Monday, January 31, 2005

And then HE entered my life.

All summer long it was party after party. If not on the Houseboats, then a field party, or a kegger, or a neighborhood party. That is where we met, at the Winchester. A series of maybe eight small cottages, layed out in a semi circle with a common area in the center. The houses themselves were two small rooms and very coveted. The coolest people lived there. Molly and the Redhead had one along with several of my friends. A big party complex.

He had been in a self imposed exile, trying to figure out why a good friend of his had committed suicide. He was re-entering, perhaps emerging from a depression, back into the college town hum and ended up at that party, sitting on a stoop with me.

For some inexplicable reason, he fell head over heels for me that night. I spent the rest of the summer trying to avoid him. I did not know how to let him down easily, so I just ran when I saw him.

He left school, left Murray behind and moved to Arizona. One day I received a letter from him. I mentioned it one of my friends, Jill. She immediately asked to see the letter. As she read it she began to cry. I had no idea she had feelings for him! It made me ......wonder about him.

Shouldn't life be more like the movies? A crashing crescendo of powerful music announcing the arrival of the most important, most influential person you will ever have in your life?

My new years resolution, well not exactly a resolution, but a wish list of things I want to happen. One of them, at the top of the list, was to be better to myself. To take better care of myself. I have happily discovered the writer SARK who is a breath of fresh air. We should just accept ourselves! And then eat the banana split. I really like her.

But, I also am reading a book called The Perrionce Prescription which takes a different approach. Take care of your skin with diet and supplements and you will feel so good it will be disgusting to anyone who knows you and is witness to the transformation. This regiment is meant to turn back the hands of time. Who could resist?

I am doing the 3 day diet...Right now it is killing me and I am rolling it around in my head to run out and buy a bottle of Coconut rum....Which is suppose to make a noticeable difference! We'll see.

The I went nutsand purchased all sorts of face creams, face lotions, and cleanser. I added to my cart approximately 10 bottle of vitamins and minerals. This is recommended. This is also in addition to the 10 pills I already pop!

I should be drop dead gorgeous in three months! Or broke.

Friday, January 28, 2005


I think every person had a defining moment in their lives where they realize that things will never be quite the same every again. It is as if you are shedding a skin of the person you use to be and emerge into a new life.

That is how it was that summer of 1974. I was able to secure a job working at Ken Lake as a waitress enabling me to stay in Murray for the summer. I moved out of the dorms and began to share my first apartment with a friend. My friend was recently divorced, and a very sad story. Marred to one of the locals after the summer of our freshman year, it did not last six months.

I left the campus, and ultimately most of the college students I was so use to hanging around with and entered the realm of the real world of Murray. I was able to mix the two together, somehow and that summer of 1974 was to be the most fun, the most memorable of all my time in west Kentucky.

I spent the entire summer working and enjoying cash tips, going to concerts, such as the one above, meeting the owners of an up and coming sun tan lotion business who loved to party, spent endless hours at the lake on the beach, riding around on boats, trying to learn to water ski, enjoying house boat parties, meeting the town bootlegger and company and being totally immersed into that crazy crowd of people. The locals.

My most endearing memory occurred late one night, sitting on the banks of the lake, drinking beer and listening to the lull of the water and the sounds of the talk around me. I was fixed up with one of my roommates friends, a local man named Ricky. Ricky also was bruised by love, had built a very successful masonry business and accumulating more money than he knew what to do with. So, he spent it freely on his friends. He decided he really liked me, I was the woman of his dreams and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

This is how he proposed............."Dogs, diamond's...........What's your deal?"

And then waited for an answer. I was dumbfounded. Then I started to laugh. Then he began laughing. Everything he saw me after that (i.e., sober) he would sing out, "Mary, Mary, marry me. Dog's, diamonds, what's your deal?"

About a year ago I found a journal written by a woman from Murray. I emailed her and we found out we were about the same age and knew many of the same people! It was with great sadness I learned that in the 1980's, Ricky was killed by a police officer at the scene of a crime taking place. Ricky was unarmed. It was a mistake. I cried for him, seeing him as that young man, arms wrapped around himself, rocking back and forth as was his habit singing that verse to me.

"Mary, Mary will you marry me?"

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Very near to the end of the second semester of my illustrious tenure at Murray, several of us thought it would be great fun to have our cards read. The woman who did the reading was a legendary talent with the Tarot.

