As a high school freshman I fell in love with the red haired girl who lived in my neighborhood… only I could never build up the nerve to talk with her walking home from school. We had the same last class together and she would be just ahead of me most afternoons that first year of high school.
I wasn’t shy, but Diana Pearson was so aloof, so gorgeous, she carried herself with so much class I was intimidated. I just never could think of clever things to say in the way of an opening. I know it sounds trite now so many years later, but there was so much new ground to navigate then – so many obstacles to overcome – when you’re 15 and in love with a girl who barely knows your name. How do you deal with that?
The only time I can remember us meeting and talking on the way home… was once I asked if I could help carry her books… for some reason she had books under both arms that day… Diana Pierson not being the type to wear a back pack.
Whatever, it was a day Henry Turner once again had gotten me in trouble. Turner was a friend and a classmate, but much smarter than I was.
For example, I can remember once Henry said our time as high school freshmen would be the best in our lives.
Nothing great was expected of us, he said. We had no debt. No responsibilities really. We had a free place to stay. And when we got hungry, our mothers would feed us. Didn’t even have to ask… just two, three times a day, she’d lay out food for us to eat. Broke, all we had to do was ask our dads for a dollar. And all this boy-girl stuff? Anticipation’s as good as it gets… maybe better. And he said, “Believe me on this.”
Diana Pierson. 11th grade
Where did he get that? “Believe” him? Why? Like me, he was just 15. How’d he know this?
But he really said that. I promise. Ask Kenny Reid, he was there that afternoon on the roof of Ronny Ganis’ house when Henry was goin’ on about life its ownself.
We had to write a short essay once in Miss Miller’s freshman English class. She said, when they were due, we’d stand and read our stories out loud.
Well I took this as a personal challenge… and wrote and wrote and wrote… and rewrote and rewrote and rewrote,.. until I finally had two or three pages of something. Mom thought it was just the greatest thing.
So when Miss Miller told me to stand up first and read my paper to the class, I jumped to my feet and read my well-scrubbed piece of freshman scholarship.
Miss Miller said, “Very good,” and I was mighty proud as I sat down.
Then she asked Henry Turner to read his paper, and I was floored. I have forgotten what I wrote about, but I remember Henry’s paper was about two men in some waiting room sometime in the future, and they had reached their cut-off date when they would be permanently retired from life… and they were talking about how fast the years had gone by, and what they enjoyed… and that they were sort of looking forward to what lay ahead… “on the other side.”
Jesus Christ… I am still not convinced that he didn’t copy that from some science fiction magazine… ‘though he swore to me, time and again, that he hadn’t. His paper was just professional grade…. Interesting, provocative.
I blushed, my essay was so high school in comparison. Henry Turner. Sumbitch.
We shared Miss Asques’ freshman Spanish class that year… and used to sit at the back of the class and share notes, occasional whispered comments, and laughs… So Miss Asque moved the two of us to the front and told us that every day she wanted us to come in and sit at those two seats near her desk so that she could keep her eye on us.
One day not long after our forced move up front, I came in and out of spite, or to talk with the easy-to-meet Judy Chandler, one or the other, I went to one of the desks in the back of the classroom.
Henry was one of the last in before the bell rung. Within a minute he noticed I wasn’t anywhere near him, and he looked around, found me in the back and gave me a fake, very surprised look with his mouth wide open… and he turned back and raised his hand and said, “Miss Asque you told Jimmy Parker that he was to sit up in the front row here every, every day and if you’ll notice today, he’s sitting there in the back right beside Judy Chandler. Just wanted you to know.”
Miss Asque really hated to follow up, because she was obviously been manipulated by one of her students and no teacher likes that.
But I had to move up front.
There was another time in another class, Henry was acting up when Mr Dawson, the ass’t principal, walked by the open class room door. He called Henry out of class, down to his office for a talking to. On his way back to class, Henry went by the restroom and when he came walking back into the class, he had a roll of toilet paper coming out of the top of the back of his pants, like a tail. Henry walked in front of the class, and everyone laughed, and as he walked back to his seat, whoever the teacher was, said, “Henry, pull that toilet paper out of your pants.”
And Henry turned around like he didn’t know what the teacher was talking about and he reached and found the toilet paper tail and in pulling it out, kept apologizing to the teacher. “Oh I am so embarrassed. I’m so sorry. So stupid of me. Sorry.”
