How did Maurice meet Maralyn?

Nov 12, 2019 · Castaways

Alvaro Cerezo Docastaway

I found this lovely text that was taken from one of the letters Maurice Bailey gave me. It explains how he got to know Maralyn in the 60s:

 

“So how was it that fate decided I was to meet Maralyn? It was an event so remarkable that I found it difficult to accept it would change my life so completely; forging a lasting relationship with someone was beyond my imagination.

It was all down to a man named Mike Morton, who was about my age. It was odd how our friendship developed but it said a lot for his kindly nature. We had a curiously uncomplementary combination of disciplines, yet we came together at a weightlifting club. I went for the specific purpose of improving my strength for my game of tennis.

Anyway, one day Mike asked if I might be able to do him a favour. I had known that once every month on a Sunday he went on local car rallies navigating in a car owned and driven by a girl (presumably his girlfriend) who was a work colleague at the Derby tax office. On this particular occasion he was unable to go to the next event and he asked me to take his place- I was very pleased to help but I protested that, as I had never done anything like it before

I remembered Mike’s instructions of where and when I was to meet this girl but, for the life of me, I had forgotten her name. Imagine my nervousness as I waited at the prescribed spot, the Market Place in Derby, for my assignation with the mystery girl. I remember wanting to forget my promise to Mike and walk, run away but with troubled uncertainty I stood rooted to the pavement, getting ever more anxious as the meeting time approached. Cars of all sizes cruised by, some stopping in front of me. Each time they drove off l felt a strange sense of relief, as if the postponement of the meeting would become the highlight of my day. Then a large car pulled up in front of me. At first I took no more notice than I had of all the other cars that had stopped.

Then my eyes gradually focused on the car’s sole occupant. The driver was a pretty girl, slight and looking diminutive in marked contrast with the size of car, a Vauxhall Cresta I now observed. So this was Maralyn (I recalled her name only when she introduced herself)

I clearly remember, as she leaned over to open the passenger door, her attractive eyes, her slender form, her long dark hair, her beautiful angular face and her broad smile. She wore faded blue jeans that emphasized her slim legs, and a complementing thin blue knitted sweater that pronounced the modest protuberances of her breasts. After introductions she cheerfully invited me into the car and she drove off to the start of the rally.

As I sat next to her I felt intoxicated by her freshness and her youthfulness, the fragrance of her perfume, and the warmth of her conversation.

But it would be a lie if l told you the rest of the day was a success, in fact it was a total disaster. If there was anything wrong to say, I said it. If there was anything to do wrong in navigating, such as turning left or right, I did it. I was hopeless and even when I tried to correct an error it seemed only to make matters worse. When, finally, the afternoon came to an end I felt uncomfortably aware that Maralyn possibly wanted to be rid of me and my bungling manner.

To compensate a little for spoiling her day I offered to buy petrol for the car. I had the tank filled up at a garage but when I put my hand in my pocket to pay for it, all I could find was ten shillings and four pence. I was mortified, drowning in remorse and shame. How would Mike (I still thought of him as Maralyn’s boyfriend) view my appalling execution of his trust? That was the end of it, I thought sadly; my first contact with this wonderful girl was to be my last.

As if courtesy demanded it I set about writing a long apologetic Ietter to Maralvn which I sent with the biggest bouquet of flowers I could afford. Two or three days later I was surprised to find a letter waiting for me from Maralyn thanking me for the flowers. Since I had no wish to unsettle my friendship with Mike I thought it proper to bring him into the picture. It was then he told me he had no amorous attachment to Maralyn, she was just a platonic friend. It could so easily have ended there but I seized the opportunity and I wrote and invited her out for a meal and a visit to the theatre. Her acceptance came when she telephoned me at work. This time everything went well.”

If you wish to know their FULL STORY on the raft you can read this article.

You can read the diary of Maralyn during the raft here.

Like I usually do with all my favorite castaways, we have also created these colorful paintings and this website as a tribute for both of them.

But you can always ask me in the comments below and I will share more details of the conversations I had with Maurice Bailey before he passed away last year.

 

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