Jim McGuire skidded his bike to a stop in front of the large blue sided house. Setting the bike up against the white picket fence, the eighteen-year-old glanced at his watch. He smiled as he saw that he was right on time. Not that Mrs. Burke would've been angry if he had been a little late, but it was a matter of pride to the sandy-haired young man that he showed up places when he said he would.
Originally, he had planned to spend this week in Florida. His parents had promised him a trip to the Kennedy Space Center as a graduation present. He'd been interested in space since he was ten and had been looking forward to the trip for years. But the Challenger disaster last January changed all that. He told his parents that he'd go when the Shuttles flew again, even through some critics were saying that might not be until 1987, or 88.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Burke." he called out as he spotted the silver haired woman waiting on the porch.
"Afternoon James." the fifty-two year old waved back as she pulled a large stack of mail from the box.
Christine Burke had been a fixture in the neighborhood since long before Jim McGuire had been born. Almost every kid in the area looked on her as sort of an adopted Aunt. Without any children of their own, she and her husband, Doctor Ron Burke had made up for it by getting involved in many of the youth oriented activities in the small town. In fact it was as a Den Mother that Jim had first met her when he joined the Cub Scouts. A few years later, when he graduated to the Boy Scouts, Ron Burke had been the senior Scoutmaster.
The memory of his days in the Scouts made Jim think once again what a shame it was what happened to Dr. Burke last year. He had been coming home late one night after visiting a patient and was involved in a head on collision with a drunk driver. The police said the other driver had been doing ninety miles an hour when he slammed into Dr. Burke's station wagon. The fact that he didn't survive the crash either was a poor consolation.
It was because of Dr. Burke that Jim had been coming over these last few days. After a year, Christine Burke had decided that her husband of almost twenty-eight years would want her to get on with her life and not spend it mourning his death. So she had begun to clear out some of his things. Clothes to various good will agencies. Parts of his library to the local boys club. And now, most of his scouting gear to the troop.
Technically, Jim wasn't a Boy Scout anymore, having passed his 18th Birthday three weeks before. But he had been filling in for the one remaining Scoutmaster who was away on vacation. Besides, with all the Burkes had done for the troop over the years, it was the least he could do.
"You know where everything is, James." Christine said as she stepped off the porch. "I'm going to run a few errands before it gets much hotter. Although I can't really imagine how it could." "I heard over in the drugstore that it's supposed to drop to a cool eighty-five degrees tomorrow." Jim grinned as she walked passed him.
"I'd better dig up my winter coat then." Christine laughed.
As he watched Christine Burke get into her car and pull out of the driveway, Jim was glad she had decided to put the tragedy behind her. In fact, he'd heard more than a few of the older men at his Dad's hardware store remark that they'd love to date Christine now that she was a widow. Of course a few of them had put it in a lot blunter terms. They'd been friends of Ron Burke and many times over the years had envied the woman he went to bed with each night.
Jim had thought that if he were thirty or so years older, he'd probably want to date Mrs. Burke too. Aside from her personality, which was reason enough in his mind, Christine Burke definitely wasn't what you thought of when you tried to picture a woman in her early fifties.
It wasn't so much her looks, although she did look younger, the result of paying attention to both diet and exercise all her life. It was a matter of attitude. Someone once told him that age was just a state of mind. That a person could be pretty much the same person at 50 as they were at 20.
Originally, he found it hard to believe, simply because he couldn't image his own parents as teenagers. That had changed when he got to spend time with the Burkes.
It wasn't hard to imagine the Burkes as teenagers, because there were times when they acted like they still were. They had a zest for life that getting older hadn't diminished. Jim smiled as he remembered the All Scout Camping Trip they had gone on his Junior year of high school. An overnight trip, the Cubs had come along, and with them Mrs. Burke. Jim had gotten up to make a bathroom run during the night and had almost run into the Burkes in the woods. He didn't get close enough to actually see anything, but from what he heard it wasn't hard to tell what they were doing. He couldn't imagine his parents doing anything like that, even though they were almost ten years younger.
Over an hour passed as Jim worked up a good sweat going through piles of Mr. Burke's stuff, despite the air conditioning in the den. It wasn't so much the camping equipment that took a lot of time, but a lot of records and troop plans that filled several boxes. Then of course they were mixed in with a lot of other folders, magazines and such that had to be sorted. It looked like the man saved everything he ever read or wrote over forty years. As much as many of the Scouts liked to think otherwise, Ron Burke was far from perfect. His haphazard filing system was just one example.
"He's got Time and Life magazines here from the 1950's." Jim said to himself as he pulled open the lid from another storage box. "I'd better be careful with these, I've heard some of these books are worth a lot of money to collectors.
Carefully putting those magazines aside, Jim's eyes lit up when he saw the pile below them.
"All right, Playboys!" he said out loud.
Actually, it was a few issues of Playboy and a couple of men's magazines he had never heard of. Still naked girls were naked girls.
"I think it's time for a break." he laughed as he sat down at the desk and opened the first magazine to the centerfold. "Let's see what they have to say about Miss June of 1960."
Miss June had a 36-20-36 figure, Jim read as he opened to the centerfold. 5 foot 2 and 108 lbs she'd been born on October 17, 1937. Her ambition was to do a Broadway show. Turn ons were the color black and strawberries. Turnoffs included hypocrites and snobs. Hobbies were swimming, sketching and dancing.
"Now why can't I meet a girl like that?" Jim laughed aloud as he spread the 22-year-old's centerfold to its full length.
Looking again at the data sheet, Jim realized that Miss June had been born six years before his mother. That put a little damper on the fantasy that had popped into his mind. Jim closed that issue of Playboy and picked up another. This one was an even earlier edition from 1955. The centerfold in that one was a really cute redhead with short hair. Her pictorial was shot in what was at the time a very modern bath. It was a perfectly natural setting for a woman to be nude, yet he found it to be very erotic. Much more so than the spread pussy shots he'd sometimes seen in current magazines. A third publication, one that he'd never heard of before, held similar photos. Pretty women nude or semi-nude in natural soundings. That and another issue of the same book dated from the early 1960's.
"God, these girls must've given thousands of guys hard-ons!" Jim thought out loud as she flipped through yet another old title. "I know they're giving me one." he added with a smile.
Taking in a few more pictorials, the eighteen-year-old wondered what these women were like today? Grandmothers most likely he mused as he remembered the publication dates. He'd love to see a picture of them now, just to compare. Not nude of course, he didn't think he wanted to see old women in the buff. Still, some older actresses he'd seen in movies and television still looked pretty good.
Jim's blue eyes noticed that one magazine toward the bottom of the pile was wrapped in plastic. Curious, he pulled that one out. The tape holding the flap in place was yellow with age, signifying it hadn't been opened in years. It was another one of those old titles that Jim had never heard of, dated Summer of 1955.
Looking at the first two pictorials, Jim wondered why Doctor Burke had bothered to cover this book with plastic. It didn't seem to be any different than the other half dozen books he had already looked at. In fact, if he rated the first two girls he looked at, they would be on the bottom of the list.
"Wait a second!" the young man exclaimed into the empty air as he reached the third photo shoot. "This girl is definitely an 11!" The woman he referred to was 21 years old with baby blonde hair. It was cut short in an elaborate hairstyle that could only be called elegant. That simple word applied to the rest of her as well. Bright blue-green eyes sparkled out of the glossy centerfold, the jewels of an exquisite face. Lips bright red in the style of the day framed a perfect smile, instantly captivating the young man.
.... There is more of this story ...