Friday, September 14, 2007

"And Underneath The Stars..."

Love should be this simple:

When I was in the 8th grade, I had a crush on the Thompson girl. She lived way out on Zeering. Zeering Road, to this very day, is located on the outskirts of Denair. I must report, however, that the only thing out of its skirt back then was Denair.

Debbie Thompson. I wanted to kiss her so bad. She gave me a Mammas and Papas album. (Yeah, that's what we called it back then. Okay, just kidding.) I made a point of putting the vinyl on the turntable one evening and cranking it up so loud that no one could have a conversation in the house. I don't recall being told to turn the music down. I then called Debbie. She answered. I wanted her to hear my appreciation in the background. Unfortunately, that's all she could hear. I tripped, stumbled and fell on the way to the record player in the living room to lower the volume of the song by the same name. When she told me she couldn't hear what I was saying "because that music is too loud," I was embarrassed beyond blushing.

Since I didn't have a car or a bike, and I really wanted to see that Thompson girl one fine summer day, I decided that I would walk to her house. So I did. I called ahead, of course. No music in the background this time.

See that trailer park to the left of the house with the swimming pool with the field in back? Well, that trailer park used to be a field of baby's breath. Not many people have seen this flower before it gets dead. The house with the swimming pool and the field----that's where our house used to be: 229 Twentieth Century Blvd. We sold the house to some people who remodeled the existing 800 sq ft home into the big bucket it is today with the Spanish tile. And no, we never had a swimming pool. But that field. Oh, that field. We had walnut trees.

My sister will tell you about the time she was running away from me because I was throwing dirt clods at her. Again. I was so mean as a big brother. I feel terrible about it now. But this one time---at clod camp---she stopped in her tracks for some reason and turned around. If she had kept running, she wouldn't have had to wash a quarter pound of sand out of her hair. It was beautiful. The timing. Man, do I feel bad about that. To this day. But the timing. The timing.

Sorry, Karen.

But this is the house I walked from in order to get to Debbie's house out on Zeering. Best I can tell, this is the Thompson place. When I got there, we did the "So, what do you want to do?" "I dunno. What do you want to do?" We walked out to the barn and she showed me her horse. (Yeah. That's what we called it back then. Okay, just kidding again.) Nothing happened, really. We talked. We didn't even hold hands. I was nervous. She was cute. Blond. Freckled. Sweet. By best estimates, the walk out there was about 4 miles. So was the walk back. I remember being so thirsty. It was summer. I considered drinking from the canal. But lived to say that I resisted the urge.

I wonder whatever happened to Debbie Thompson. I wonder if she had kids. Got married. Is still alive. All I know is that our paths crossed and for whatever it might amount to in the grand scheme of things, we are in each other's brain. My guess is she remembers me. I know I sure remember her.

If there's one thing I've learned, though. It's this: Love is wonderful. Love is strange.


At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 12:30:00 PM PDT , Blogger vicci said...

OKAY...I get an award for being the very first one here!!!!! :-) Great songs...and man! did they bring back good memories! Bitchen! (remember that word)...:-)??????
The very first time a boy ever kissed me was under water at the city joke...we were playin "chicken"...and I didn't chicken out....I still like to kiss under water.....(another story).....been thinking bout you all day.....ask Blue about what I e-mailed her today!!!! it's about "US"......:-)
I love ya!!!! XXXXOOOOOOO

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 1:31:00 PM PDT , Blogger goldennib said...

A very sweet post, Gawpy. I like how you threw memories of torturing your sister into a post on love.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 2:18:00 PM PDT , Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

You are such a noble soul--really.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 2:44:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

VICCANCE: Wow! I just got back from Blue's and saw us together, you and me holding hands again, just as we may have done at that Bill Graham Productions Day On The Green in the Oakland Coliseum.

I still wonder if that was you who tossed back that joint that came flying out of nowhere and landed in my lap. Boy did I ever have a hard time getting rid of THAT!!!

NIBBY: I wince under the love of that Gawpy word. I love it and feel like an eight year old nephew every time it is uttered. Was it you who started it? Or Sheila? Or who? I can't remember, but I love it. And you, of course.

Yeah, isn't that crazy. I actually felt funny bringing my sister into a report on young love. But I do love my sister very much and am happy to include her in anything. Now. (heh-heh...)

