Category Archives: high school boyfriend

Famous T. V. Dads


Famous television fathers were quite conventional, sometimes filling

current stereotypes, but they usually seemed above normal in their

tolerance and patience. We were talking at Friday’s midpoint mark, in

the breakroom about how we may have formed misconceptions about

the way dads should act from watching these early family shows. After

all, most of us did not have traditional fathers, who would go to work in

suits and ties, come in cheerful, pull out a newspaper and quietly unwind.

I am sure my father wished he could have been ‘so lucky!’

My family consisted of two bread-winners and the three of us children,

were often in the winter months the last ones picked up at our baby-

sitter’s house. I remember looking out of Mrs. Boos’ picture window

into the darkness, wondering which day it was that Mom was doing her

oracle debates, drama or Spanish club meetings? I would sigh with an

almost exasperated ‘whoosh!’ when I finally saw her station wagon’s

headlights in the driveway. Mrs. Boos had two sons who played with my

brothers, occasionally I would join in or get a chance to sit on Diana’s

bed, her teenaged daughter and look at pictures of the Beatles or the

Dave Clark Five, or sometimes there would be magazines full of fashion

and hairstyles. My Mom was pleased when Diana went to Kent State

University and invited me to spend “Siblings Weekend,” as Diana’s baby

‘sister,’ Robin.

When we got home, my Dad, usually, would be home shortly, pulling off

his tie, after he took off his jacket, asking what he needed to do to ‘pitch

in.’ Spoiled me, made me think all fathers were like this. Today, Saturday,

June 14th, 2014, they had on the CBS Morning Show, a segment on the

percentage of fathers in the fifties, sixties and seventies that helped out

in child-rearing responsibilities. Sadly, they still said in the more recent

years the percentage of household responsibilities, even with working

moms being in the majority, it is still not a 50/50 deal.

Anyway, Melvin’s Mom and Dad were more like my parents, sharing the

chores and also, enjoying family times together. He admitted most of

his African American friends had either a limited amount of fatherly

involvement or none.

Tammy said that her mother had stayed home, whenever she would ask

for help inside the house, her father was quick to remind her, “You don’t

work.” She was dismayed at this behavior, remembering, even as a young

girl in her imagination, “I won’t stand for this in my adult life!” (Tammy

and Mike have been friends since childhood, “fence post buddies,” but have

never tied the knot.) She certainly is open that she doesn’t even have a

joint account with Mike, they just split the bills and love each other. She

is an independent woman, almost the ‘polar opposite’ from the parents

she dearly loves.

Trevinal said his parents are more together now, but in his childhood his

father sounded like my first husband, wished for dinner on the table,

kids cleaned up and early to bed, and lots of time watching his favorite

sports shows on television. There is a whole different love that he and his

wife share, more understanding and encouragement. He is so ‘blessed,’

he says to have someone who believed in his ability to think. The family

cannot believe that he is in Nursing School, working fulltime to pay his

bills and rising far above the expectations of Special Education. He feels

that by meeting the ‘right’ woman to share his life is a ‘daily blessing.’

His being in his thirties, reminds me of my own son, and I also remind

him of my belief in his ability to be a good father, when the time comes.

Here are the above persons’ and other coworkers, along with family

members who have cited some excellent, funny and different television

situational comedies for “Best Examples of Television Fathers:”

1.  My favorite father of all time, is from the show, “My Three Sons.” This

show allowed a non-traditional father, in amongst the ‘drones’ that I

found on other television shows. The combined household of widower,

played by Fred McMurray, his brother, who was the boys’ Uncle Charlie,

and the three rowdy boys always made me admire the patience, fortitude

and compassion showing what I considered “true family values.”


That is not to say, I didn’t laugh at the antics of Dick Van Dyke, Danny Thomas,

John Forsythe  (“Bachelor Father”) or Brian Keith (“Family Affair.”) I also liked

“The Ozzie and Harriet Show,” an almost first time reality show, since the family

was played by actual family members. I liked the sense of humor and the handsome

boys in this one! (Diana, my babysitter’s daughter, also had a few articles in her

teen magazines which featured the Nelson boys, especially the “cute” Ricky!


