My Dream Came True

V Pendragon
6 min readApr 5, 2024

When I was in grade school my parents moved house. We had been living in a suburb of Philadelphia in a fairly spectacular house that had once been a part of something called The Barnes Foundation which was, at the time, both the home of an apparently very wealthy man and wife. The husband — Dr. Barnes — had invented an antiseptic which he’d named Argyrol. Either Dr. Barnes or his wife… or perhaps both of them… was/were an art lover and, because they were as wealthy as they were, they’d acquired some pretty spectacular pieces. Dr. Barnes liked a good, stiff drink as much as he liked art so he and my father — who was similarly inclined — hung out a lot.

I cannot be sure if it was the wealth of those neighbors or the propinquity of such impressive art, or some combination of both, but something got into my mother’s head that compelled her to book her eldest daughter — moi — into Saturday classes at the local art museum. I cannot recall having displayed any interest in art. I did spend the majority of my time, as a kid, pre-school, with my head in some volume of either The Books of Knowledge or The Encyclopedia Brittanica. I was fascinated by all sorts of things and mom — again with the dreams — had taught me to read well before I was school-age.

An aside may be necessary here.

Mom was a doctor. Mom was a genius. Mom had actually appeared in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” back in the day as “the youngest woman to enter medical school.”

I looked like a Cuban version of mom. Pretty sure mom thought that I was going to actually be her all over again, only with darker skin.

(Yeah… no.)

At any rate, because of Saturday classes at the art museum, I was exposed to all kinds of art because the classes were not just on painting and drawing, we were also introduced to more kinds of art than I even knew existed… like sculpture.

Not far from the Museum of Art was the Rodin Museum, featuring the famous Thinker statue right out front for anyone to see and oh my! I may have been young, but that body made an impression on me like nothing else ever had. Never mind art. It was that body. I wasn’t even out of grade school yet… but dang. I was hooked… on that body.

Then my family moved house. They stayed in the general area of Philadelphia as both parents had jobs there. As it happened, they settled on a house that was a hop, skip, and a jump away from both a private boys school with an excellent reputation called Penn Charter and a private (Catholic) school for girls called Ravenhill Academy. Ravenhill was about a mile and a half away from the house and the walk home could easily have a person cutting through the Penn Charter campus. I took advantage of that.

I discovered, to my extreme delight, that just about the time that I’d be cutting through the campus, the wrestling team would be at practice. That was when I figured that Rodin must have had a young wrestler posing for that statue he’d created. It was as if the statue had come to life and multiplied. Young wrestlers abounded. I was utterly enchanted.

Needless to say, I suppose, the presence of a young woman at practice did not go unnoticed and it was eventually strongly suggested that I was creating a distraction and that perhaps I could limit my viewing to when they were having actual matches.

So that happened.

Then my family up and moved out to the suburbs and I got to spend my senior year of high school with a bunch of people I’d never met and no wrestling.

College followed. And, because went to an art college, because my mother would not allow me to major in journalism as I had I wanted to, (she had her reasons and, if you’ve read any of my other stuff, you’d understand). There was no more wrestling in my life for years to come.

I grew up. I got married. A bit. Twice, actually. I wasn’t very good at being married although I did produce a couple of beautiful — and exceptionally talented — children (perhaps genius skips a generation). At any rate, because I had thoughtlessly exposed my second husband to a nude beach, I ended up visiting a so-called nudist resort because you can’t go naked on a beach in the cold weather… well, you can, but really? My then-husband took to the resort like a duck to water. I was neutral on the point until I discovered that they held a dance every Saturday night and I do love to dance… and he didn’t, which I saw as a plus because then I could just join the other women who were dancing it up.

(As an aside, when you attend an art college, you get used to nudity. It just doesn’t seem like a big deal to see naked people. Also, there are few things as uncomfortable as sand in your swimsuit bottom.)

Eventually, because my husband had behaved very badly, we divorced. Well, I divorced him. It was a trying period in my life and, once I’d calmed down and settled down — which took a year or so — I determined that I needed a break… a treat, really. On a few of the many trips husband #2 and I had taken to the clothing-optional resort, I’d met a lovely woman whose husband was also a non-dancer and she and I had struck up a friendship, dancing with each other while our husbands watched all the other women.

I E-mailed my dancing buddy and asked her if she and her husband would mind going to a dance at the resort the next Saturday as I needed a sort of chaperone. A single woman at one of those dances was in short supply and I did not want to spend a whole night turning men down. She agreed wholeheartedly as she, too, loved to dance and had married a stationery type. Her husband was lovely and provided an obvious presence as being somehow related to us both.

The night went well. I was fortunate in that there was only one man who approached me for a dance. He was very polite and he respected my declination. The song that had been on was a slow dance; it was obvious that he got the point when I told him that I had come to dance alone. It was especially obvious when he returned when a faster song came on. I thought he was going to ask again, but he didn’t. Instead, he acknowledged that he knew that I had come to dance alone, but, he added, “If you’d like to have coffee with me in the morning, I live in the house at the top of the hill.”

I nodded politely. He smiled and nodded and left.

I awoke the next morning feeling as if a walk would do me good… and perhaps some coffee wouldn’t be bad.

We talked for hours.

That was fourteen years ago and we can still talk for hours… but here’s an especially good part. His body is that of the statue I fell in love with as a kid. He’d been a wrestler when he was young and he’s taken darn good care of himself. There are few things — in fact, I can’t think of any offhand — that I enjoy more than watching him get undressed every night. The man was — and remains — my teen-age dream come true.



V Pendragon

Artist; Author of self-help books on healing with Ozark Mt. Publishers; survivor of two 'fatal, incurable' diseases and a healthy dose of CSA