ENEMY: As are you, you know. Mutual admiration. Mutual ad-mirror-ation.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 2:45:00 PM PDT , Blogger lime said...

oh what FABULOUS tunes you chose for this reminiscence, every last one of them. now you've got me all daydreaming thinking of shawn from math class.....sigh.....

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 2:47:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

LIMERS!!!: Oh! My! GAWD, Magnum!!! I just clicked out of this and here you are. I was listening to Sweet Pea again.

"Shawn and Limers, sittin' in a tree. Kay Eye Ess Ess Eye En Gee....!"

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 2:56:00 PM PDT , Blogger LMS(oceandreamer) said...

Gaaaawpo, my sweet Gaaaawpo,'re the one!!!!
I've missed you but it's been me that was absent. You aren't far from my thoughts though...that would be impossible!
Sweet memories here - you are such a romantic! I loved the Mama's and the Papa's!
NOW, guess what? I did a dance in the Junior High Talent show to "oooh sweet pea, come on and dance with me" what seems like a hundred years ago. Oh yes I did...dancing with the moves of the day that I'd have to SHOW you because I can't recall the names(I think one was the "pony". ha! I had forgotten about it and then I clicked that arrow...seriously I stood up and did one of the moves!! LOL!
BIG kisses, BIG hugs - I hope you haven't forgotten me!

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 3:52:00 PM PDT , Blogger AnnieElf said...

Awww Gawp, you are just too romantic. Your story reminds me of a long walk Don took once when he was a young sailor back at a Naval Training Center in Illinois. He HAD to see this sweet young "thang" and she lived 25 miles away across the stateline in Wisconsin. He had a good breakfast, walked the distance with no breaks, saw his honey and walked back to the base. Of course, he DID fall out of bed the next morning. LOLOLOLOL

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 3:58:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

LEEESUH OCEANDREEMUH!!!: Forget you? YOU?! Ain't no way, Bay-Bay---my sweet BAAAAY, BAAAY.

I can see you doing the moves. There was the swim and the jerk. Right? You grabbed your nose, raised your hand above your head and then sank. Right?

So this brought back some moves, huh? How wonderful.

Love that you came and checked in, Love. Good, good person that you are, Lisa.

xoxoxoXO! G

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 4:01:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

ANNIE FROM TURLOCK: Ha! Great story. And now that I have seen Don's and your face close-up and in the gleam of the eyes, it all sounds so much the better.

Had I not been in the 8th grade, who knows? lol

I love how songs bring us back to ourselves.

kisses. hugs. G

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 5:14:00 PM PDT , Blogger jillie said...

I remember a guy named Gary only I couldn't spell when I had my crush on him and I use to write "I love Gray" my mom kept asking me why I loved the color gray and I couldn't figure out what the hell she was talking about. She explained that I had it written all over my papers (1st grade here). We laugh about that every now and then.

Loved the tunes and thanks for stopping by!


At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 5:33:00 PM PDT , Anonymous quilly said...

Nice tunes.
Nice memories.
Naughty brother.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 7:16:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gemma said...

Guess what???? I eMailed Viccance to find out if that the dead concert where you 2 maybe held hands would've been in OAKLAND!Cuz yes...It was the beginning of the dead heads and I was there too...
muah ha ha
Can't believe you went to clod camp! Oh and I'm going to write Blue!!!

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 7:16:00 PM PDT , Blogger Candace said...

What a great trip down mammary - er memory lane. :)

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 8:27:00 PM PDT , Anonymous snavy said...

Love is a many splendid thing.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 at 8:50:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Oh you Dead-heads and joint smokers. Clod camp? Don't even wanna know!
Viccance thinks I could be your love child from 74, Gerry Garcia would be proud. You and Viccance=Blue.
But no, I am a 71 baby. Impossible.
(Said with a French accent.)
But hey, we can dream can't we? But then where would Sheila be? She is my REAL mom after all. And I don't plan to give her up anytime soon. Nuh uh.
Loved this love post. It was lovely. The makeout sessions at the end there got me thinking? Passion? Are you there? Where have you gone? I remember kissing like that.
Going to bed now.

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 12:04:00 AM PDT , Anonymous cindra said...

I don't see anything at all...what's up? Blogger? You? Me?

Are you going to arrive here tomorrow???