I have told the story many times about what happened when I over-took the book-laden Diana that day, even to Diana years later, and somewhere along the lines I added one of my sisters into the story, ‘though I think really now it was just Diana and I, trudging along home, walking up the hill from school.
I asked when I caught up with her if I could help carry her books… that was my very good 5 or 6 word opening… it was good, ‘cause, like I said, she had a lot of books. But I failed to take into consideration that I also was totting several books, so when Diana allowed as how she appreciated my offer and here take these, I suddenly had a dozen books to deal with…. and the only way to hold her books and mine was in one pile up front with both my hands, so that I walked like a spray footed duck… And not only that, but the very last thing Diana put on this monster stack of books, was a paper bag holding some pencils and erasers and stuff.
And then, despite the fact I’m carrying a ton of her books, she started ripping me for making fart sounds with Henry in the back of the last class.
And to make it worst the paper bag of stuff on top began to slip to one side… which I caught with my chin.
And then there was one book in the middle of my stack that suddenly decided to get out. It had a mind of its own and wanted no part of this particular book pile. Wanted out and wanted out now…. and Diana is goin’ on and on about the enormous silliness and crudeness of making fart noises in class… and these books from hell are in full revolt.
I moved into Diana in an effort to keep that one outlaw book in the middle from getting away, to no avail; it finally squirted out and hit the pavement, followed by most of the rest of Diana’s books.
And the pencils fell out of the bag, and once they hit the pavement, started rolling back down the street. Books everywhere.
It was a train wreck.
So if you’re grading this… what do you think? F? No let’s give it a D- minus because I did make the effort. First time at boy-meets-girl and I showed no talent, no social graces, no reason to expect anything in life but a lonely existence in a vow of silence monastery or life alone living in stark motel room working nights as a cook at a local diner.
Then that summer, that wonderful summer of ’58… Dad and my Aunt Wilma got me admitted to Dad’s alma mater – Mars Hill College – up in the mountains of North Carolina. This was their effort to jump start an interest in academics. It was a spectacularly wonderful experience. I have said this before and I’ll say it again. Thank you Mom, Dad, Aunt Wilma.
Started out on a very high note when I moved from half way back in the Greyhound bus that was taking me to college… to the very front seat and sat there as the Great Smokey Mountains appeared to our front… and then as we wove ourselves into them, slowly taking turns… I had the greatest seat in the world. Probably all of us have that first big trip out into the world from where we grew up… maybe to church camp in the summer… maybe with the parents off to college in the family car. It was not only the wonder of the new world rushing pass, but the anticipation of what lay at the end of the ride. Leaving the nest. Heading out there…
That was me on the front seat of that bus.
And there finally at Mars Hill, I made friends with Allen Page, God bless his soul. He was back at summer school to make up some grades from his freshman year. I don’t know why he chose to be my mentor… well I do too, because I was good at poker and he kept up a poker game in his room pretty much all the time. Back in Southern Pines, we used to play at Henry Turner’s house; Henry, Kenny Reid, Ronny Ganis, Henry’s father, Don Thompson and me… plus others occasionally.
So… the college history course I was taking was interesting, I got good cards at poker, and Allen took me to the local beer joint, some ten or fifteen miles down a mountain road, where being 18 years old, the legal age to buy beer, wasn’t that important. I would use my poker winnings to buy beer for the guys… couldn’t have been much better.
And I unwittingly came to the attention of some girl from school who chastised Allen for taking me out for beer, when she found out I was only in high school. She gave Allen the dickens, and Allen gave me her name.
We met in the library almost by accident sometime soon thereafter and eventually walked out into the cool mountain night to talk… about the here and now of college life at Mars Hill and how as a high school freshman I was able to take a college course… and she asked after the course I was taking.
We had just been studying the War of the Triple Alliance – actually I had being doing research on that South America mid-19th century dust-up in the library that night… And I don’t know if she asked me about it specifically, or I just launched into it, but I told her the story of what had happened… and it was a good story, she liked it, smiling as she listened.
In walking her back to the dorm that night I asked if I could kiss her good night, and she yes, there in the shadows before we got to the bright lights around the dorm entrance.
And it was the most wonderful thing. It was more than I ever imagined… maybe I had kissed other girls back in Southern Pines, I must have, but this college girl put a kissing on me… and she was so soft leaning in to me… it was just fantastic… until, of course, my hormones kicked in causing a part of my body to go on alert. So she broke away, and tilting her head to the side, said I was naughty. But she smiled, turned and bound into her dorm.