2.  Hugh Beaumont, who played the Dad on “Leave It to Beaver,” was the one

that my coworker, Mark, listed as his favorite. The different ways that influenced

his choice was first he liked that Beaver’s mother wore an apron, like his mother

did, daily. Also, that the father character hardly ever yelled, even under stressful


3.  Tammy said the whole family in her household liked, “The Danny Thomas

Show.” I still like that Marlo Thomas was an independent woman, not hurrying

into marriage until she fell in love, in real life, with the talk show host, Phil

Donahue. I also personally enjoyed the fact she is a columnist in my “AARP

Magazine.” Tammy said she liked Danny Thomas, since he presented a few

shows, mentioning different cultures. I would have to check this out, but do

support and believe in St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Marlo has said that she

got her Dad’s slightly sarcastic sense of humor, which carries her through

tough times.

4.  Trevinal still remembers almost every show that “Family Matters” had

on television. He has found this to calm him, looking at Urkel’s silly dress

code, high water pants and his often expressed question, “Did I do that?”

The sense of humor and the family were something he admired and felt

that Urkel’s character was one that gave him confidence when he made

mistakes, throughout many of his years,  in life.

Trevinal’s words are very powerful, expressing this to me:

“Whenever Urkel goofed up, people would roll their eyes, sometimes

bellow at him, but always forgive him. That is how I wish to be when I

am a father.”

Reginald VelJohnson, who played the father in “Family Matters,” is

in one of my youngest daughter’s favorite shows, “Hart of Dixie.”

(Rachel Bilson and Tim Matheson play doctors on that country

setting show.)

Trevinal also noted that Urkel was a neighbor,  the family next door’s kid,

but he became part of the family and included, whether wanted there or not,


5.  Keith told me, laughing, while lifting a box in the aerosol room, in what we

call the “Bomb Shelter,” that his favorite father character was Archie Bunker.

That show was called, “All in the Family,” where all sorts of issues popped up,

Archie sticking his neck out, saying all kinds of bigoted or prejudiced comments,

but usually backing down on them. Meeting people of all ethnicities, while they

were in an urban setting, with his wife being accepting, his daughter also very

open minded and often, Rob Reiner, playing “Meathead,” took the brunt of

Archie’s anger. I asked why he thought of this character? He told me, a little

bit sheepishly, that his own father was ‘backwards’ and ‘ignorant’ like Archie

had been. This made him become aware that there were other perspectives

on people. I appreciated Keith’s candor. He also added his parents were from

Kentucky! He added this with a laugh, like that explained everything!

He also said he respected the actor, Carroll O’Connor,  who had gone on to

play a cop, with a black partner, in the show, “The Heat of the Night.”

6.  My son, James, joked that he liked Homer Simpson, for the same reason

that Keith liked Archie Bunker. He said they were the ‘opposite of everything

he hoped for in a father.’ He also said that making mistakes for Homer, making

poor judgments, did make him feel more comfortable in his own parenting


7.  My oldest daughter said she liked Patrick Duffy, in the show, “Step by Step.”

She had a crush on him, from early days of watching, “Dallas,” and also had

a young ‘crush’ on Cody, the cousin who lives in a van in the driveway on this

sit-com. I liked it because Suzanne Somers was a hairdresser, average single

mother, who found a man with children to marry. I think the idea of stepkids,

appealed to me, also in ‘The Brady Bunch.”

When I mentioned my oldest daughter’s opinion, the men still were ‘hooting’

and ‘hollering,’ in a playful manner. They said she ‘made’ the show, “Three’s

Company,” and still looks great to this day.

8.  No one named, “Father Knows Best,” but all cited this as their 2nd and 3rd

choice of Best Television Father.

9. Charlene, whose young son, Ian, was in on my ‘Opinion Poll’ on Thursday,

had said she loved, “Wonder Years.” Since the mother character is on our

favorite soap opera, (Allie Mills), she remembered to point out she is good in

“The Bold and the Beautiful.” She also mentioned that the Dad on “Wonder

Years,” had to tackle difficult teen subject matter, since the boys grow up on

that show, from junior high through high school. I have to check out the dates,

be back to tell you the years: 1988 until 1993. The father’s character was

played by Dan Lauria. The couple who ended up taking the show into the

more mature theme included Danica McKellar and Fred Savage as “Winnie

Cooper,” and the kid next door, “Kevin Arnold.” In the Arnold family, the

mother stays home while the father worked. An interesting fact that I found

out was, Danica’s sister could have won the part of “Winnie,” the directors

say it was a ‘toss up’ between Danica and Crystal McKellar.

