TRAVEL BUG TALES: THE RETURN
Some folks might wonder if I ever spoke to my friends again, but dumping them was never on my agenda. By breakfast the next morning everything was fine. Frances even managed to make it to breakfast on time.
At Customs our coconut rum friends discovered you could only take a certain amount of the elixir home with you, so they passed out bottles to whoever would take one. I did. I was scrutinized a little more carefully for the departure than I was for the entry. Our flight stopped at some Florida airport for us to go through customs. Then it was Houston Hobby and finally Love Field.
My dad was there to pick us up and I was rarely so glad to see him. I loved him to death, but he was dad and I expected to always be able to see him. After the disappointing week I’d had, he was especially good to see. I can’t remember that he ever disappointed me, though I certainly managed to disappoint him often enough.
Dad asked if we were hungry and even though we weren’t particularly so, everyone agreed a Jack-in-the-Box taco would hit the spot. It was one of my favorite meals ever. All week long we’d dined on seafood, steaks and conch balls, but Jack-in-the-Box tacos meant I was home.
My next big adventure would be moving into the apartment with Debbie and Kathi. That’s when the next section of my scrapbook begins. It’s called Wild in the Woods. “Wild in the Woods” is the name of a song sung by my favorite local artist, Robert Lee Kolb. His band was called the Local Heroes. It is a fit title for the next years of my life. I was wild and I was in the woods.
My gig at Sears ended after two years and I moved up to Little Rock, Arkansas for a job that I was only able to tolerate for about six months. When I moved back to Dallas I moved in with my parents. Debbie and Kathi had new roommates and new lives. We were still buddies and I spent a lot of time in trouble for coming home late when we all went out together, but that’s another story for another time.
There was a very pivotal day in my life, that looked pretty ordinary at the start. I was working at a bank and was a little at loose ends with my free time. The wildness had been leeched out of me for a season and I wanted to avoid getting on that merry-go-round again. So, I took at part-time job at Lord & Taylor’s to make a little money while I was staying out of trouble. My first day on the job I met two very important people. One was Deb Shera, who would turn out to be the very best friend anyone could have anywhere in the world.
After work I went to a party. I’d been guilted into it by my old college friend Debbie, not to be confused with Deb, but I’ll admit it is confusing. I’d plugged into a Singles Group at a local church and they were going bowling that evening. Debbie wanted me to go to a party. She was still looking for a love connection. I was too, but I thought I would be more likely to find it with the church group than at some party with a bunch of people I had no personal connection to. She pulled the ultimate threat on me, “If you were really my friend, you would…” So I reluctantly went to the party.
The next album in my collection is called, “The Lost Years.” The other person I met that fateful day would be the primary author of those days. Come back next week and we’ll talk about him.