That night as I dreamed about that one very significant, very wonderful kiss, a giant red booger grew out near my lips, on the left side… I still have an acme scare on my face from that pimple, that grew to the size of a small building, bright red building, skyscraper in design…. Pulsating red, drawing attention from anyone within ten feet. It was so gigantic it’d had made little babies cry.
I had acme cream that when applied, made me look like I had just had unsuccessful plastic surgery on my face that implanted a mushroom… because the acme cream color didn’t really look like my skin tone… looked like plaster of Paris.
What do you do?
Well I stayed in my room the next day… until I was missed by Allen Page who kept knocking at my door until I opened it and being Allen Page, he told me I look horrible, what with this giant turd on my face. He suggest I walk around with a frying pan over my mouth and when people asked what I was doing with a frying pan over my face, I’d just have to explain something about bad breath or dorm hazing or something like that…. But for sure I couldn’t walk out among normal people with that, that, that whatever it was putting my lips in its shadow.
Seems to me that bright red thing stuck out on my face for days and days, and then when I saw that wonderful kisser again, she was with her roommate, who accused her of robbing the cradle. Which dampened thought about further smooching.
Or so it seemed. But I think what we had had was a one night stand kind of thing, because this wonderful college girl was not, in the light of day, your best looking college girl.
So let’s give this incident a D grade… no, higher. It started out A plus, but it didn’t have a Hollywood ending. So let say C.
Then later that summer when Page and I thumbed down to Lake Wells, Florida to meet up with another Mars Hill summer school buddy and then went over to Cuba for 3 days and 2 nights in the tenderloin area of the Havana harbor… there were substantial boy-girl encounters, of a hot, lusty Caribbean nature. There were bars in which naked girls walked around, although most bars had full bodied Cuban girls wearing thin cotton dresses… and each girl invited my close inspection of the goods she had to sell. Just showing up there was all it took. No effort to make conversation or being cool, just being there, with probably a few pesos in my pocket, was all it took. The fire-water rum, the heavy cigar smoke, the smell of the harbor, the flashing lights, the loud rumba music, the strong smelling coffee kiosks, the smiling girls in every bar… the way they’d kiss my neck and press their bodies into me, hoping to engender some interest… it was an exotic balm… no-rules boy-girl goin’ ons from another more lusty universe.
Top left: my tourist card for Cuba 14 Aug 1958. Top right: Victoria Club card.
Bottom left: Location of club and its attractions Bottom right: Like ladies of the night everywhere we went.
I give my 3 days and 2 nights in Cuba, an A.
Experience there did not help in future dealings with small town American girls, however, and I developed something of an unruly reputation back home…. some fathers of Southern Pines girls forbid their daughters from going out with me… and there were some girls who just never took to me and Turner’s fart jokes.
I got my driver’s license when I was 16 and there were dates with a variety of girls with reasonable parents… though I don’t think Diana and I ever went out together. I was only so-so in all this 16 year old dating stuff… there were a few isolated instances of some pretty good dates… not for boy-girl romancing as much as the fun we had.
There was Jim Carter, who was to be my college roommate, who went out on several boy-girl encounters with me... including an evening with an out of town girl… a night that got particularly crazy what with running out of gas way the hell and gone out in the woods and then having to explain ourselves to the local police. Then there was the night Jim and I - though we were not alone - had a Twilight Zone experience on the fairway of a local golf course... Always with Carter there was rowdy boy-girl danger, which on reflection was fun, though, like Cuba, didn’t polish my social skills with home town girls.
Then there was the summer of ’60… in which I worked at a beach pavilion, the absolute center of the Myrtle Beach South Carolina resort. First job was working the morning shift behind the main food counter there inside the pavilion. And though this is getting away from my main theme here… what follows is something I wrote 30 years ago about my first day on the job at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. See you again at the end of this side-bar.
“I was down at the inside counter of the Pavilion by six thirty the next morning wearing a new white short-sleeved shirt, tennis shoes and slacks. One of the guys working behind the counter questioned why I was here so early. He leaned across the counter before I could answer and said, “It’s Sunday, try to stay away from the section closest to the beach. It’s a battle zone down there.”
