool, fixing herself up. On my desk, in neat rows, she had brushes, combs, Mother's lipstick, and several kinds of makeup. Her hair was in a pony tail, and she was carefully applying an excessive amount of everything to her face. The smell of perfume was overwhelming. "Let me know when my room airs out," I said as I put on my jeans and walked out the door. That Saturday night when I went to bed, Beth's beauty items were still on my desk, neatly lined up, and I remember thinking how embarrassed I would be if some guy were to come into my room and see all that Page 24 stuff.
Our family had one car, one dog, one cat, and a small brick house on a tree-shaded street about two miles north of downtown Dallas. We also had a girl, my sister Beth, who was three years younger than I. Beth was conceived in between the battles of the North Atlantic, a little family mystery I had figured out long before I graduated from high school. During the fall of 1954, when I was in the eighth grade, my dad made the decision to leave Southern Methodist and accept a job at a state college in a small town located about forty miles north of Dallas.
I looked at Beth, who was ten, and she stared at me with a what-in-the-world-are-we-doing-here look. I answered her look by scrunching my shoulders in a "beats me" manner, then I stuck my hand out the window and moved it up with the wind against my palm pretending to go over the top of a telephone pole, then down to the ground, then over the next pole until Dad told me to shut the window. " Beth asked Dad in a sarcastic way. Page 6 As if he were surveying the most magnificent ranch in the world, he answered, "Oh, they're here.