Annie Ribold was a child of the ’60s, a time in history when the generations of teens and parents were vastly separated. Many young people were leaving home to join communes and alienating their parents, leaving families torn apart by their differences in politics and society.
A mother’s love comes in many forms, and Annie’s Love will give readers a better concept of mother love in the changing world of the ’60s and ’70s. Follow Jeff Lipton as he searches for his birth mother and his heritage. His investigation leads him from a cemetery in a small town in Iowa all the way to a local tavern in New York.
Annie’s Love is based on the print by C. Clyde Squires, entitled “Mother Love,” one of five prints depicting the various stages of love. These prints are in a frame given to my grandmother for a shower gift in 1916. The print was handed down to my mother and finally to me. Looking at these pictures, kept in my family for so many years, Annie’s Love is the first product of my imagination. My goal is to publish a series of five books, one for each of these beautiful prints.
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Other Books by Linda Kay: Flavors from the Past: Memoirs and Recipes of Wilma Weiland Diekhoff
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By Linda Kay
AuthorHouse LLCCopyright © 2014 Linda Kay
All rights reserved.
ANNIE - 1969
"Come on, Carrie, let's get going!" Annie was anxious to get to the English class she was taking with her roommate, Carrie Bloom. Carrie and Annie Ribold had been friends in high school, and now they had one whole semester of college behind them, active in the party scene at State. Annie was anxious to submit her paper, written in protest to the Vietnam War, and was sure that Professor Hyde would be really pleased with it.
"I'm coming! I couldn't find my gray sweater, and it's pretty cold outside. I can't wear the green one; it clashes with my pants!" Carrie was distraught.
"We are just going to an English class, not a dance!" Annie was losing patience, checking her watch.
"Okay, I'm ready. What's all the rush, anyway? We have a good fifteen minutes to get across campus for the class."
"I want to get this paper turned in, and I want a good seat on the right side of the room, over by the windows. There's a guy in the class that sits over there, and I want to meet him." Annie's eyes sparkled at the prospect of the planned meeting.
"What's his name?" Carrie asked, adjusting her long blonde curls one more time.
"I have no idea. That's why I want to meet him, dummy
!" Carrie and Annie laughed, and rushed out the door, grabbing coats and purses and tossing book bags over their shoulders as they pulled the door shut behind them.
"So describe this guy to me." Carrie was now curious about Annie's interest, and hurried her pace to keep up with Annie, who had been blessed with longer legs.
"He's kind of tall and has dark hair and a gorgeous smile.... Cute butt, too!" I know he has noticed me, because he was watching me one day when I looked over at him. He smiled and winked." Annie rolled her eyes.
"Have you seen him at the frat parties?" Carrie asked, since that's where they had met most of the guys they were seeing.
"Don't think so." Annie bounded up the stairs into the new Carver Hall with Carrie at her heels. They entered the crowded classroom and found seats on the right side of the room, where Annie had hoped to sit, and settled in. Annie made sure to leave an empty seat behind her. The room was bathed in early morning sunshine reflecting off the blackboard at the front. About five minutes later the target of Annie's interest sauntered into the classroom and took the seat. Annie slid down in her chair when she saw him. She felt a shiver as he leaned forward, and she could feel his warm breath on her neck.
"I'll bet your name is Annie Ribold, you're a freshman, and you live in Oaks Hall," he said. She could smell his cologne.
Annie turned around in her chair to face him. "Well now, that's not fair, because I don't know your name." She gave him a coquettish smile and batted her eyes.
Mark extended his right hand. "Mark Moss. Glad to meet you, Annie." Mark had the most incredible smile Annie had ever seen. She felt her interest in him growing. "I'm about to finish up at this place and get on with my life. Want to run away with me?" The flirtation was very obvious.
"Well, you'd have to make it worth my while," she replied, knowing that he was teasing her.
"How 'bout coffee or hot chocolate after class for starters?"
"OK, but I warn you, I'll probably also need a donut, since I haven't had any breakfast." She tossed her long, dark hair behind her, and turned to face the professor.
The English class was probably the longest class Annie could remember. She could feel Mark watching her. After class, she told Carrie she would catch up with her at the dorm, and walked with Mark to the student union. He carried her book bag, and opened doors for her. Nice guy, expensive shoes, an air of confidence. She was definitely intrigued by this guy!