The remaining members of the shift arrived a few minutes before seven. The grill man came up to me as I was putting on a paper soda jerk hat and apron. He said he was in charge and I had the section closest to the beach. I asked if anything else was available and he said no. Roger, an experienced pavilion soda jerk, came in and said he was told to teach me the ropes.
As we walked out of the back changing room and down the length of the counter to the end section near the boardwalk, he said it was simple. When people walk up to the counter I make eye contact and say, “What can I help you with?” They open their mouths and usually say a number first and then something from the menu prominently displayed behind the counter.
Roger said, “For example a little old woman may come up and sit on one of your stools and hook her umbrella handle on the edge of the counter and say ‘One hot dog and one coke, please.’”
When taking an order for food, Roger said to always ask the customers what they want on it.
When taking an order for ice cream always ask if they want it on a cone or in a cup. When taking an order for a drink always ask them small, medium or large. Only five food items are sold: hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, ham and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. The only drinks are cokes, orange and seven-up. There are only six flavors of ice cream. You start out the day with twenty-five dollars in your cash register and at the end of the day, management counts your cash against the cash register receipt and if it’s close you go home. If it isn’t you klutz around with management for a little bit. If you find you klutz around with management a lot, you’ll eventually get fired. Keep the money transactions clean because the Pavilion hires people to try and catch you knocking down.
“Pardon me?” I asked.
“Knocking down,” repeated Roger, “stealing, pocketing money. The management thinks everyone steals and they try and catch you. The relationship between us guys on the line and management is not friendly.”
“Mister, Mister where is the bathroom?” A fat, toe-headed little boy in a wet bathing suit was sitting on his knees on one of the stools in the middle of my section. He had one hand holding his crotch. I sent him toward the dressing rooms behind the outside counter.
“Mister I would like fifteen cokes,” said a little ugly girl with her hair in a wet ponytail.
“What size, small, medium or large?”
“How much are they for small?”
“Let’s see, fifteen cents, the sign says.”
“How much for medium?”
“Twenty cents for medium. Thirty cents for large.”
“How much can I buy for two dollars?”
“Go ask your mother, little girl.”
“Say there, young fellow,” a large man, wearing a straw hat with small beer cans on the side, said as he slid onto a stool, “Let me have some hot dogs here.”
“Yes sir, how many?”
The little girl returned, “Mommy wanted to know if you have tops for the cokes?”
“Ah, say Roger, do we have tops for cokes? Only for large? OK, little girl tell your mother only for large cokes. Ah, sir, did you say forty-two hot dogs?”
“Yep, we’ve got the Raeford Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary outside.”
“You know it’s only, what, seven fifteen in the morning.”
“Oh, I don’t want ’um now. I want to pick ’em up at twelve noon. And listen here; we want ten with mustard and onions; eight with mustard, onions and chili; fifteen with only ketchup; and ten with chili and mustard.”
“Ah, just a minute let me get a pencil. OK.” And I wrote down the order. “Ah, that’s forty-three hot dogs.”
“No it ain’t neither. Ten and ten and fifteen and eight is forty-two.”
“OK. have it your way. Noon you’ll be back, right?”
“Right and we going to be mighty hungry.”
I carried the order down to the grill man. He said they don’t take orders for later pick up. When the man comes back, he said put in the order then. He explained that twelve noon was a bad time to put in an order for forty-two hot dogs. I started to ask if maybe he could start on those a little before twelve to help me out of a jam. The grill man turned and gave me a stern look.
He said, “No, what if we were to fix them and the guy didn’t show up.”
“You got a point there,” and I went back to my section.
Twenty people had arrived since I left. I started with the person sitting on the first stool I came to.
“Yes sir, what will you have?”
The head of the little girl who had asked about the cokes appeared by the counter next to the person I was addressing, “How much are the large cokes again?”
“Thirty cents. And what will you have, sir?”
“Well, a cup of coffee I think will do me now, with cream and sugar.”
“Ah, we don’t have coffee, sir.”
“That person over there’s drinking coffee.”
“Ah, Roger, do we have coffee? We do. OK. Let’s see here, where is it?”
Down toward the end of my counter someone asked loudly for change for a dollar. I turned around to look at the person and someone leaned in close and asked where a phone was. The little girl came back and said that they had decided on ice cream. What flavors did we have?
The man came back at twelve noon and yelled over the crowd at my section, now two or three deep, for his order of forty-two hot dogs. I acted like I didn’t hear him. When he finally got up to the counter he was mad. It was after two o’clock before he got his forty-two hot dogs. He didn’t leave a tip.”