10. My mother loved the shows with Bill Bixby, including his role in “My

Favorite Martian” and “The Hulk.” But when I would come home from

junior high and high school, I would have the lights off, my Mom sitting

on one end of the sofa with her feet up on an ottoman, watching, “The

Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” When I overheard that song on the radio

and recently, on a commercial, I would almost “tear up.” Mom was much

more tired when I was that age, she would not volunteer to be coaches,

helpers or club counselors at Westlake High School. She would be the

chaperone, with my Dad by her side, for dances. That was as much energy

as she could ‘wrangle up,’ in her forties. I love Harry Nilsson’s song, the

memory of her sometimes lightly snoring, until the song would play

and she would sit up, watch and share those moments. My one brother

would be in track, (Spring), water boy in basketball, (Winter) or in

Cross Country, (Fall). This was ‘our time.’ The song began with these

words: “Let me tell you about my best friend,…” (The song includes

the father saying, “My pride and joy.”)

By the way, the jingles or songs for television would make an excellent

memorable post. When we were noticing the songs, we all agreed that

the piano playing and the off-key singing by Edith Bunker, played by

Jean Stapleton, was iconic: “Those Were the Days.”

That “Wonder Years” song, “I Get By With a Little Help From MyFriends,”

is legendary. We were nostalgic, reminiscent of family shows when there

weren’t as many choices on television and everyone’s family gathered together

to watch the shows. Even the commercials were memorable.

10.  The last contributor to this post on television fathers was my youngest

daughter’s suggestion of “Little House on the Prairie.” She enjoyed the setting

out West, through tough times, settling and learning how to live as a family

in a different time period had intrigued her.

She grew up watching this in reruns on Nickelodeon. This television

dramatic series ran from 1974 until 1983. (She was born in 1985.)

She reminded me that she read most of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books,

after I introduced them to her. She felt Michael Landon portrayed a

very charismatic and dynamic father. I am happy that she remembered

him in this role. (His personal life, somewhat like the much admired

Bing Crosby; left much to be desired. I feel the same about Eric Clapton,

Robin Williams and Bill Cosby. Troubled, but still admired for their

personal talents and  the ‘body of their works.’)

What was your favorite television father?

This Week in Review: Love Every Second!


A cricket chorus awoke me at around 6 a.m. today and I felt that I

still had much sleeping to do to “catch up” for the busy week that

had passed! I got up and did the daily rituals, including adding extra

moisturizer and contacts in. One far sighted and one near, to sort of

compensate for not wanting to wear the ‘bifocals’ as long as I can

hold out.

I crawled through the living room, to find that one errant cricket who

had managed to creep through some crack, nook or cranny of my

old first floor apartment. I saw it hop and I crawled slowly to get it,

after all, what is a morning without some exercise! I got it gently

enclosed in the palms of my hand, cupped around it. I made it to the

door, nuts! Who will open it? Not any roommate here anymore…

Daughter off in Victorian Village, preparing for her first Pilates class

in Powell. Dropped the cricket on carpet, opened door, followed

rapid hopping progress to the wine cabinet, got it and set out in

the hallway. There is supposed “luck” attributed to crickets and my

good friend, Jenny, has a nice brass cricket on the hearth of her


Starting with Mom’s weekend, very nice, lots of fun, three meals out

and about six movies watched! We had a grand time, staying up late

and got to see my two brothers, best sister in law, ever, and her

daughter, husband and two children. Emma is about a week off from

my Makyah so we swapped progress reports on their growth and

funny traits. Her newborn, Robbie, is adorable! He has the name with

his initials spelling ROB. Love that idea!

Wednesday, I had to play “hooky” from my long, hard week of down

to only 3 ten hour days. So glad I did that! Grandparents’ Day at Schulz

Elementary School was a ‘barrel of monkeys’ fun! Landen’s class was my

a.m. stop, where we had a male music teacher around my age, leading

these kids in song! We had two great songs, planned to win the hearts

of grandparents and kids alike. First one, we read the words while the

music alone played. We adults knew the tune to “Take me out to the

ballgame” and listened while the kids were using paperclips to read

each word, running along the page of lyrics. Landen did well paying

attention, my mind wandered a bit, but mostly replaying the way we

used to go to a special class for music. Now, of course, the music

teacher ‘travels’ from room to room.