"What would you like?" Mark asked her, as he slid her book bag onto a bench in a booth in the far corner of the student union. The room was a din of noisy students visiting at booths, tables and stools positioned by a counter lined with various snack items for sale. The floor was a checkerboard of black and white tile, smudged with tracked snow from shoes.
"I'll have hot chocolate and a donut with sprinkles, thanks," she replied, catching his eyes with hers. "And would you squirt some whipped cream on the hot chocolate?"
"Comin' right up," Mark said, as he sauntered off to the cafeteria line. Annie watched him walk away. His jeans were tight and emphasized firm legs and butt. She looked away to the window facing the quad. It had started to snow, and looked so bleak and cold outside. A picture of her home in winter crossed her mind. Days at home had become so tense with her mom. Her dad just stayed out of her way, but her mom was nagging her all the time about what she was doing at school. At least she only had to see them on holidays, and this Thanksgiving and Christmas had been much too long to be in her home town.
"Looks like the snow is setting in," Mark said as he returned with their drinks and donuts. "I'm free the rest of the day. What's your schedule?"
"This was my only class this morning. I have a biology class this afternoon, but I'm willing to blow it off for a good alternative plan." There was no doubt that she was making her attraction to Mark obvious, and he was well aware. Annie used a spoon to get a dollop of whipped cream and licked it off the spoon slowly. Then she took a sip of the chocolate, getting a bit of whipped cream on the end of her nose. "Oops!" Annie said, as she whisked it away with her finger and offered it to Mark.
Mark licked the whipped cream off her finger. "Um, good stuff!" he said, looking into her eyes. "Tell me, Annie Ribold, just what brings you to State? Are you studying to be an astronaut so you can go to the moon?"
"Hardly that!" Annie replied. "Actually I don't know what I really want to do when I finish. I really hate studying, but my folks are dead set on it, since they didn't get a college education. This is my second semester here, and I did okay last term. I've even worked off the 'freshman fifteen', thanks to the aerobics class I'm taking. What about you? You said you are almost done?"
"Just a few more months, and I'm outta here. My degree is in engineering, but I'm not sure how I'll use it. Tell me more about you, Annie. Where are you from?" Marks eyes were focused on hers.
"I'm from the little town of Green Meadow. I have parents there and one brother, Marty, who is a junior in high school. My parents are really straight and don't understand me. My mom and I don't get along. They are supporting the government and the war and follow all the 'rules', if you know what I mean. I was home for Christmas and thought I'd lose my mind. My roommate Carrie and I have been friends since grade school. She's a great gal, and you'd like her. What's your story?" Annie leaned forward and waited for his response.
"I grew up in an orphanage and don't know who my parents are, or if I have any siblings." Mark looked down at the table and tapped his spoon a couple of times, then he continued. "I grew up in Glenbrook, but I've been living around here since I got out of high school. I work part time, and I make enough to get by with my student aid and scholarships." Another pause. "What do you say we take a drive, and I'll show you my apartment?" Mark picked up his cup, and slid out of the booth.
Annie was stunned. "You grew up in an orphanage? I don't think I've ever known anyone in that situation." She realized that she had been a little insensitive. "I'm sorry, I just was a little surprised at what you told me. Was it really bad?" She felt anxious for Mark, as she envisioned an orphanage from movies she had seen. She began to slide out of the booth.
"No, not really. I had some good friends, and we stuck together. Our sponsors were pretty good to us, and we had plenty to eat and clothes on our backs, although not always the newest or latest fashion. We all learned how to fend for ourselves." Mark tossed their cups in the trash can and took Annie's arm to lead her out of the building. "My car's in the student parking lot."
They walked across the quad to the parking lot, and Mark led her to a shiny new Ford Mustang, opening the door for her to slide into the passenger seat. "Part of my football scholarship package", he lied, not being at college on anyone's scholarship. He switched on the key and the mufflers vibrated. Mark eased out of the parking space and turned toward the exit, stopping only briefly at the guard station. He turned onto the campus main street and then out toward the east side of town. After just five minutes of blacktop they arrived at the converted house used now for student apartments. He parked his car in the designated spot, and opened the car door for Annie to climb out.