You can understand why – when a job opened – that I jumped at the chance to work the graveyard shift, starting at 11pm at night and going until 7am in the morning. Just 3 of us behind the counter and a lot of strange people coming in off the beach in the early morning hours.
At night before my eleven o’clock shift I would usually go to the jukebox area by the outside counter of the Pavilion. Because no beer was sold inside the Pavilion, most of the kids hanging around the area were under eighteen.
It was a time and place defined by the ocean breeze, the buzz of the teenagers and the music from the jukebox. “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” popular at the time, was almost the theme song for the Pavilion jukebox area. Elvis’ “Are you Lonesome Tonight” was an opening for any introduction. “This Magic Moment,” “It’s Now or Never,” “Wild One,” “Teen Angel,” “Tell Laura I Love Her,” and “You’re Sixteen” promoted Myrtle Beach romance. “Shimmy-Shimmy Kooky Pop” and “Alley Coop” clearly sang out that teenage life was good and it was happening mostly right here. I always smiled walking up to that place.
I usually joined a group of local boys who assembled around a park bench near the double doors to the Pavilion, the early ones sitting on the back of the bench with their feet in the seat. This was the high ground overlooking the dance floor. Pops, the Pavilion policeman, would often come and stand behind us making comments about the different characters who stood out in the crowd. The antics of the young tourists drawn to the jukebox by the light and the sound, didn’t change much from night to night. Always there would be one or two very sunburned people. Middle-aged fat country women chaperones and men in polyester leisure suits stood on the fringes. Closer in, huddles of girls would fidget and look around, teetering, talking behind cupped palms, hands and eyes aflutter.
oung boys sometimes alone, more often in pairs, would slither up to the clusters of girls and the fidgeting and fluttering would cease as the girls reacted to the boys, acting alternately coy and excited. Couples moved on the dance area to individual renderings of the popular beach shag. Sometimes the dancing partners would make synchronized moves, sometimes they wouldn’t.
Because we worked in the Pavilion we felt we were the landed gentry and we ruled sarcastically from our park bench. Pops gave us credibility; he was our security force. Sometimes local girls, off-work waitresses or clerks, would join us sitting at the park bench. Singing along with the music was accepted, treating local girls like one of the guys was accepted. Treating the tourist boys with indifference was expected; we rarely made eye contact with them and our local girls never danced with them.
The young tourist girls were prey, however. This jukebox was like a salt lick in a free fire beach hunting area and we were teenage predators sitting in our blinds on the park bench.
There was much boy-girl goin’ ons out by that jukebox. I had the great luxury of having to go off to work about the time the juke box crowd began to disperse… and sometimes girls would follow me and sit at my counter for hours. And it didn’t matter what was said, or not said, there would be different girls the next night. I would work on lines, on jokes, on stories. It was always good for Pops to come by for a cup of coffee before goin’ off shift. Once I was talking across the counter with a girl and some guy came out of the swirling Pavilion crowd to sit down beside her… and to dismiss me he ordered a hot dog, which I fixed for him myself complete with a layer of Ajax under the chili… which after one big bite, he threw at me… so I called Pops… but of course the girl left when the police showed up and I never saw her again… but then the next night, more girls.
Sometime I would follow up with these encounters by meeting the girl the next day on the beach. Sometimes not.
But the whole boy meets girl thing was amazingly easy and very much to my advantage. I would wonder sometimes, why it wasn’t so easy back at Southern Pines. Was it the beach? Was it the pure numbers of girls I met?
I think a lot had to do with my self-confidence. I welcomed the opportunity to just engage southern teenage girls who came to the pavilion. Words flowed easily. Smiles. Didn’t matter one on one, one on a covey of girls, one on a covey of girls with old white-haired chaperones… they would always know where to find me from 11pm to 7am. I was part of their Myrtle Beach summer adventure.
With my power perch out by the jukebox and then behind the counter, with self-confidence building every day, I became a cocky shit. And I was developing boy meets girl experiences every single day…. way beyond what most 17 year olds are exposed to.
Top Left: 17 years old working the mid night shift at the Myrtle Beach pavilion
Top Right: 18 year old life guard, picture taken in the same pavilion photo booth as the photo on left, one year later.