We heard two versions with the words playing and then, finally at

ten minutes of ‘prep’ time, we sang along to the words. The teacher

emphasized, “And its ONE, TWO, THREE strikes you’re out at the old,

ball game!” The kids liked the way he had them use their hands and

fingers to shout/sing the words to that part.

The next song was one he said they had practiced “just for the guests

today to hear.” I did not hear as much enthusiasm for this song, until

we got to the chorus of “La la la la la’s.” (“Sing a Song.”) The words were

recorded by the Carpenters on 10/22/2002.



Sing a song

Sing out loud.

Sing out strong.

Sing of good things, not bad.

Sing of happy, not sad.


Sing a song.

Chorus goes for 18 La’s

La La La La La La

La La La La La La

La La La La La La.


Sing a song.

Let the world,

Sing out loud!

Sing of love there could be…

Sing for you and for me.

Make it simple to last your whole life long.

Don’t worry that its not good enough,

For anyone else to hear.

Just sing, sing a song.”

Other ones who have sung it include Nathan Lane on Sesame Street

and Pooh Bear in a movie. The words are very simple but powerful.

We could use this to base the way we speak daily to others, using a

kind tone with simplicity and love. And when we write, “don’t worry

that its not good enough for anyone else to hear!”

Another Carpenters’ song, “You’ve Only Just Begun” worked out to

segue into my First Friday with Bill night. We had a nice dinner at the

old Cracker Barrel, went back to my apt. and parked so we could

“promenade” around town and see what all the crowds were doing.

There were several churches out with treats, a bank with goodies,

and the theme was a pet parade so most shops had their wares out

doors so that the dogs could get a doggie cookie or drink from water

bottles handed out. Kids were getting their faces painted and there

was a band playing out at Brooklyn Heights Restaurant. We saw our

good friends, Sean Duncan and Jamie Reisinger singing at the Old Bag

of Nails Restaurant, too.

We stopped in one of the nice antique stores and listened to a country

band playing. We stayed to listen to a rendition of “Ring of Fire.” Which

led me to ask Bill, my over 30 guitars in his “music room” friend if he

had ever heard Johnny Cash’s version of Nine Inch Nails’ song, “Hurt?”

Bill had not and I told him he needed to check this one out! Awesome,

tear jerkingly moving song with his raspy, ‘whiskey’ voice just touching

all my nerves.

While in our second antiques’ store, we were looking for blue glass for

his daughter, ash trays for his younger woman, and also, guitars. Of

course! We saw three and I am not sure who made them, what kinds

they were but the only one fairly priced was an electric one that had

a good amp included. Bill found a nice, green cut glass ash tray for

his woman and I saw several neat future Christmas gifts for my two

daughters and a nice memorabilia for my Mom, too. Unfortunately,

staying on my budget, will have to count on their being there when

I get back to them.

The reason for mentioning the Carpenters’ love song, often played at

weddings, was we were coming to the Delaware downtown’s closing

time and we ran into the most darling couple. You know I am always

looking for that meaningful love story in my days and nights!

This couple had the young woman standing in front of us in line to

check out, her boyfriend, sitting on an antique chair nearby. They

were talking in a very sweet and comfortable way. I asked the girl who

was closer to me,

“Are you students at Ohio Wesleyan University?”

She gave me a big smile and said, “I am a freshman and we just got here

a week ago.”

I (being my curious, oh you want to say it! All right, nosy self) asked,

“Where did you come from, you have a different eastern seaboard’s


She replied, “Maryland. You have a good ear!”

Bill asked what part and he discerned that it was on the western part

in a small town. He talked to the young man as I studied the young

woman’s purchases. She had chosen a porcelain salt and pepper

shaker, with delicate painted pink roses on them, along with a cloth

calendar (like the ones they used to sell on a rod) which had the

year, 1995, on it, along with musical notes on it.

I asked her whether she was studying music and she laughed in the

most cheerful way,

“No, I want to be an astro physicist!”

Both Bill and I exclaimed, “How wonderful (me)!” and “Super (Bill)!”

I added, “Oh, such a wonderful area that we need more women in!”

The young man had told Bill he was not going to college, just visiting

Sunday, to email, text, call and keep in touch but seemed a little sad

about the upcoming separation.

