THE WIFE SWAPPERS CLUB
Written by Rick Archer
This is a story about the infamous Jet Set International, a Wife Swappers Club that used to exist on Mangum and 34th Street. We will get to the juicy stuff soon enough, but first let's set the scene.
At the start of 1978, the dance world in Houston was much different than
the landscape today 20 years later. Here we go.
Rick Archer, 2001
Dancing in Houston, Summer 1978
Back in 1978, Partner Dancing had been in
hibernation pretty much since the Jitterbug Happy Days
back in the Fifties.
In the late Seventies, the Houston dance scene consisted mostly of free-style dancing to Disco music.
Western Dancing was virtually non-existent in Houston.
Only a very few people who grew up in small-town Texas knew how to Western dance.
Salsa was unknown in Houston.
Swing Dancing was still
dormant. There was some
Whip being danced to the Commodores and Barry White, but the numbers were
very small. Then came
Saturday Night Fever
It is a common misconception that Saturday Night Fever began the Disco craze.
This is not completely true.
Disco dancing and interest in the music had been growing steadily since 1974.
What Saturday Night Fever did was take an emerging phenomenon and turn it into an explosion of near-nuclear proportions!
SNF hit the movie theaters in November 1977.
At this time I was teaching two one-hour Disco Freestyle and Line Dance classes a week
at a dance studio called Stevens of Hollywood (near
Shepherd on Westheimer).
Suddenly the whole world wanted to
learn to dance Disco. By January 1978 the phone never stopped ringing. It seemed like every person in Houston who had never danced in their lives
was now interested in learning how to Disco dance.
I was literally in the right place at the right time. There weren't that many Disco teachers in Houston.
Despite the fact that I didn't have that much basic training in dance, I was at least already established as a teacher.
To handle this surge in interest, by the end of January I was teaching group classes every night of the week plus private lessons as well.
Practically overnight I had become a full-time dance instructor.
It took only one month to go from
teaching 1 hours a week to 20 hours a week.
Thank goodness I was young because I had a real job during the day as well.
I worked both jobs for a year.
I was so tired I was ready to drop!
Finally I quit my social work job in January 1979.
My other choice was to die trying.
My motto in the early days of 1978 was to accept every teaching opportunity that came along. Mr. Lance Stevens was the owner of
Stevens of Hollywood. In addition to questions about group classes and private lessons, Mr. Stevens got all sorts of oddball requests as well
for teaching opportunities outside his dance studio.
Many of these opportunities he shoveled off to
Mr. Stevens loved the Whip and Ballroom dancing, but he hated Disco music and Disco dancing.
Fortunately he didn't mind shuffling this side business to me.
No problem. I was a vacuum cleaner
willing to suck up every opportunity.
Was I ambitious? You bet.
This was the first real taste of success I had experienced since finishing college
five years ago.
Many of the side jobs I accepted were definitely off the beaten path.
For example I taught at a couple private parties where everyone was gay. To my surprise, those jobs were actually pretty fun.
Not only does the gay community like to dance, their sense of humor is awesome.
I laughed my butt off!
Not every adventure was naughty. I taught for Girl Scout troops. I taught for 4th grade classes at schools. I taught at wedding receptions. I taught at a senior citizens home. I taught at the Jewish Community Center. I taught special classes down in Clear Lake. I taught for singles groups at churches. I taught once-a-week Disco lessons at a disco club known as Annabelles
on top of a ritzy Galleria hotel.
My Disco adventures took me to other alien worlds as well.
Sometimes I would like to hop on that Time Machine
and revisit some of my past events.
Do you ever have those dreams where you are your normal age and suddenly find yourself back in high school?
You think to yourself, 'Cool.
I am back in high school but I am not a dork anymore.
Now I know every trick in the book. This time I am going to clean up!!'
Then you wake up and feel so disappointed to find it was only a dream.
One place where I would definitely
stop my Time Machine would be the Mahal School of Belly Dance!
This was the chance of a lifetime and I blew it.
Thanks to Mr. Stevens, one day I was hired to
teach Disco at the Mahal Academy.
I was ushered into the secret sanctum where men were never allowed…
but that day they made an exception for
a certain Disco teacher.
The class before mine was a belly dance class, so all
of the women kept on their belly
dance costumes for my class
too. The moment I walked in
the room, my eyes grew larger than saucers. It was a
room full of nearly naked women! And these women were
startlingly beautiful! Every one of them took my
breath away! Oh Wow!
