Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It Was 1967


You may be wondering what triggered this particular trip back in time. Couple of things, one was the standard "Random synapses firing usually in response to the music", if I may be so bold as to quote the good Captain. The other trigger was the just completed championship of the professional American football league which I won't be so bold as to actually name within these spaces as I have run afoul of the copyright monsters before. The latest "big game" (to adopt the euphemism of many commercial enterprises not wishing to be visited by the lawyers representing the aforementioned league) reminded me of the very first time I had watched said game. Which was also the very first occurrence of this annual sporting event.

Both events of which I'm speaking occurred (obvious by now I would think) in the year 1967. The "big game" was the first of the two events. I mention this because I had told someone at my place of employment that I had watched every single "big game" since its inception in 1967. (Which to remind everyone, was actually the culminating event of the 1966 season. But that has no bearing on this story whatsoever.)

As an aside (or digression if you will, and you must) when I had announced that I had seen every "big game" save one, you'd have thought that I had just announced that I was an eyewitness to Washington's crossing of the Delaware and that I had been physically present at the inauguration of Teddy Roosevelt. Yes, the overwhelming impression given was that I had just announced that "I am old." Although I am not young anymore, I don't consider myself necessarily old.

End of digression...

Now the other event which was triggered by "the music" (as noted above) was the realization that the year 1967 saw the first time I had actually had a date with a girl.

What's that, what "music"? Ah, yes, this music (which came out in the fall of 1966).


Before continuing, I have to remind the progeny that their father (Your Humble Scribe) actually did have a life prior to their births and my marriage to The Missus Herself. Hard to believe, I know.

At any rate, I heard this song, remembered that first girlfriend from so long ago and began to wonder "whatever happened to her"? Truth be told, we parted under less than optimal circumstances. I behaved like an immature teen (which I was, being all of 15 years of age), she exercised the feminine privilege of dumping me. While at the time I thought this was most undeserved, in hindsight she was absolutely correct to hand me my walking papers.

Somewhat awkward as her cousin was my best friend ('twas he who set us up) and I still sat behind her in one class. That was in junior high school for those wondering (and even for those who were not). We did not have "middle" schools where I grew up. Of further note regarding the school system in those days, I went to elementary school, friends of mine who received their early education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts attended grammar school. They are both (I think) the same. Though based on some of my writing, I perhaps should have attended grammar school.


(Try the pot roast, I'll be here all week.)

Now where was I? Oh yes, whatever happened to...

So through the magic of the web of world wideness I performed a search using the young lady's maiden name. (For when we dated, she was not yet married. Good thing I imagine.)

Now Google is not all powerful and all knowing, though many would like to think so. There are still a great many people in this world who do not show up in an internet search.

No, really.

But she did, for a most unfortunate reason.

For she was mentioned in her husband's obituary. As soon as I saw that, I felt an immense sadness come over me.

Though I had not seen the lady in nearly 44 years, I had fond memories of her. After all, she was the first girl I had ever gone out with. Bear in mind, this was in "olden times" where it was a really "big deal" if a girl held your hand. (She did.) There was nothing untoward involved, those were different times. At least in my neck of the woods (as the old folks back home are wont to say).

I did some more research (she is on Facebook) and saw that she must have had a wonderful life. Two daughters and a loving husband who was much respected in the community (he was a doctor, an OB/GYN to be exact) and at least one grandchild. In the few pictures of her I saw, she looked happy. Though older (aren't we all) she still had much the same smile as she did 44 years ago.

I wondered why the death of a man I had never met bothered me as much as it did.

Well, I knew his wife, I graduated from high school with her. Though we were no longer friends at that point, we had been, at one time, very close.

Now, so many years later, her husband was gone (he was only 64, still a young man in my book) and she now faces a life without him.

I guess one still retains a certain affection for one's first girlfriend. Even if it did end badly.

Well, enough reminiscing. On to some administrative things.

Now I have allocated Monday in these spaces for Juvat to post his stories and tales of days gone by. From what I gather, you like that. So do I. It means I can take Sunday off, if I have a mind to.

Recently Tuna has become, shall we say rather prolific in his contributions to the Chant du Départ. I have promised him Tuesdays as he rather likes the alliteration of Tuna's Tuesday Trivia. It does have rather a nice ring to it, neh?

But on Monday eve I panicked when I saw that there was no Tuna post in the queue. Of course I had quite forgotten the time zone difference between Little Rhody and Sandy Eggo. Tuna could easily write a post in the time period long after Yours Truly has retired for the evening. Well, that's what happened yesterday.

I put together a post and scheduled it for Tuesday morning. Imagine my chagrin when I checked in the morning and discovered that Tuna had posted and that I had posted on top of his post. For fear that Tuna's post would be lost in the shuffle. I pulled my post (some of you had already seen it) and rescheduled it for Wednesday (the same day as this post).