I got wistful, remembering the goodbyes I had said to my high school

boyfriend, Dave. I thought about how we tried to catch up with our

lives over the first Christmas, but how I already had given my heart to

my next  Dave, met on the first day of college. I wondered briefly if he

had been the one to drop me off at college, instead of my parents, if

we would have stayed in better touch. After all, he would have been

with me, eating a meal out and I would not have spied the next Dave

at McDonald’s, I presume. What ‘might have beens’…

The elderly couple who had their checking out process figured out,

but very slowly, got to the young girl’s items. The man wrapped the

salt and pepper in newspaper handing the tag to the woman, then he

took the sticker off the calendar and handed it to her. Finally wrapped

the newspaper bundle in the cloth and bagged it. The young, patient

woman, with such maturity in her appearance, handed her a five

dollar bill and waited for her change. She had just the image of a life

about to burst or explode with all kinds of doors opening.  She handed

a five dollar bill and got her change.

As her boyfriend stood up, Bill outstretched his hand, extending him a

big and hearty handshake. He said, “Good luck and hope everything

works out!” (The young man had been contemplating a myriad of choices

for his future education, including a trade and had shared these thoughts

with Bill. Bill had stressed he had always wished he had chosen the path

to college.)

While leaving the store, I followed them a couple of steps, leaving Bill

to pay for his single purchase. I gave the girl a hug, saying that I wished

her many wonderful experiences and good travel mercies wished to

the young man. I said, I especially hope you like Delaware.”

That led into a short additional five minutes, they both started listing

all they liked about the packed sidewalks for the Farmer’s Market on

Wed. evening and looking forward to the one on Sat. morning, too.

They said that there small town was slowly ‘dying’ due to the ‘big box

stores’ taking away the business of the small shopkeepers. I told them

a shortened version of how I had chosen this town on a map, halfway

between my ex-husband in Cincinnati and my parents in Cleveland.

That I never regretted my decision and two of my three children were

still here, my youngest in Columbus. And six grandchildren, all going

to be raised here, going to the schools. They said they thought it was

just the nicest community to raise a family in.

As they walked out, the door’s bell tinkling, I thought of those words

from the song and changed them to, “they’ve only just begun…”



Back to School “Blues”


I have been a little “blue” about back to school time. I was

a teacher, always wanted to be a teacher, so when the stores

start to show their school supplies signs and their new clothing

lines, I am filled with longing…

On the other hand, my best friend, walking buddy, Jenny faces

her second fall with not going back to school and is whooping

it up whenever I see her! She is retired after a fine, outstanding

career of 35 years service in the field of elementary school

teaching reading to those who needed extra work in that area.

There are lots of reasons to be sad about my grandchildren

going back to school one week from today! I will always feel

like there were more summer adventures we were supposed

to take part in! I also, wishing from the bottom of my heart,

think it would be so cool one day to be able to surprise all

of them with some fantastic trip.

My grandson, Skyler, is going into third grade. He has new

shoes and a new backpack. He is very excited because he

saw the class roster posted on the front door of the school.

He will have some great old friends, a couple of Boy Scouts

(“Webelo’s) and he is friendly and outgoing, so no problems

meeting unfamiliar faces either. Micah, age four, will be heading

off with a new backpack to preschool. This will do wonders for

him, since he is not as excited as his big brother to learn from

his Mom or Dad about letters. He can sound out things and

has played that car game, recognizing the letters. Last time

I posted about them, I mentioned he is learning about letter

blends and rhyming words. His backpack cracked me up!! It

has skulls and zombies, not your typical little kid’s backpack.

He is fascinated by them, tells me strings of stories how this

superhero battled zombies, last time at the pool, it was Batman

getting those zombies put finally into their graves!

I was at the dentist’s office, love my dentist, but he only dropped

by to look and say, “No cavities,” while Jamie, my dental assistant

did all the work of cleaning, scraping and water-zinging my teeth.

She was talking about her tenth high school reunion, I had to wave

my arms, she stopped to listen,

“Next year, 2014 will be my 40th reunion!”

Jamie is so sweet, “No way!”

Now she and I are really close, we have shared her major break up

about three years ago. Then, we celebrated her finding a new man

and he is super. They have been together for 2 years, last summer

they went on a “family vacation” with his family to Michigan. I had

been there only a couple summers before, so we had fun talking

then about that. This summer was their first vacation alone, to

Atlantic City. Then, we had to figure out why Justin doesn’t want

to take her to his reunion, after 2 years together, I agreed with

her, put her foot down, since she knows one woman she can hang

with while he wants to hang with the sports group, a lot of male

bonding going on. She worries, like I worry. We do this fine thing

of understanding each other.