When it was my turn, I was told I would marry a man with dark hair. What a relief to my 19 year old neurotic self. I, who was secretly concerned that I was totally undesirable and would never find someone to love me, was reassured that someone somewhere sometime would find me. Unfortunately, the man I was crazy about at the time, was a red head!

Did I go to college to find a husband? Perhaps it lurked in the back corners of my mind. It is perfectly obvious I did not go to receive an education! Before the Redhead, I never really had what one would call a true boyfriend. There never was a certain someone that I could count on for a standing Saturday night date. Going steady during high school, wearing a boys Senior ring on my finger, wound tight with angora yarn to fit snugly on my finger was not meant to be.

The Redhead was my first bona-fide boyfriend! I met him through his room mate, the Redneck, who was pledging the fraternity of which I was one of the swinging little sisters. Both the Redhead and the Redneck were from Louisville. The south end of Louisville to be exact, renown as the breeding ground of stance rednecks.

No trucks for these rednecks. The Redhead drove the sweetest 'Cuda. The hottest car on campus. It was solid black with white leather interior. I think I loved that car as much as I liked the Redhead. He also introduced me to the Lake area of western Kentucky.

Way back in the 1940s, the TVA dammed up and flooded a massive area of Kentucky and Tennessee in that corner of the world, creating three of the most beautiful lakes, Lake Barkley, Ken Lake, and the Kentucky Lake. The Redhead's family had a summer cottage on Ken Lake.

Could it get any better? I was riding around in a hot muscle car heading for fun times at a gorgeous lake house!

Our romance lasted through the end of the semester. It could not survive the long summer separation. Upon returning to school in the fall, the Redhead met and fell in love with Molly. Amazingly enough, they were both from Louisville and both had red hair! It is impossible to fight destiny, let alone the Tarot cards.

Alone again, naturally.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005



I can not remember the first time I went South. I can not begin to count the times I went South. Sometimes, I could not even remember I had been South.

It would begin innocently enough. You would be studying quietly in your dorm room. You had probably just returned from a wonderful wholesome (just like Mom cooked!) meal at the Cafeteria. Someone would come down the hall way, stick their head in your room and ask, "Wanna go South?" I never once said no.

Nine miles directly south of Murray you went through a small town called Hazel that dropped you into Tennessee. Home of the 18 year old legal drinking age. (We're talking the 1970's.)

Of the many bars directly over the border, The Cotton Club was the dive of choice. All the college kids went there. The regular house band was called, Clap hands Here Comes Charlie and was made up of music majors from MSU. They had a horn section and could rock that concrete joint like there was no tomorrow. They played a lot of Chicago, we danced like crazy, on the dance floor, on the table tops, we drank the cheap beer....mainly Busch beer...., we played the pin ball machines, we flirted, we danced some more, and then around 11pm the large bell would be rung announcing last call. We would load up in our cars, and head back up Route 641, praying that tonight would not be the night they would have a road block.

It was THE PLACE to be during the week! Murray was a "suitcase campus". The week end would roll around and the majority of the students would head home. Since I lived so far from Central KY, I rarely went home. The week ends were reserved for Fraternity functions.....the week days were for GOING SOUTH!


Addicted to Love (part seven)

Did I go to college to find a husband? Perhaps that was in the back of my mind, to find a mate settle down, be a family. Yet, I had the rest of my life to find him. In reality, I never really had a true boyfriend before. There was never that certain someone that I could count on for a standing Saturday night date. All through high school I never went steady, unlike most my friends who wore their boyfriends high school rings wound up with angora string to make it fit firmly and snuggly on their fingers.

In all honesty, Gary was my first really and truly bona fide boyfriend. His roommate, Doug, was pledging the fraternity of which I was one of the swinging little sisters. Both Gary and Doug were from Louisville. The south end of Louisville, that is. Renown as the red neck part of Derby city, and both of them would tell you stories about Saturday night fighting for fun that would make you shake your head in disbelief.

Gary drove the sweetest 'Cuda. Solid black with white leather interior. I loved that car, I loved driving around in it. Gary introduced me to the Lake area of western Kentucky. The TVA had dammed up and flooded a massive area in west Ky and Tenn. Creating three huge lakes, Kentucky, Barkley and Ken Lake. Gary's family had a summer cottage on Ken Lake.