For the next three summers, when I was 18, 19 and 20, I worked out on Myrtle Beach as a life guard… most of that time as the guard/float and umbrella rental guy at Ladd’s # 1 stand.
And the girls I met went from those from the Pavilion jukebox area, to well, sometimes older ladies… some with big hair, some married, some with only one thing on their mind.
I palled with Bob Somers and Don Edwards, Ron Brown and Bubba Kepley. Lamar Cope and Worry Smith. Darrell McCall. Each guard with their own particular following. Our place of business was the beach to the north of the pavilion. We’d wear Bermuda shorts and Life Guard/Beach Service T-shirt, and go into the water after someone maybe once every couple of day, though it seemed to come in waves…. No pun intended.
We all had young boys working for us - who we called “monkeys” – handling the rafts and umbrellas and chairs, but we handled the sales and kept the money in our Bermuda shorts.
Each morning was usually busy, then in the afternoon not so much, so often we’d go down to the edge of the surf and dig our feet in the sand, twirl our life guard whistles on their lanyards…. and - keeping an eye on the people in the water - talk with girls walking by… often asking them to carry messages down to other guards on the line. Don Somers especially enjoyed this… asking some of the most naïve to get him some “shore lines” from the lanky guy down on the # 1 stand who said his name is Jimmy… though we have no proof that’s his real name, he’d say, so be careful. And there was one fair-haired air head that came up and wanted me to tell her about Bob Somers because he had just told her that he had this enormous surge of feelings for her like he hadn’t ever had with any other girl he’d met… and she said she thought maybe she had a once in a life time feeling for him too… and she wondered what I thought about her long term chances with Don Somers were?
Our watering hole was the Marine Room below the Ocean Plaza hotel… and we would gather there most nights… Don Somers was boss. He was goin’ to law school at UNC at the time and was just a natural bull shitter, talking about life like he understood it. He was a very persuasive person. Life guards in the crowd – noticeable with their dark tans – never took him on… though occasional strangers or friends of life guards would. In one exchange that became legend, one of these un-anointed newcomers was making some statement as to fact that ‘size mattered”… which apparently was a factor in his appeal… though Somers told him it wasn’t the wand, it was the magician.
The whole boy-girl thing was turned on its head, though. There was no more challenge like in the past. No problems with meeting new girls. No problems with chit chat, or with anything… and if things weren’t goin’ right… then they’d be more girls the next day. Dozens and dozens of them.
Then there was this one girl that hung out with a group of waitresses from Manny’s Kitchen that caught my eye… or we caught each other’s eye… or something… but she became a regular visitor to my stand most mornings before leaving to work the lunch crowd at Manny’s. She’d help with the rental of the floats and the umbrellas and chairs, and we’d talk… and you won’t believe this, but all that bravado I had built up, that line of chatter with hard bodied girls and mothers I’d met, sort of went by the way side….I was back to being Jimmy Parker from Southern Pines… back to being real. Those this time as a pair, rather than a lonely, lost pimple faced boy.
And then we started doing our laundry together, and at night, rather than go to the Don Somers’ show at the Marine room, we’d sometime go to a movie or just read a book, sometime to each other.
Somers ripped my ass for this… said I was setting a bad example, there was a code here that I was ignoring, that had to be obeyed or the devil would strike me with pink poker-dot fever and I’d end up fathering dwarfs…
Her name was Sharon Griffith, from West Virginia, who attended Marshall college when she wasn’t working at the beach.
So I went from what seemed like a new girl every day, to just one, every day…. Somers ranting notwithstanding. We went to a lot of beach bon fire parties at night, down in the far southern end of Myrtle Beach. At one of these parties I was offered some weed, but Sharon said I didn’t need it, and that just never changed in all my youthful misadventures. Never “needed” to smoked pot… well I did once when I got married, but that’s another story.
When Myrtle Beach had run its course, so did the romance with Sharon… hard to keep up anyway from a distance… and Betsy Nottingham came on the scene… She was getting her master in psychology at UNC and we became an item, though she eventually took a job at a clinic for hotty totty rich in New York City and distance again became an issue.
Christmas eve ‘67, I met Brenda, proposed on Valentine day ‘68 and we married in May. A five month romance. Happened 48 years ago. We’re still happy together.
And that’s it.
I think the evolution of the boy meets girl part of growing up, helped me know for sure when I met Brenda that she was good for all the right reasons…. better than all the best.
Things sometime work out the way they should.