Now in order to not have posts overshadowing each other (much) I have decided (out of the goodness of my heart) to give you two, count them two, posts today. This one and the one I pulled yesterday. But the one with the video (you will know what I mean if you saw it during it's brief existence on Tuesday or if you're reading this post later in the day) will be published later. As in after this one. I would explain more but I think I'm starting to fall into one of those time/space conundrum thingies and have confused myself enough to require a second dose of caffeine.

Carry on...

12 comments:

  1. Ah, now you have me thinking of my first girlfriend. Pretty much the same time period of which you speak. We went to the school picnic together that year. As it was with all couples at the time it was obligatory that you went on a ride called The Olde Mill. This consisted of boats with a single bench seat that floated through a darkened tunnel. The tunnel of love, you say? Why yes, it was, but calling it that would be unseemly in those innocent days. It took all the courage that I could muster and almost the entire trip to finally sneak my first kiss. I was shaking so badly when we disembarked that I could barely walk. Her name was Betty White. No, not that one. A different one. The famous one is older than my mother and that would have been more than a bit creepy. Besides, she was a married woman at the time. And yes, our torrid love affair ended badly as did yours. I don't recall the how or when or why it happened, but I have no doubt that it was my fault..........

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    1. Ah Bob, you know the drill, it's always our fault.

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  2. A few days ago, something triggered my memory of an old boyfriend. And so I searched for him on FB. I found a man with his name and a mutual friend, so I looked closer. This older, larger man could not possibly be the handsome slim boy I knew. I felt like the movie "Hook" where the Lost Boys do not recognize a grown-up Peter. They take his face in their hands and move it all around until they get a smile. One of the boys says, "There you are, Peter!" I looked through this man's photos - searching for the boy I knew. Then I came across a photo of him as a young man.There you are, David! Dang! When did we get so old? Do I look equally as bad or did he have a hard life?

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    1. In our memories people we have not seen in a long time remain essentially ageless. When we see them again it's always "What happened to you?"

      The same thing is, no doubt, going through the other person's mind at the same instant.

      We all get old, what you might call a "hard" life (being outdoors a lot, working for a living) others might call a full life.

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  3. You didn't cross the Delaware with Washington? Whippersnapper! Now Get off my Lawn!

    Just kidding of course.

    Sometimes it's better to leave memories be. Life has a way of changing us and not always in a good way. I still see a 30 something Fighter Pilot in the mirror every morning. Finding a current picture of my first girlfriend provoked thoughts much like the commenter above. Ahh well! Any day looking down on the daisy's is better than one looking up at them.

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    1. Seeing pictures of other people whom I have not seen in ages is a bit of a shock.

      Seeing a picture of me when I was younger is a total shock. I often wonder who that old fellow in the mirror is.

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  4. Picking up my prom date, wore my rubber boots to her door, muddy ranch yard Shoes on, flowers presented, and pictures taken, it was boots on to get back to the car. As a bonus, I got to carry her to the car. Fun dating a ranch girl. However, as strong as she was, one was very careful where you put your hands.




    f

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    1. Yes, I can see that one would be VERY careful.

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  5. On an extended trip back to the old neighborhood, I came across the phone number of the first girl I ever dated. I'd taken her to the Semi-Formal Winter Dance at Bishop Eustace Prep School. Also went together to see "G.I. Blues . . . she was a fanatical Elvis fan. Me . . . not so much. But, we did hold hands both times. At the Winter Dance, we actually snuck outside together to have a smoke. We danced to "Moon River." I was 14 but she made me feel grown up. (Moon River still gives me weak knees.) I'd run into her once before, after my return from Vietnam. She was walking through a mall, wearing a naval officer's uniform. We stopped to chat. She'd become a navy nurse. She'd joined to see the world. The navy'd screwed her by stationing her just across the Delaware River at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
    Anyway, when I telephoned her, her husband answered. He was polite . . . but I could feel his vibe through the wires. She was happy to hear my voice but that was it. I invited them both to have dinner with me. The invitation was declined. Thomas Wolfe immediately came to mind.

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    1. I doubt I'd have stayed on the line once hubby answered. Or given my best, "Sorry wrong number" voice and been off.

      But that's just me.

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    2. That was my first inclination but . . . I was traveling with my mother and she had fond memories of the girl and the invitation to dinner was her idea.

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    3. Ah yes, Mom being there would muddy the waters.

      Shortly after I got married, my Mom noticed that an old girlfriend had gotten married. She thought it would be a good idea to send me the wedding notice.

      I arrived home to find The Missus Herself holding up the clipping from the newspaper asking, "So why would your Mom send you this?"

      Of course, I had no earthly idea beyond the fact that Mom had liked that girlfriend and had yet to meet The Missus Herself. It was, shall we say, awkward. To say the least.

      The next call home from Korea included the line "Don't do that again Mom. Please."

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)