Could it get any better? Riding around in a hot muscle car heading to the Lake area!

Our romance lasted through the end of the semester but could not survive the long summer separation. Returning to school in the fall he met and fell in love with a girl named Molly. Amazingly enough they were both from Louisville and both had red hair! It is impossible to fight destiny.

I was alone again, naturally.

Monday, January 24, 2005



I applied to several colleges and Murray State University (a colossal 350 miles to the west)accepted me. That is the only reason that comes to my mind when I try to remember why I choose Murray! I began this journey into adulthood without any buddies with me. I barely knew three people who attended school there. Yet, this worked to my advantage. Rather than trying to cling to what and who I knew as familiar, entire new worlds were open to me.

I majored in having fun, drinking, going wild, shunning sororities, joining a fraternity as a little sister, going "South" every night that I could, and going to as many Hairy Buffalo parties that I could squeeze in (one being pictured above), smoking cigarettes, sleeping late, skipping classes, dating dating and then dating some more, and meeting people from such exotic places as New Jersey!

I blossomed into some wild party animal of the female variety and was having the time of my life. I flunked out in three semesters and was banished home.

I would never be content living under my parents roof again. I longed for The Cotton Club, that smoky dark square concrete bar across the Tennessee border where the legal drinking age was 18. I missed my fraternity brothers and the marathon card games we played. Every time I approached a soda machine, I looked for the Budweiser button. And not finding it was a stark reminder of the predicament I had placed myself into.

I had to go back. I worked my butt off as an operator at GTE 60 hours a week to raise enough money to pay my own tuition. And to return.

My heart was in Murray.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


ADDICTED TO LOVE (part five)

The distance between town I lived in and the city I attended High School could be measured in more than just miles. They were two different worlds. My home town being a farm community, and the city....well, Lexington is the cultural center for the central and eastern parts of the state. The kids I went to High School with were mutually exclusive from the kids in my home town. That is just the way it was back then. Before Ma Bell broke up a call to Lexington, 10 miles away, was long distance. I had a foot firmly planted in both worlds.

When school began again, I became absorbed in High School again. The Dog was graduated, we were beginning to have wheels under us, we were upper classmen! This year in school things drastically changed for me. I can't tell you why, maybe it had something to do with me picking up the bad habit of smoking cigarettes. The art of smoking cigarettes without getting caught was great sport.

I found myself absorbed into a totally different crowd! The cool kids!

I was not cool. I hung around with the cool kids, but I was not cool. I had pretty low esteem regarding my looks. I was very self conscious by the fact that my left front tooth was broken and a dubious cap was in place waiting for my teeth to be "mature" enough to have a permanent replacement. I had suffered this ego destroying condition since I was 12. I felt I was unattractive for many reasons, the main one being I had no boy friend and it seemed everyone else did! I felt undesirable, unlovable and that the situation would never ever change, as long as I lived.

So many girls, myself included, allowed others to define their self worth. In high school, those "others" usually were immature males and insecure young women. I wanted to look like the models we poured over in magazines, and since I did not in any way resemble them, I felt something was lacking in me.

Look at me! Aren't I hideous?

I needed a good smack to the head back then!


Addicted to Love (Part Four)

Bad Moon Arising

John Paul and I went out for about a month. Then his ex-girlfriend wanted him back. And back he went. My first dumping! Oh my broken heart! So I did what all red blooded 16 year old girls do, I began to date his bet friend, "Moon."

Moon was you quintessential bad boy! Incorrigible, kind of mean, totally out of control, irreverent, and wealthy. He had yet to turn 16. Which one would think was a problem, but not with Moon. Here was the deal............I would spend the night with one of my gal pals. We would wait until the appointed hour, sneak out of the house...........

This deserves a little attention. Sneaking out of the house is not as easy as tiptoeing to the back door and quietly leaving. Oh no! This involved ladders to second story windows. This included, but was not limited to, crawling belly down on roof tops, climbing down trees, camping out in the "guest quarters" with pillow dummies in the sleeping bags, lies, lies and more lies. Typical 16 year old stuff.

Moon would be waiting for us, hidden by the cloak of night, in a car that has been acquired by silently rolling it down his families driveway and then firing it up as it hit the street!

