Saturday, January 17, 2015

First Love (1963) short stories

First Love
Gay Head, editor; John Fernie, il (cover)
1963, Scholastic Magazines, Inc.

14 warm and glowing stories selected by Gay Head.

Stardust by Virginia Laughlin (originally Boys Don’t Understand)
16-year-old Wendy Warren dreams about the older brother of the boy next door.  23-year-old Brian complimented her and she fell head over heels, much to the annoyance of his younger brother Tod.

A Girl Called Charlie by William Kehoe
Quiet, thoughtful Charlotte Hollister finds a meeting of the minds with Ridge Evans when he protests the “going steady” fad in their high school.

 Blue Valentine by Mary Gibbons (orig in Woman's Day, Feb. 1954, shown to left)
16-year-old Angelo Colucci, oldest and only son in a family of girls, chooses what he thinks is the ultimate feminine gift for his adored girlfriend, Ethel-Irene Simons, daughter of a local professor.  His instincts are perfect – except he doesn’t realize how her parents will react.

The Walnut Trees by Virginia Akin (originally in Woman's Day Magazine)
Jenny Lee’s crush on a handsome teacher is resolved in an unexpectedly gracious way when his engagement is announced.

Once Upon A Pullman by Florence Jane Soman
He raised on eyebrow. “Just fasten your seat belt and let me take care of the landing.”
19-year-old William Fowler tries to impress a girl he meets on a train by cribbing from a novel about a smooth seducer.

Epicac by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (originally in Collier's)
A machine helps a man woo his coworker, and falls in love with her itself.

Sixteen by Maureen Daly
The narrator tells of a night out of time, when she goes ice skating and meets a boy and waits for him to call and realizes he never will. A strange, dreamy story.

Eighteen by Charlie Brodie
The boy from Daly’s Sixteen tells his side of the skating night.

Prelude by Lucille Vaughan Payne (originally in Seventeen)
Nancy is popular, pretty and comfortably middle-class; her only “quirk” is an unusual affinity for classical music. Stephen in invisible, awkward and poor, but he also loves music and plays the piano.  They fall in love, but Nancy has to decide if she can accept the change their dating will bring to her life of popularity.

Tomboy by Gertrude Schweitzer
Frances is uninterested in the social/romantic life at school, and resists growing up.  Forced to attend a 16th birthday party for a cousin, she quickly plans with old friend Skeeter to slip out. To catch frogs in a nearby marsh. Then she meets a college boy…

Bittersweet by Arlene Hale (originally title "First Love")
Leslie and Claude were high school sweethearts. Then he went to college, and suddenly, stopped writing. When he comes home for winter break, they’re forced to confront the truth.

Who is Sylvia? By Laura Nelson Baker (originally in Seventeen, September 1959 issue, shown left)
Adam falls in love with quirky, aloof Sylvia, who recently moved to town and lives with her grandparents. When parental decisions suddenly end their relationship, Adam faces the ephemeral nature of love.
Theme Song by Dave Grubb
Edith, a dreamy girl working in her father’s small restaurant, finds romance in the love life of a young man, a soldier posted at the local base, who comes in and talks about the girl he left behind.

Tough Guy by Peter Brackett
Surly, angry Byron is always ready to fight but secretly is in love with Nina and even writes a poem about her. The verse falls into the wrong hands, and destroys his bad boy rep.  But it also gets Nina’s attention.

The authors
Several of the authors were difficult to find online. This has to be one of the most unlikely places to encounter Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  His short, EPICAC, was first published in 1950, in Collier's Weekly, and the central figure (a computer) was based on the real-life ENIAC.

Gay Head
Hi There, High School! (1960)
Etiquette For Young Moderns (1954)
Dear Gay Head (1962)
Boy Dates Girl (1961)
Party Perfect (1963)

Florence Jane Soman
Love Is A Lonely Thing (1953)
A Break In The Weather (1959)
Picture Of Success (1966)

Maureen Daly
Seventeenth Summer (1942)
Sixteen and Other Stories (1961)
Acts of Love 
First A Dream

Arlene Hale
a prolific writer of nurse romances. 

Laura Nelson Baker
Somebody, Somewhere
The Special Year