I had a hard time concentrating. Hmm.
Upgrade that to a very difficult time concentrating!
It was exactly like being in a harem - here I was in a room full of gorgeous women with marvelous figures. Nor did I need an imagination - every curve was in full display in their provocative outfits.
And damn those women could move!
Here I was the only man in sight and I was the teacher to boot.
It was a true "fox guarding the
henhouse" situation! They all smiled at me as we danced.
And they laughed at my jokes. I was
soon hopelessly in love with all of them.
Alas, despite the enormous odds in my favor, I was much too overwhelmed and much too green behind the ears to even begin to capitalize on the situation.
After all those smiles and winks,
you would think I would come away with at least one phone
number! Too bad. No
guts, no glory. I still feel the regret to this day.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side
- Tales of the infamous Jet Set Club
Of all my gigs however, none was even remotely as strange as my offer to teach Disco lessons at a infamous den of iniquity, the Jet Set International Club, the notorious wife swappers club.
One day in May 1978 I walked into Stevens of Hollywood. Mr. Stevens had a big grin on his face. "Hey, Rick, I got a new job for you.
You just got an offer to teach at a wife swappers club!"
Well, to be specific, it was Mr.
Stevens who had gotten the offer. But he didn't want
it so he passed it over to me. I bit my lip nervously and asked him what he knew about the place. Mr. Stevens said he knew the place only by its reputation.
Then he just smiled. He said
the man who owned the place - I think his name was Bernard but I might be mistaken - also owned strip joints around the city as well.
To be frank, I wasn't sure this was my
cup of tea. I had no idea what I was getting myself
into. I was no prude, but I was definitely more the
monogamous type by nature. Then I reminded myself I
not only didn't have a wife, I didn't have a girlfriend
either. So what did I have to lose?
Then I remembered my cardinal rule - accept every
opportunity. Yes, that was my rule - take whatever comes.
Disco Tidal Wave as far as it would carry me. This was a good philosophy.
This is EXACTLY how I started my career.
So I swallowed up some courage. After a phone call to set up an appointment, I met with Bernard at his club after my classes that night at Stevens of Hollywood.
The place was deserted!
Apparently the club did thriving business on Fridays and Saturdays which were the prime 'Swap Nights', but
things were kind of dead during the week.
That's where I came in.
Bernard wanted Disco lessons as a way to boost attendance at the Jet Set on Thursdays. He said Thursday was one of his slow nights. Judging by attendance on this particular Thursday night, I could certainly see his point. So I agreed to come out the following week and start classes at 10:30 pm. This seemed kind of late to start a class, but it was what he wanted.
I shrugged. Oddly enough, this late slot it fit my schedule.
I would teach at Stevens from 7-10 pm, get in my car, and race over to
the Jet Set.
As I drove out there for my first lesson, I still
had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was game.
Bring it on. However as soon as I got there I lost
almost all of my courage.
After seeing a parking lot that was totally
empty on my interview, I was astonished to find the parking lot was completely full.
There was only one possible explanation.
Sure enough, inside the place was crowded from wall to wall.
Bernard was so happy
to see to me, he literally hugged me! Good grief. Then he
practically carried me into the club.
Bernard had been plugging my Disco class hard, but never expected it was
going to work. Now he was shocked himself to see this kind of a
crowd. But he had made one mistake: he said I was coming at 10 pm.
So for the past hour the crowd had been
building. And for that entire hour, one patron after another had
asked the same question: What time's the Disco teacher going to be
But Bernard didn't have my number to call for reassurance.
So he had been frantic that I might not show up!
The dance floor was a raised platform in the exact center of the room
about 1 1/2 feet off the floor. It was built in the shape of a circle and resembled a stage.
It had no railing of any kind. I was pretty nervous with so many people.
What would we do if everyone wanted to participate? There just wasn't room!
And what if somebody fell off?
Fortunately most of the guests preferred to watch. The stage was big enough to take almost everyone who wanted to participate and the rest pushed tables back to dance on the carpet.
We started out with some line dances. Everyone was so excited to dance the Hustle!
The night was a roaring success.
A crowd generates a crowd. Once the idea got around that there would be people at the Jet Set on a Thursday night, everyone had a reason to show up.
Each week attendance was very strong.
A curious thing happened to me about a month into the lessons.
One night in the restroom during a break in the lessons, one of the customers asked me if I was married. No.