Oh the happiness of the middle of the night joy rides! Drinking PBR beer and Little King Cream Ale. Criss crossing all the back roads of our county. Tossing empty beer bottles at road signs all night long. Then as quietly as possible, creeping back into the house.

Moon was sent away to Reform school..........I mean Prep school several weeks later!

I kept J.P. in the picture, always in the corner of my eye. I saved my life guard money for weeks and bought a cherry red polyester two piece outfit. A mini skirt (as short as my Mom would let me) with a scooped neckline top adorned with tiny feminine buttons down the front. Add a pair of classic white Aigner sandals, that showed off my marvelous lifeguard tan, I headed out to our last swimming meet intent to turn heads.

With one particular person in mind.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


The summer I was sixteen, everything changed. The possession of drivers license was introduced. The summer was spent in a totally new envirornment, that of the moving vehicle! This was our newsport, one of us to fanagle our parents car,usually a station wagon or something equally as muddane, go around to everybody's house and pick them up, then head to the Main Drag.

You would begin anywhere on Main Street then head North or South. North took you to the Dairy Queen, where you would cruises into the parking lot, loop behind the building and head back out the entrance. You of course were checking out who was at Dairy Queen.

Then you would head South, through town and arrive at the Convenient Food Store at the other end, make the turn into the area in front of the old elementary, cruise through the bus drop off area, then head back towards the North of town.

The time spent cruising town was vitally important. Because everyone did it! It was crucial to be seen. Looking back, it was such innocent fun. The town's young teenage population moving at a leisurely, fluid pace. The sport was to honk at those you knew. What a acrimonious symphony we created those hot summer nights. Young hot blooded men, and sweet southern belles poised on the threshold of womanhood.

That is howI met J. A transplant to our small community from somewhere very foreign, Brazil. His father was an American who met his mother while teaching in South America. J. Was one of four brother each one dark,with black hair and beautiful brown eyes.

I fell so hard for J. The pattern was qucikly being established for the rest of my life, I was a sucker for a pretty face.

After weeks of flirting with each other communicated with varies types of car honks (each type of honk having different meaninds....Short sharp honk, means "In hurry, headed 'fill-in-the-blank. Long,leaning on the steering wheel means, "look at me, I want you to pull over!" A couple of quick toots in succession means, "Hey cut!" and so on) He finally decided to ask me out.

He called my house, the phone line was busy. He called later, the phone line still busy. My Mother always took the phone off the hook when the babies were napping! He did not know this since he really did not know me...Yet. So he tries again. Line busy.

One of my best pals came running up to the back door of our house and fell through in a panting, gasping for breath collaspe. She was always slightly over weight, and running was mother thing. She came from her house, on the other side of Broadway, at least 3/4 of a mile to yell atme, "Put your phone on the hook! J is trying to call you to ask you out!!!!!!!!!"

He called her house to see if I happened to be over there.

The two of us, with our heads pressed together, listened to him finally stumble through the words of asking me out to the movies!

Thank goodness for the best friend a girl could ever have!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


(I struggled today with whether I should be posting pictures of people without their permission. (As if it ever stopped me before.) This particular picture is over 30 years old. And, if I were him, I'd be flattered that someone had a crush on me in High School. After all, look at him! ....)

Fast forward to High School. A little background is needed. I went to a Catholic High School located in a city I did not live in. This High School had six elementary schools that fed into it. A total of only 400 students at that time. I knew only two people at the school the first day I set foot across the ugly faded blood red doors that led into the foyer adjacent to the front office. Neither of them were in my class. I was on my own....not for the last time in my life either.

I cannot remember the first time I saw him. If I could remember that moment, I'm sure that I was struck deaf, dumb and blind by his radiant beauty. His golden hair, his penetrating blue eyes, his slightly klutzy manner. He was a god. I referred to him as THE DOG to all my closest friends. They all knew I was severely crazy over him. I worshiped him from afar. I hung around the hallway closest to his homeroom just to catch a glimpse of him. I was so in love with him that I even joined the track team to be close to him.

He was two grades ahead of me and he was my world for two years. No one else mattered. The fact that he never knew I existed did not phase me. If he ever looked at me, which I am certain he did because who cannot notice someone worshipping you all the time for two years, I froze like a deer in headlights.