Of course, I edited my recent trial and error with a nice man who

wasn’t “right” for me. I did not go into depth. I feel that works out

best. Jamie and her own mother don’t talk too much about this

sort of thing, so don’t want to overdo it with her. I liked that she

shared her conundrum and she also hugged me, as I was leaving.

We will see each other after Thanksgiving, so will have updates on

Jamie and her Justin.

Meanwhile, I feel the need to share three of my several wonderful

little “essays” that friends wrote in my senior yearbook. We called

our yearbook since our colors were blue and white, “The Bluebook.”

I showed these recently to my best friend, Jenny, and she could not

believe they sound like the “me” that is still around.  Please indulge

me by reading these handwritten, seniors who wrote them and

see what you think. (And, hopefully, you won’t feel I am bragging

because they are so very kind words indeed!)

Amy Davies one very good friend wrote:

“Robins are bright and joyous,

they foretell the coming of fresh green friendships.

They bring with them new colors,

bright flowers and sunshine.

Robins are friendly birds and courageous.

They bravely face the world unafraid

knowing that nobody could hurt a bird

as trusting and so loving.

Luck in ’74 and forever,

Amy”   ( Wish you could see the bird she drew, too.)

On the same page, my boyfriend, a “brainiac” who I loved

at the time, Dave Beach wrote:

“I hope that this year and all of the wonderful experiences

associated with it have enriched your life as much as they

have mine.

But no one year should ever be thought of as an end in itself

rather it should be thought of as a stepping-stone to the

greater things which are continually over the horizon.

Even though a horizon can never be reached one must

always move forwards toward it, as I know you will with

your beautiful glow before you and a trailing rainbow behind.


Karen Webster, a special and unique person, wrote:


Very rare are the times that one meets nice people who are sincere

in their niceness. Hardly ever a bad word unless it is deserved, you

hardly ever are obnoxious, unless the situation warrants it.

Do not worry about following the social norms, most of them aren’t

worth the pressure people put on them.

Be happy within yourself, its the most important thing in life.

Take care and best wishes for a successful future at Bowling

Green and forever.

Please be happy.


Karen W.”

Such wise words for me from Karen, they stick out more than all

the compliments the others said of me. I have always worried,

that is a fault but a characteristic, too.

I know now where I found those words, “take care” that I usually add

to many of my comments or replies on my blog.

Hope this gets you pulling out your yearbooks! I had several others

that I loved and relished rereading their words, including two of my

favorite teachers!


Unbalanced Equation


Sometimes when I am at the optometrist’s office, I hear those words,

“Is this lens better or worse than the last one?

Choose A lens or B lens,

Now which is better, B lens or C lens?

Compare A with C…” It reminds me of first man or second man,

and I am thinking of men not lenses, at that point. Strange how your

mind can wander to a whole different topic in those quiet and intimate

moments with your eye doctor!

Relationships are very hard to deal with and sometimes it is so much

work that people give up. The other challenge is the past luggage, then

there are always new mountains and ruts in the road to patch up on your

journeys together.

I was given a great question by an old, special friend,

“What if you had a chance to be someone’s ‘one and only’ but they weren’t


The answer is really no answer until the situation is met and the choice to

move forward or back out of it chosen.

On one hand, you could celebrate being someone’s center of their universe!

On the other hand, you could struggle with your feeling not totally fulfilled

because of the unbalanced equation.

This happens more than one would think. I have been writing for almost a

year now and often expressing my joy at hearing of a “successful and long

term relationship.” I enjoy the variety of love stories my friends, family and

coworkers have shared with me. Most don’t tell me their unrequited love

stories nor their possibly miserable marital or relationship tales.

Here is a fairly unhappy and struggling story that has limped along for years.

I have someone who I have known for about 5 years now, who I have spent

time with, danced with and shared a few movie times together. We have been

to each other’s house and I know her husband well.

This is the story of an unbalanced equation that started way back in high school.

The young teenager was growing up in a fairly dysfunctional (alcoholic) family

situation. Let’s name her Susie since she is usually nice and bubbly, but there are

shadows that cross her eyes or a wrinkle that creases her brow that indicate hidden

sorrow. The person she saw as her savior, adored her from afar. It was like most

teen situations, obvious to her, the receiver of such admiration and adoration. Susie

liked the man, Tom, but felt no flicker of real love flaming in her heart. She did not

really feel attracted to him on any level. She felt his tall, gangly basketball player

body was okay but she did like his staring at her across the classroom.

