It started with a phone number one autumn evening. We were all at the annual Halloween high school dance  and the night was nearly over. I was with my two friends and she stood there with her two gal pals. My buddies were a hell of a lot smoother with “the ladies” than I and without hesitation they moved in to start a dialogue. I stood there like a statue as was my modus operandi. My buddies had moved on with their two acquaintances, leaving Bonnie and I standing there with the band playing the last song of the evening. After a brief introductory conversation we joined our classmates heading for the exit and as the evening air washed over the two of us I asked her for her phone number, a number I still remember thirty-six years later.
High school dances in those days took place on Friday evenings. I only remember this fact because my first date with Bonnie took place the following night. Saturday nights in our hometown were normally reserved for teenage loitering along a dark and wooded area known as Common Lane where disturbances from the local police department were rare and infrequent. This is where we drank our illegally purchased beer, had bonfires, and enjoyed each other’s company. I remember one of the bigger guys in our class had his own car and his collection of Frank Sinatra played regularly through the speakers of his 8-track stereo system. That’s not to say we didn’t have our regular doses of Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Lynyrd Skynrd, Neil Young, and the other artists of the day, but if Barry was there you listened to “The Chairman” and Barry’s size was far too formidable to argue with. Listening to Sinatra while your sixteen year old mind was racing to cause trouble was a bit surreal and it was probably a good thing Frank was invited to Common Lane back in those days to keep things from getting unruly.
I had called Bonnie earlier in the day and set a date for that evening, yet here I find myself on Common Lane without a car and clearly out of walking distance to her house. Fortunately there was a friend of mine, Jay, who owned his own wheels and he gave me the ride to Bonnie’s house for our first date. I recently thanked Jay for that ride; little did either of us know his help that night would be the beginning of a very special relationship. Yes, we’re still dancing thirty-six years later!
Enjoy your trick or treating everyone … clearly I was treated back then, just as I am today.