He frowned. Did I have a girlfriend? No.
He frowned again. Did I have a woman of any sort, an ex-girlfriend or something?
Well, not really. This
guy was kind of desperate about something. His next question took
the cake. Did I have a female neighbor? NO!
He wasn't going to give up easy. Why was he pushing so hard?
The guy was really disappointed. Finally
he explained what the problem. It seems his wife had specifically sent him in the
restroom to set something up with me. My face turned red with embarrassment.
Then he asked if I had a sister.
NO NO NO!!!
For a moment, I thought he was going to ask
about my mother.
He was desperate to set up a 'swap' and was very frustrated I hadn't offered him any options. Good grief. Finally, he blurted out, "Well, hell, will you go home with her anyway?"
Now I really felt awkward.
I was sweating. Taken off guard, I stupidly blurted out, "When did you have in mind?"
"Tonight, of course!"
I knew who his wife was and considered her attractive, but still I turned him down.
This was just much
too weird for me. I was no prude, but if I wanted to spend a night with a woman, I preferred to be alone with her. The idea of a husband listening in another room, worse asking to watch, or much worse offering to join
in was not very appealing. So
I declined as politely as I could under the circumstances.
Well, this guy reacted like I had insulted him or something.
"My wife's not good enough for you?"
He stomped out of the bathroom in a big huff. Now
get this: The next thing I knew, Bernard asked me to come sit with him in his private booth.
He looked me in the eye and said,
"Rick, there are some pretty serious rumors flying around the club tonight. I have to know something. Are you gay?"
What!? First I said "no", then
I asked Bernard what had brought this on.
However it wasn't hard to guess.
Apparently my restroom buddy had never had his wife turned down before!!
It infuriated him that some kid didn't want to sleep with his wife… or maybe it infuriated her and she made her husband miserable in turn.
Who knows? But in retaliation he spread it around the club that I was gay.
The message spread like wildfire. Word quickly had gotten to Bernard.
Apparently this club was supremely homophobic.
Now Bernard looked me even closer in the eye. Maybe
he was remembering our hug and wondering what he had been thinking.
All right, hold on to your seats. He asked if I would mind going home that night with one of the waitresses to prove I wasn't gay!!
He actually pointed to a particular woman across the room.
I glanced at her. She was pretty hot. No question about it.
But this was just way too weird.
I didn't know what to say. I was speechless. I just stared at this man incredulously. I was a babe in the woods compared to the people in this joint.
I knew they played in a different league with rules I could only guess at, but this
was so far out of my realm of experience I had nothing to fall back on.
Bernard's suggestion was so bizarre nothing in my previous experience had ever prepared me to deal with it.
Fortunately, I didn't need this job. I had not only
one, but two jobs at this point. So I got up on my high horse.
"Bernard, let me tell you again. I am not gay. You have nothing to worry about.
But I'll be damned if I am going to sleep with your waitress just to keep this job."
This wasn't easy for me. I was 28 years old, but
I was still the youngest person in the entire club.
Bernard was probably 50.
I wasn't used to
confrontation with authority figures so I was shaking like a leaf.
Bernard looked at me carefully for a while, then said, "Okay. I was just testing you. See you next week?"
Rolling my eyes, I assured him I would be back.
My guess is if I hadn't been making money for him, this story would have
had a different ending. But I kept my job.
Attendance was definitely off the next week, but by the week after that, everyone was back again. Apparently Bernard must have stood up for me despite my unwillingness to prove my 'manhood'.
Looking back, it took more 'manhood' to stand up to this man than it did to score with some anonymous waitress who was probably more used to being bullied than I had been.
Invasion of the Nice Girls
After a couple months, I had
begun telling some of my friends at Stevens of Hollywood about this place. A bunch of them were really curious. I had told them about the raised stage and how dark the place was. I told them about the hidden booths along the back wall where the couples could mingle out of sight.
Practically no one in the place ever sat alone. There would be four, six, eight people at each table or booth. And I might add there were always plenty of hands groping in private places where they didn't belong in public. The couples would build up some interest before driving off to someone's home for the exchange… it shocked me at first, but then I got used to it.
Don't forget this was the 70s. There were fewer medical risks in those days plus more social acceptance than at any other time in history. Added to the mix were the suggestive Disco lyrics - 'Push Push in the Bush', 'Freak Out', 'Love to Love You, Baby', 'Shake your Booty', 'Shake your Groove Thing', 'I'm your Love Machine', and so on.
