After my first venture into the Town Duck, I found myself dropping by to say hello several times a week. I went in to browse the fancy cheeses, the colorful pots and pans, and pretty European ceramics. The stimulation to my eyes and appetite enticed me away from my usual Velveeta sandwiches and my mother's brown and cream kitchen. Inside the Town Duck, I felt miles and years away from the black iron ware and grey metal pots that had gone unnoticed as a teenager and now seemed part of my somber, troubled past.
And then there was the atmosphere inside that kept me looking around, asking questions and making comments. Robyn's sweet and chatting innocence encouraged me to stay longer than a typical customer. And when I did, Robyn started to ask me to help her with opening boxes and wrapping gifts. Within a month or two, I was almost an employee as the Town Duck's artful windows and promise of a new experience drew more and more customers into her shop.
One day Judy Lieberman stopped in. Judy was a dark haired dancer form somewhere else. After getting married and moving to one of the first suburbs of Warrenton, Warrenton Lakes, she had started teaching privately in an elementary school off Shirley Highway, Warrenton's intown bypass. Her specialty was Martha Graham technique, a style of modern dance I had taken in college and in San Francisco. As Robyn and I started talking with her we quickly realized we shared a love of dance and started attending classes together on a weekly basis.
Dr. Lebensohn was thrilled, of course. Exercise was on his "how to keep Betsy out of the hospital" list. And within a matter of months, I had tackled most of the items. I had learned to drive, bought a car, joined a church, started art class, found a supportive new friend, and now, with my friend, was moving on the dance floor to a beat we both shared.
To be continued ...