It was Jenny that I was fortunate to locate one night while doing searches for old friends and lost loves! Jenny and Steve are no longer together, but the time I spent with Steve, and later with Jenny after their marriage, were some of the best times of my life.
Steve and I went through a divorce at the same time back in the late 70s, and we supported each other through the sad withdrawal period that always occurs after such a traumatic event. We wrote poems/songs; very sad stuff, sometimes defiant things, and shared them with each other. At the time we worked in the same office, so we spent a lot of time swapping what we had written and laughing out loud at the rhymes and digs we made. It was good therapy and it took us all the way to the wedding alter again; each promising that we had learned our lessons and swearing we would get it right this time.
However, there were many nights and weekends before either of us got to that kind of happiness again. We spent the weekends listening to the music of the Allman Brothers, Black Oak
We were the original “party hardy” boys, running the dance scene in our open collared polyester shirts and gold chains! We could boogie with the best of’em and we heard disco music in our brains as we walked the halls and streets at work!
I lived in Harriman and Steve in
Often times, I would wake up on Steve’s couch, so I just headed for work in the same clothes. Up until about noon, I’d swear I’d never do it again, but after lunch a “second wind” came over me and I was down for more craziness that night.
Steve and I spent quiet time too. We would sip our drink and discuss our feelings. We both hurt, and we both had family issues, but our common interests bonded us into a brotherly relationship.
We always shared our new “gals” with each other too. We would put on parties with loud music, lots of friends, more girls than guys, and we would sneak time to ask the other what they thought of the “new girl”! We even had a rating system, just like in the movie “Semi-Though”. One of my favorites was “never says no, even in a comma!”
If the girl didn’t measure up, we would be honest in our appraisal, and we would move on!
When we had dates, we would often call the other one at home and say something stupid like, “When things get going, throw the phone over in the bed,” or we would ask, “What are you doing…a little RALO?” (short for: rip a little off)
It was wonderful to have a friend with which you could share you innermost thoughts. I knew him and he knew me…we could even finish each other’s sentences. We were tight…best buds.
Steve met Jenny and immediately he was happier than I had seen him in a long time. She was younger than he was, but she understood the inside jokes, the music, and best of all, she understood Steve. She also understood our need for each other. I guess that’s why we did so many things together.
Needless to say, Jenny got my approval. She even went along with the silly phone calls I used to make to her. She worked at an insurance agency and I’d call, with Steve listening and about to bust a gut, and say, in my best hillbilly voice, “Uh, yeah, I gots some hogs, they’s real good’uns ya know, and I was wonderin’ if’en you all sold hog insurance?” She passed my test by turning it around on me!
I met Judy…or found her again after sixteen years! I fell for her “Betty Davis Eyes” all over again, and soon she was at the parties, and getting Steve’s blessing. I think she sealed the deal the night she walked bare-footed into the “Time Out Deli” in
There is actually more to her than that, but that’s all I can say here!
One weekend, we got a suite in Pigeon Forge, complete with kitchen and Jacuzzi tub. The photo above was taken that weekend – me with the two girls and him with the two girls in bed. We also splashed water out of the tub more than once and had a ball! We could be ourselves – wild and free!
But something happened along the way, and several years ago I lost my best friend, and why I’m not sure. The best I can figure it was a big blow to Steve when he lost his job at
To say that hurt me is an understatement. It hurts and haunts me to this day. I may never know…and frankly, I suppose it doesn’t really matter now. Steve and Jenny are no longer together, so the times could never be the same.
However, I’ve promised Jenny that Judy and I will meet her for breakfast or dinner one day soon. I’m going to try and not discuss the past or fish for the reasons why. I just want to sit and enjoy her company once more and remember "Est'a Bono" (a name he game his alter-ego). He can’t take away my memories of him.
UPDATE - Jenny has sent along her memories of our times too! Please read the comments!