"That was quick! Wouldn't it be easier to walk?" Annie teased. She could see that Mark just liked to drive the car, even for that short distance to the campus, and didn't blame him.
When they arrived at Mark's room at the end of the hallway on the second floor, Mark unlocked the door and pushed it open for her to enter. Annie peered inside. It was definitely a guy's apartment. There were some clothes splayed over the back of the couch and several magazines on the coffee table in disarray. On the walls were some posters of scantily dressed pinups, and a couple of football team banners hung near the kitchen doorway. A window was open, and a sheer curtain had been sucked out the window. The cold air made Annie shiver.
Mark tossed his car keys on the end table by the sofa, and walked into the kitchen. "Can I get you a beer?" he asked Annie.
"Sure, if you have one really cold." Annie looked around the room, then out the window, dragged the curtain back into the room and closed it against the brisk January wind. She walked to the couch and sunk into the cushion. The ray of sun that shone in through the window highlighted the dust on the furniture. Annie smiled.
"You have a beautiful smile, Annie". Mark handed her a beer. "What's so amusing?"
"Just noticing how much this place looks like a bachelor pad," said Annie. "Do you entertain girls here often?" She looked at Mark and waited for his response, as he sat down beside her.
"To tell you the truth, my roommate and I don't usually have this place in good enough shape to have any company." He paused, smiling at her. "... let alone beautiful girls. You're seeing it on one of the better days." Mark slowly rolled a joint and lit it. He took a long drag and offered it to Annie. "Want a hit?" he asked.
Annie accepted the joint and took a drag. She held the smoke, and then exhaled. "Mmmmm. I like," she whispered. "Do you always have a supply of pot around the house? Living a bit dangerously perhaps?"
"We don't have any trouble with cops here. We try to keep things quiet and not draw attention. There is plenty more where that came from." Mark took another drag and handed it to Annie. He sat closer to her on the sofa, and put his arm around her. They drank their beers and smoked in silence for a few minutes.
"Want to get more comfortable?" He lifted her chin and kissed her, touching her tongue with his as he parted her lips.
Annie was feeling the effects of the marijuana and the beer. She responded to Mark's kiss, putting her arm around his shoulders and pressing her chest against him. She wore a wool sweater and the scratchy fabric was rubbing against her bare breast. Mark backed away, stood up, and pulled Annie to her feet. He kissed her again, feeling her body against his, and knew that she was aware of his arousal against her. He reached beneath her sweater and cupped her breast in his hand, rubbing the nipple with his thumb. Taking his hand, she followed him into the bedroom, where the bed was still unmade from the night before. They stood together beside the bed and kissed again, passionately.
Mark stripped off her sweater, then removed his own sweater and pulled her against him. She made no sound as he leaned her back onto the bed and began to unzip her jeans. As he tugged at her jeans, he kissed her breasts and felt her arch her body toward him. She unbuckled his belt, unbuttoned the button at the waistline, and then unzipped his jeans, reaching inside. Mark stood up to get rid of his jeans, while Annie slipped out of her panties. She turned and reached into the top drawer of the bedside table, and as she expected, found a condom. She took it from the package and helped Mark put it on.
Her touch was almost more than Mark could bear. He pushed her back onto the bed, and ran his hand inside her thigh, feeling her dampness. Rolling on top of her he lay between her thighs. Annie welcomed him, arching her body up to meet his every thrust. He kissed her with passion and watched her face as she released sounds of satisfaction, digging her fingernails into his back. His thrust stopped with his own release. He kissed her again. "You are one hot woman!" he said, as he rolled away from her.
Annie turned on her side against him. "Not so bad yourself!" she teased. "I'll bet you say that to all your girls."
Mark kissed her on the tip of her nose. "Annie, we are going to have some great time together, I can tell that for sure. You could be more addictive than any drug we could find." Mark got up from the bed, grabbed his clothes, and went into the bathroom. He came back out with only his jeans on and sat on the edge of the bed, fondling her breast. "Can I keep you here, just like this for a while?"
"I've got all afternoon," Annie replied. Standing, she slipped into Mark's shirt hanging behind the bathroom door. She didn't bother with any other unnecessary clothing.