For some people, the Seventies marked an entire
decade of decadence.
So now the imaginations of my friends were running wild
- especially the men. They figured the place was a non-stop orgy.
My friends asked if they could join me for my lessons. I told them I couldn't see why not. So now we had a bunch of Disco dancers showing up on Thursdays as well. This group of a dozen people was having a marvelous time. They picked the perfect night for their first visit.
One of Bernard's strippers from another of his clubs was in attendance for my Disco lesson.
She got a little drunk and took her top off.
All of us dropped our jaws in amazement to stare at her awesome body.
Sadly, one of the bartenders ran out as fast as possible with some 'pasties' to make her legit in the eyes of the law.
My guess was this was not the first time this had happened.
I asked the DJ for
the inside scoop. He confirmed it was quite common on the wild Saturday nights for women to dance topless here at the club.
At this point, my tagalong friends were in love with
this place. Naked women! Bad girls everywhere! They were taking a true walk on the edge of
sin. Plus they had
each other for protection so they felt secure. And fantasize they
The problem was that they had big mouths.
REALLY BIG MOUTHS. They went back and told more people at the studio about their wild adventure.
They were so proud of themselves for risking
their lives at the Jet Set Club with their fearless leader Rick!
Listening to their tales were three teenage girls from Saint Agnes, a Catholic girl's school.
They had been taking Disco lessons in one of my group classes that summer before heading off to college in the Fall.
One of the three, Veronica, was the biggest headache of my life.
Veronica would soon be a freshman at St. Thomas University here in Houston.
At 18 Veronica was a sheltered kid with a
grown woman's figure.
And she had a big crush on me.
Veronica wanted us to date and made her wishes obvious.
I wasn't completely against the idea either. She was smart and she was beautiful.
Unfortunately at 28 I felt much too old for her.
Gosh, was she pretty! If she had only been a few years older...
Veronica was old enough for me to date, I was unable to shake free of my conscience despite a lot of inner discussions over the matter.
As far as I was concerned, she was
a nice girl and I felt protective.
Veronica wasn't so sure she wanted
to be a nice girl any more. She had decided she was
old enough to move up in rank and figured I was the right
guy for the job. She knew about my mixed feelings and was determined to persuade me otherwise.
I was in my twenties with all the raging lust that comes
with the age. When a beautiful woman comes knocking, a
man's walls of resistance erode swiftly. Lead me not
into temptation; I can find it all by myself. Now you
know why Veronica was a major headache. I very much
wanted to date her, but I still didn't think it was right.
As I write the story twenty years later, there's
no question I did the right thing by resisting her, but I also remember
that the temptation nearly drove me nuts. No, I was not gay.
Not even hardly. I had sleepless nights thinking about Veronica.
In fact, as I type the story today, my fingers are trembling even now as
I reminisce about the struggle. She really got under my skin.
This conscience stuff is difficult!
The moment Veronica overheard the whispers about the Jet Set Club,
she was all ears. Without my knowing what was going on, Veronica talked her two girlfriends into a wild night at the
"Wife Swap Club" as my
buddies called it. Sure enough, one Thursday night I walked into the club and there
the teenage threesome sat with some other people from the studio ready for their lesson!
Thanks to big mouths, I had my three teenagers from a Catholic girl's school at the Wife Swappers Club.
Let me add that all three of these girls were very pretty.
Out on that stage, every dirty old man in the place suddenly got interested in my Disco lesson that night!!
Now mind you a lot of the patrons were your everyday model citizens who just wanted a little meat on the side, but at least they were fairly discrete about it.
However some of the regulars made my skin crawl. Every time I saw one of the girls with one of the perverts, I would quickly do the move and yell, "Change partners!"
It didn't help. One of the men decided to grab a generous portion of Veronica's butt on a dance pattern with both hands as she gyrated in front of him. She actually let out an audible yell!
I don't think anything ever prepares you to be publicly molested in such a gross way.
In a huff, Veronica sat down while the man just laughed at her.
It wasn't a pretty sight.
But in a way, things worked out for the best. The
three girls quickly left the premises
before the strippers could show up or someone came offering their wives
in exchange for the three girls.
That was the first and last time for the three girls at the Jet Set. I might add this
also solved my problem with Veronica. Somehow deep in her mind I got blamed for the creep's indiscretion - sort of guilt by association - and Veronica's ardor cooled considerably. I suppose I was relieved that Veronica backed off, but I was reminded that the Lord sometimes works in
very mysterious ways.