Susie felt hopeful that someone would care for her, possibly take care of her and

she did what some teens do in these situations, make the best out of what life

was handing her at the time. When she let one of Tom’s friends know she was

interested, from sophomore year through senior year of high school there wasn’t

a Friday or Saturday night she was not with Tom.

Every dance or school function or even one of Tom’s family occasions, Susie was

included and invited. She felt needed, wanted and loved. What else could a young

teenager expect out of her dating years?

Well, there were moments, of course, where the true reality shone through in her

diary. There were times where she fully realized she was almost “scamming Tom.”

She started to feel trapped in her senior year and looked upon the vast emptiness

of her waiting tables, which is an honorable profession and sometimes quite likely

to provide good income. She was at a restaurant on Rte. 23 that no longer exists.

She enjoyed men who laughed at her jokes and flirted with her. She did not have

good self esteem but was aware that men liked her long, thin legs and her shiny

naturally blonde ponytail swinging as she crossed the floor to their breakfast

table. Truckers were her mainstay and she did think often in her fantasy world of

taking them up on their veiled and sometimes more obvious sexual requests.

Tom proposed to Susie on their prom night. So cliche, she thought, but she also

felt like he was a good hearted man, he was her hero and saviour. She said “Yes”

and all her girlfriends were envious of her engagement to the tall basketball man

heading off to OSU in the Fall.

Fast forward almost 40 years and their is a lackluster look about Susie. Even my

friends who went out with her and our group to dance, would say, “What’s the

matter with Susie?”

“Was there ever any other hopeful suitors,” I asked over coffee late one night two

years ago.

“Robin, I never felt like I could think about someone else after our first Christmas

at Tom’s house. There was a stocking on the mantle for me, there were gifts with

my name. The family embraced me so tightly that I felt loved and comforted by

their presence.”

“Was there ever recently someone who crossed your mind as a potential new choice?”

I made Susie search her mind.

She right away named a single man that we both knew. He has long, scrawny “chicken

legs” and we have nicknamed him that. His name is Terry and I suppose using his real

name is part of this sad tale, since I know he would have done anything to win her love

even when I met him 5 years ago. He does not touch her hand, her back or dance with

her. But he buys us drinks and looks longingly at Susie. He listens intently to any of her

stories:  work, home or child (her only child is in her late twenties.)

Terry is not at work anymore, he has been let go, because he had used all his sick time and

FMLA time up. He is retired due to having battled cancer and is losing at the moment.

Last Christmas, Susie begged me to go to Terry’s house with her one night after dancing a

few hours. I said that I would call Tom and tell him that I needed you to come over and

drink coffee at my apartment, which is a block away from all the downtown bars and


She said, “Oh, would you mind terribly?” I am so sure that I am going to get into

trouble in the after life because I am quite willing to do such espionage for a friend who,

this is very important though! NOT having any kind of affair.

I knew it would cheer Terry up to see Susie and it would help ease her pain just a little

to see him. She had contemplated when I met her and she had toured my apartment

leaving Tom. I felt now it was too late, but what harm could it do to spend a few moments

holding a man’s hand who absolutely loved her and she felt the same love for him back?

Susie and Terry are an example of what could have been. Their story is like one from books

like “Doctor Zhivago” or other classic examples of unrequited love.

To feel that way, even for 5 years which slipped by quickly, that is like the expression:

“To have loved and lost is better than to have never loved at all!”

Shakespeare play, “Love’s Labour Lost” is possibly the source.

(p.s. I am not judging this situation but hope no one will be too upset at my openness

to this situation. I repeat, there is no lust just love and probably since Terry is given only

4-6 months to live, this is not going to change. They did not move or act upon any of their

emotions while they were both healthy normal adults in the past 5 years….)

Typing Class troublemakers


The class sounds so archaic: “Typing 101.” In our classroom,

my high school friends and I had a blast there! I am talking

about some girls and guys who usually stayed out of trouble and

got excellent grades.

We were the ‘brown nosers’ and the ‘goody two shoes’ most of

our high school career. In this class we were sometimes called

to the front of the class, got low C grades and could barely

concentrate on our assignments!