When Mark finally took her back to her dorm hours later, she tip-toed into her dorm room, and quickly fell asleep on her bed. The rest of the world could just pass her by. Mark Moss was all that was on her mind, among the dreams of an exciting future together. She could not know of the turmoil ahead for the two of them, nor of the child who would steal her heart.CHAPTER 2
JEFF'S SEARCH BEGINS
Jeff Lipton sat in the tall grass around the tombstone and read the inscription. Florence Ann Ribold Moss; June 1, 1950 - May 10, 1974. A brisk October wind whistled through the tall oak trees that lined the cemetery fence. Dry leaves painted in vibrant fall colors whirled and scattered among the tombstones, and a pungent odor filled the air as some leaves burned in carefully raked piles along the roadway. Clouds obscured the sun, creating an eerie sense of gloom that settled into the late morning.
Had it come to this? To find that his birth mother had died so many years before, buried in a tiny cemetery in Iowa among other deceased members of her family (and his)? He suddenly felt overwhelmed. Was his grief in knowing that his mother was dead, or was it in now having come to what might be the end of his quest? Jeff reached out and touched the inscription, deeply etched in the cold granite, as though it would give him some sense of kinship.
Jeff felt the pain of the headache that had been increasing in intensity. It wasn't so difficult to track her to this place. So why hadn't someone tried to find him? He'd rest tonight, and tomorrow he would see what he could find out about Florence Ann Ribold Moss in the little town of Green Meadow.
Jeff walked back to his red Impala, turned the key to bring the engine to life, and backed down the gravel lane to the main blacktop into town. Unnoticed by him, an elderly figure carried a handful of fall flowers across the monuments toward the grave Jeff had just left behind.
George and Sue Lipton had always been open with Jeff about his adoption. Jeff could vaguely remember his birth mother, although after so many years, the image had faded into obscurity. Even the picture he had of her didn't help much. The Liptons, who had adopted him at the age of four, had told him only that her name was Florence Ann "Annie" Moss. As with many adoptive children, Jeff felt a nagging to find his birth parents, to connect to the family lineage.
The road back into Green Meadow was just two lanes, and Jeff was delayed by a large harvesting machine, moving along at a snail's pace with nowhere to pass. Jeff was in no hurry, as he was consumed with his own thoughts and questions. The farmer soon waved him on, and he was finally able to pass the behemoth machine. The harvested fields looked dry and stripped naked of their crops. He raised a hand to thank the driver for the help in passing, as he pulled back in front of him.
Jeff drove the remaining distance to the only motel in town, where he hoped to spend the night. The office had a neon sign reading "Vacancy".
"How can I help you?" Jeff noticed a slight limp in the man's gait, as he moved to the counter from a nearby desk. His glasses were perched on the end of his nose so that Jeff thought they might fall off when he looked down at the registration book. An unruly wisp of hair tumbled onto his forehead.
"I need a room with just one bed for a couple of nights," Jeff answered. "I have some work in town, and I'm not sure yet how long I'll be staying." His mind raced ahead to where he would need to go to find more information on Annie.
Excerpted from Annie's Love by Linda Kay. Copyright © 2014 Linda Kay. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Annie - 1969, 1,
Chapter 2 Jeff's Search Begins, 12,
Chapter 3 Annie, Spring, 1969, 30,
Chapter 4 Jeff's Search Continues, 39,
Chapter 5 Jeff in Chatsworth, 53,
Chapter 6 Summer of 1969, 65,
Chapter 7 The Ribolds, 81,
Chapter 8 Fall, 1969, 97,
Chapter 9 Mark, 1970, 107,
Chapter 10 Jeff in Green Meadow, 119,
Chapter 11 Annie, 126,
Chapter 12 Jeff, 136,
Chapter 13 Annie, 149,
Chapter 14 Marty, 158,
Chapter 15 Jeff, 164,
Chapter 16 Jack and Marty, 178,
Chapter 17 Jeff in Wahlberg, 189,
Chapter 18 Marty and the Setup, 195,
Chapter 19 Annie: The Showdown, 208,
Chapter 20 Jeff, 226,
Chapter 21 Jeff and Carol, 245,
Chapter 22 Jeff, Sue and George, 263,
About the Author, 283,