COOPERSTOWN — The first time young Shirley Cookman saw the tall airman was at an American Legion dance in Plattsburg, N.Y.
He was the skinny guy with his short friends.
Sitting at the edge of the dance floor, Shirley turned to friends, Elsie and Beverley, who had made the drive south from Henrysburg, Que. and said over the noise of the live band:
“Look at him, he thinks he’s God’s gift to women, chin pointed up, surveying the crowd. He looks like he thinks he’s pretty important.”
A year later the two — young Shirley Cookman and young Tom Cheek — went on their first date … in a way.
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