The strongest memory that has survived occurred at the water fountain outside the gym. My best friend, Karen, rushed over to me during study hall with a DOG alert. Sent to me in the form of a note...."Dog sighting in office." I got excused out of study hall and ran to the water fountain to get a drink waiting for him to walk by. I waited and waited, the water running and running. I was there for what seemed an eternity before giving up.

As I turned, abruptly...he was right behind me waiting to use the water fountain. I came close to knocking him down which thank God I did not. The stream of water I spewed all over him was quite enough.

I thought I was going to die.

Years later at our 20 year reunion, one of my teachers Mrs. W. made the remark to all with in earshot. "That J.S.............I had such a crush on him!"

Et Tu.

Sunday, January 16, 2005



I am amused every time I see this sign. I laugh inside thinking, "Yea right, all the most beautiful Exotic Dancers are beating down the doors to perform there!". That is why I am submitting it for this weeks challenge.

It was snowing this morning. Early, when everything was still quiet and very peaceful, I ventured out to take this picture. The snow was an added bonus. The small snowfall muffled the morning. Only a handful of people were braving the elements walking about, and only slightly more were driving. I appreciate these moments because they are very rare.

I am totally enamored with the bridges in Northern Kentucky. I could photograph them everyday and always find something new and interesting about them. They seem to offer a gateway to my imagination, a portal, an adventure, new beginnings, lost dreams and starting over.

With the temperatures in the high 20's and the wind chill must have been in the teens because my legs were frozen, I could not drag myself away from the Riverwalk. I wandered around for over an hour in a mini-adventure in the swirling snow.

Sunday, January 09, 2005



By taking some lousy pictures! Yikes. It is hard to show the scope of what the Ohio is doing to the banks of Kentucky and Ohio. The Licking River, the same thing. I just wish the pictures were better. I walked over the Bridge into Cinti in the sunshine. It has been hiding from us since Dec. 29th! It felt wonderful on my face. Short lived, we are back to over cast days and rain. Flooding is inevitable and is occurring now in some areas. Zorro is safe, tucked behind the Levee.

It was a family sort of week end. His son B. came up there and entertained his daughter B. Other than that an unremarkable week-end.

My blogging has been on the down slide. Nothing notable to write about. Lots of things going on, but only fragments of inspiration. My heart is heavy for my dearest friend. Her marriage is on the rocks after 30 years. Having been through it a time or two, though absolutely nothing like it must be like , feel like after all that time. The betrayal, the hopelessness, the rage.

When Zorro and I were having our problems in the past they would be very bad. Once time I thought I had really lost him to another woman. Waking up each morning, out of the comfort and cushion of dreams into the harsh reality was the worst part of the day. Realizing what was wrong, why the heart was so heavy, so broken. The heaviness of the soul.

I want to wave a magic wand and make it all better for her. All I can do is pray for her and be there for her.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


I have officially given up coffee. Now, coupled with the elimination of Diet Coke from my system three weeks ago...I guess I am close as I have ever been to being caffeine free.

Guess what? I feel better! I really do. I had a slight headache on Saturday, but it vanished and I'm okay. I noticed right off the bat that I am not on edge. I'm not strained when my cell phone goes off and someone wants me to do my job. I was calm and practically serene at the meeting this morning, asking questions in a gentle manner rather than my confrontational tone.

Could it be caffeine, my long time friend, was no good!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


You marry someone knowing things about them but not facing those things. You marry someone because you love them. You manage to convince yourself that you are marrying them because you love them. It has nothing to do with lonliness, or being afraid. And then, your are stuck with it.

My new year resolution was to make a wish list for 2005 and then go after it! At the top of the list was to BE GOOD TO MYSELF. I firmly believe that everything else I want (for everyone) will fall into place if I learn to love myself. I know it sounds so 1970, but I think there was something to it. If I forgive myself, forgive myself for taking the wrong turns, making the wrong decisions, loving the wrong people, wanting the wrong things for the wrong reasons, forgive myself for all the mistakes, all the stupidity..........then maybe I can get unstuck.

Joe has got to change or I have to change. He acts like a child at times and I am no better with my reaction. I guess if someone has to be the adult, it is me. He has problems that astound me. Unfortunately I react from my gut. I react with all the unforgiving I have about myself. I still kick myself for allowing myself to fall in love, be crazy about someone who is a NUT CASE. But then, I always have.

Fog over the Ohio on Saturday. It was beautiful in a ghoulish way. Like life.