What made us go a little crazy in typing class? We were assigned

some letter writing tasks that made us decide to not only be a little

creative but a little ‘dirty,’ too. We were writing to each other and

when we would have to hand them in, our typing teacher would

roll her eyes and seem to get exasperated! (Too bad, it is too late

to ask her; “Did we entertain you?” Hope so!)

This is what we wrote about: movies and specifically, our place in

famous peoples’ lives! Each of the young girls in our tight knit group

had chosen a famous person to be married to. So, Becky was Mrs.

Redford, I was Mrs. Newman, Diane was Mrs. Hoffman, etc. We also

included a couple of guys who were happy to be married to Farrah

Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs.

What on earth was the reason? Because we thought it would make our

letter writing tasks more unique and interesting. So, I could write that

I went to a fantastic movie premiere, checked in with the babysitter on

our car phone and then went to an “after party.” Or I could mention to

my dear friend, Becky, that I needed to borrow that cute red bandana

top to go sit in the grandstands to watch my husband, Paul, race his

car towards the finish line! It made the tasks bearable and fun!

I forget who was married to Steve McQueen but you can bet she wrote

about the amazing stunts he did himself in “Bullitt” or in “Le Mans.”

I also forget all the wandering adventures that Mrs. Warren Beatty

engaged in, but she was every bit as racy and naughty as her husband!

Each of us pushed the indecency a little to include sexual encounters,

swinging experiences and dangerous situations. All while trying to

stay connected as friends and learning about our own sexual desires.


Did you ever engage in such escapism or fantasies while in high school?

Do you want to or dare to comment?

There was a plethora or “goldmine” in my 2 brothers’ friends


I found my 17th summer a lot of fun working at Cedar Point, (Sandusky, Ohio)

and living away from home in the dorm with 3 other girls. They had weekly dances,

movies that were played on the stone wall below the Hotel Breakers, and a lot of

local people inviting us on their boats or to their homes, if we rode the ferry back

to town. I managed to be an onlooker to a lot of the seventies type behavior without

partaking or inhaling much…

The best thing that happened in the summers after my band boyfriend and I

broke up, were the times I ran into one of my brothers’ friends. They were in

awe of my “older woman” status and they were only 1-3 years younger. We

three musketeers were born in 4 years, since my Mom was 26 and wanted to

be done with having kids by 30. We ran around like a pack, with Randy also

working at Cedar Point and Rich coming up to visit.

Once school started my senior year, I went to a Science Club party where I

ran into my last high school boyfriend. I knew he was the right one, whereas

the others in my life had chosen me, I chose him. It was nice, he was quiet,

thoughtful and now holds a wonderful position helping the Cleveland area

to use conservation and ecological methods learned while he was at Stanford


It was a very nice year with him as he was the first to hold deep and interesting

discussions on all sorts of things, including existentialism and subjects beyond

my conversations with S. V. I did mean to tell you that the French horn kisser

did teach me about French kisses and was so good at showing up at my locker

after school to walk me home.

On S. V., he was so sweet senior year coming up to me in my new hard contact lenses,

saying, “Don’t forget I loved you in your glasses!”

How Will I Know?…Just Trust Your Brain (not your feelings as the song goes)


Looking back at the boys, then Men, who got my attention is kind of crazy.

I may want to try to find a pattern and break it. The first young man who got

me to be his girlfriend was one of my classmates in school. Did I mention it

was because I had that cool Brownie flashlight hooked onto my belt? Yes, we

did have cloakrooms/big closets where we would start and end the day. I got

his attention that way, he just had to like the flashlight.

His name was Billy and I got a beautiful plastic little egg from a gumball machine

with a bright sparkly pink “stone” in a plastic ring.

My next boyfriend was a friend of my brother’s and played a French horn in

marching band. He wanted to sit next to me on the band bus and like so many

young relationships, this started with his asking my brother to tell me so.

My brother (18 months younger) said, “No way.” That was that for a week. I may

have attracted him with my black and white rimmed glasses with the sparkles in

the corner. He attracted me by being persistent, next person who got the “message”

that he wanted to sit by me was my friend who sat with me. We were both clarinet

players who only moved our fingers while counting the steps for the multiple marching

formations. She was happy to pass on the message because, you see, he had a “cute”

friend. She switched places and that was all she wrote.

He carried my books home and in turn, at age 16, I got kissed and a silver bracelet with

his initials, (S V). It was not as shiny as that first token of affection but it was very cool.