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 6:03:00 AM PDT , Blogger singleton said...

oh, this is priceless, and you know what? You are right! I betcha anything she's been thinkin' about you and thinkin' about you. In my world we call it Tink! When someone touches you with thought!
Feel the love!

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 6:12:00 AM PDT , Blogger goldennib said...

I may be the one responsible for the Gawpy nickname but either way I am glad you feel the love. You are most wonderful and interesting and talented and sweet.

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 9:26:00 AM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Annieelf's other half: I have to clarify and add to her comment. I woke up one Saturday morning, without plans for the day or weekend. Not wanting to hang around the barricks, I decided to hike. A Marine that I grew up with had told me about their fifty mile hikes. Knowing that the residence of a young lady that I was interested in was twenty-five miles away, I decided to walk to her place. After a good breakfast, I started out. Once I arrived on her street, I could not remember the house number. So I turned around and walked back to base. It took me twelve hours to accomplish, without food or water or rest. Then there was the time I was in high school in Indianapolis that I walked from the northern inter-city to the southern suburbs to see a girl. We just talked too.

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 10:13:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

JILLIE: And welcome you are here. Hello!

Good thing my heart-throb wasn't named Julie. I might have written it July. "I love July." I love that story. Ah, young love...

QUILLY: Yes. If I ever start a film company, I will call it, "Another 3 Ns Production."

GEMMER: Actually, it was a Crosby, Stills, Nash AND Young headliner concert with warm-ups of: The Band, Joe Walsh and Barnstorm and Jessie Collin Young.

What a line up, huh?

Dang. If it's a Dead concert you guys are talking about, then we are talking about a different one. Now I am wondering.....

Either way----we RAWK!

CANDACIA: HA!!! Good one. Now that you mention it, I sure wish I had kept a-BREAST of what her situation is.

SNAVYLICIOUOS: So happy we are back in the same loop (which is POOL spelled backwards).

BLUE TSG: I need to clear this up, once and for all---I did NOT have sex with that DEAD concert! NOR at that Crosby, Still, Nash AND Young concert. But I do suppose you could somehow be my 1971 love child. Somehow? Maybe not....

Love the French accent (said in French accent).

I love that Sheila is your mommy.

Sad to say, no passion here. None. Zero. Like the "no alcohol" in the Chris Farley skit where they are selling a hair product and which I cannot find on You Tube, but am still looking.

I wanna kiss like that. Again. Some day.

CHEEDRUH!: Really? I am seeing it all today. Using Mozilla on a PC. I will check it out on the Mac tonight.

No. Can't go. Angry/Sad. Wish. Oh, wish that I could be there for this important day, this happy day. Missing it in my heart just makes me know how much I love you and you-know-who.


SINGLETWOTHOUSANDPOUNDS: Yes, I knew you would love this walk into the memories. You are so good at doing it yourself. You are a great sister to have for that. I love your flashbacks, one and all. xo


NIBBY: Yes. I think you are. Don't stop. Please? (smile...) I feel cuddly when you call me that.

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 10:55:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

ANONYMOUS: Hey there, Donaldo!

Wow. This puts a whole new spin on that guy who would walk only one measly mile for a Camel.

What a great story. The first one is just amazing. We should compile "Walking For Love" stories. I'll bet there are thousands out there just waiting to be told.

Thank you, Don, for the clarification.

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 1:35:00 PM PDT , Blogger carrie said...

i've driven thru denair a time or two

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 2:14:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

CARRIE: w00t! If you've riden AmTrak, you've gone through Denair as well. That is where the train station is located for Turlock, too.

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 9:02:00 PM PDT , Blogger LMS(oceandreamer) said...

Wait! You saw CSN&Y AND Jesse Colin Young???? OMG -faves! I've always wanted to see CSN (I LOVE THEM)in concert. I saw Jesse when he was with the Youngbloods at the Greek Theater in Berkeley circa 1972 or 73. "Come on people, smile on your brother". I swear I come here and I am down memory lane! Cannot think of Blue being your love child though....she's our contemporary right? Otherwise we're uh....old?????
I wish I had some pics of what I wore then....I do know I no doubt had 2 long braids. Do you have pics of you then?
Smooches and hugs,

At Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 4:14:00 PM PDT , Blogger mindy said...

have you tried to find her?? maybe she's out there. thinking of you too. i found out that one of my first crushes died back in feb. he had a drug problem. i had not seen him in over 20 years. strange, the path life takes.

At Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 4:32:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gemma said...

I missed CSN&Y concert...
They were so good back in the day! Small world anyway you probably met my bro at Clod camp..LOL

At Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 6:11:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

LISAOCEANDREAMUH!: I know that I have some pics of myself from then. We're talking '74, right? Blue was born in 1983 I think. Yeah, that's right. I just went back and looked at her picture. Uh-huh. '83. That's right. Yep. She was born in 1983. So, yeah. we could be her love parents.


MINDANCE: Yes, I sure have wondered if she still has a beating heart. Finding her would be super. All it would take is some asking around Denair, I think. Maybe I will knock on that door next time I go down to visit the 'rents. Ya never know, huh? Thanks for the nudge. xo

GEMMER: Yes, I think I do recall meeting your brother. There was this one camp counselor who gave us all sorts of tips on how to torment our little sisters. lol

At Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 7:04:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Uh, yeah. I was born in 83. And Britney Spears can perform live!
Okay I'll be nice now.
CSN, Grateful Dead, jeez, you guys can't remember anything cuz like, all three of you swallowed that brown acid they said not to.
Oops, that was Woodstock.
Maybe you guys met there?
Gawpo, Viccance, Gemmer and Dreamuh have the coolest nicknames thanks to you.
I am so glad Sheila is my mommy too.
Cept she's my mummy. We're English.

At Monday, September 17, 2007 at 5:11:00 AM PDT , Blogger somewhere joe said...

You lost Debbie, but in due course retrieved your sister. See how that works?

I had my first crush in second grade - on Billy, a third grader. He was beautiful and charismatic and wore scuffed-up retro saddle oxfords and played second base. That's all it took.

In my experience love, as Oscar said about truth, is rarely pure and never simple.

"She lived way out in Zeering." Heh, if any place sounded way out, it would be Zeering. Growing up we had relatives that lived "way out in Wyandotte." Another name that suggested remote outskirts, and troubling exotic food and strange customs. But when we got there, it wasn't that different from Livonia.

At Monday, September 17, 2007 at 6:43:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

BLUE: Hey wait a minute. Britney Spears CAN'T perform live. I just saw her on T.V. and it didn't look like she could do it very well anymore. So, are you suggesting.......Oh, I get it now. You were being facetious.


(and by the way, it was the purple double-dome that was bad. we did three hits of window pane the day before and there were no problems at all. so, avoiding the double-dome, we opted for the orange oslate and everything was far out, man.)

Hello to your mummy (is that because canadians want their mothers to always feel well preserved? or what?)

At Monday, September 17, 2007 at 6:51:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

SOMEWHERE JEAUX: Ha! Very good. I love that. It was as if God were saying, "Gawpo----your sister will be with you always. So hurl a dirt clod and I will give you a sign so that you will believe." Took a while. But I get the significance.

Whatever Wilde ideas I had in my youth about truth being pure and/or simple, I have put away in the drawer with any similar notion about love. I do love how you stand truth and love next to each other. I am going to be thinking about that a lot today.

Livonia. I love that. Like Narnia, but alive.

At Monday, September 17, 2007 at 4:00:00 PM PDT , Blogger Sheila said...

Dear Gawpy, all this talk of Blue being your love child has me confused & I never did any of those colourful things like wot you all talk about..!
Baby's Breath I do know about and never saw it dried until I came to N. America. We grew it in the UK and there I knew it by it's botanical name. Gyspsophila.

At Monday, September 17, 2007 at 6:25:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

SHEILA: Well, it's best you have no recollection of those bygone days, Mummy O.B. Let's just stick with the Baby's Breath. I love that botanical name. I always though, however, that that simply referred to a person who had a fetish for Gypsies.

I learn so much here.

At Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 4:32:00 AM PDT , Blogger Sheila said...

How did I know you say something like that about Gypsophila?

At Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 7:10:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

SHEILA: Oh, gee. I dunno. Takes one to know one? Well??? lol


At Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 3:05:00 PM PDT , Blogger Paul said...

It's time to look Debbie up. Through the power of the Internet, you may find she remembers you, too.

At Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 10:48:00 PM PDT , Blogger Katie McKenna said...


At Sunday, October 7, 2007 at 1:15:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

PAUL: I should indeed try that. But women tend to lose their surnames to the male world. Sometimes. That makes it a bit trickier. I would love to reap the reward of the reminiscence.



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