The Night of Terror!!
The Jet Set was always a dark place. It was very hard to see. This of course was intentional. They had some extra lighting for the stage which they used for the lessons, but would turn them off whenever the music was played. The Swingers loved acrobatic steps - it was sort of Disco meets Dirty Dancing in their minds. The men would freely touch women in inappropriate places from time to time.
Unlike Veronica, the women didn't seem to mind.
I was teaching a move called the 'Death Drop'. In this move the man
suspends the woman in mid-air by holding her hands high. She bends at the knees and falls backwards, only to be stopped
at the end of her arms by the man holding her hands. When the move is done right, the woman's body is supported by her feet at one end while she hangs from her arms at the other end. Her head is very close to the floor while one leg kicks up in the air. It is not a particularly dangerous move except when the man is drunk…
Teaching at the Jet Set was always difficult because a lot of people did drink. And people who had been drinking didn't pay very good attention.
Mostly they became noisy and
tried to be the center of attention.
Everybody was a comedian.
I soon gave up teaching any really complicated moves because the concentration level was just too poor.
On the night in question we had just mastered the 'Death Drop' move.
Maybe 'master' isn't the right word here, but we had gotten as close as
we were going to get under the circumstances. I had ten couples up on
the stage for our Disco lesson. This meant the floor was extremely
crowded, especially for an acrobatic move. Nevertheless they wanted to
practice to music. The DJ would play the music at half volume so I could
call out directions over the music. But as usual he turned off the Stage
Lights, plunging us into gloom. Only people at the ringside seats could
really see us in this light.
For safety purposes, I had half my couples
do the move while the other half stood on the edge of the stage.
This allowed enough room for the women to fall backwards without
catching a knee in the back of their head or something equally
Five men dropped their partners backwards. Suddenly the bar was rocked with a blood-curdling scream that made the 'Psycho' scream sound tame.
'I'm Blind!!! I'm Blind!!! Oh my God, I'm blind!!!'.
In the darkness with the music playing, no one could figure out where the screaming was coming from. Everyone was looking everywhere but the screaming continued. And it was scary too because the place was so dark - the DJ had his headset on and didn't hear the call for lights.
There were a lot of frantic people scurrying around as if someone had just been stabbed with a knife!
Fear was everywhere! Her screaming was causing pandemonium! People were actually running out the front door!
I was scared too! The screaming seemed to be coming from someone
right next to me. I noticed one woman on the floor whose face had
I had a hunch I knew what the problem was.
The woman's face had gotten caught under
another women's dress and she was too drunk too understand
what had happened!
(Note: the picture is NOT the actual move, but it should
give you a rough idea of what actually happened.)
I suppose when
the man had dropped
his partner backwards, her face had fallen under another woman's floor-length black dress.
The 'blind woman' was
completely drunk. She had panicked to
being plunged into total darkness and began to scream.
Her partner didn't help things either. He was so drunk he didn't even
realize it was his own partner that was screaming!
Even worse, he left her hanging there with the stupid dress on top of
her face while he scanned the club for danger! Here she is
screaming bloody murder and he doesn't even bring her up!
I dropped to my knees and pulled the dress off of the woman's face. Once her sight was restored, she stopped screaming. By this time the DJ had figured out something was wrong and had turned the lights back on. Order was restored immediately as people realized it wasn't the Texas Chainsaw Massacre after all.
Now the place started to roar! This was apparently the funniest thing that had ever happened. The whole club erupted in laughter that never seemed to stop.
Jokes about the Headless Dancer and how Disco Dancing
can make you blind passed around the room. The embarrassed man and woman crawled off the stage in search of a secluded booth. They were both crimson red at the unwanted attention.
When they thought no one was looking and they were
sober enough to walk, they left never to return
Sex and the Jet Set Club
Although I spent time at a club where
people openly swapped spouses, I stayed on the sidelines.
After I turned down that one husband in the restroom, I no
longer received any offers to do any swapping. I didn't
have much to swap for one thing and my reputation as a player
had taken a serious hit as well. Half the club still
suspected I was gay.
Nevertheless I did end up dating two women I met at the Jet Set.
Karen was married to one of the regulars at the Jet Set.
Karen was an incredible dark-haired beauty. If memory
serves, she approached me about going out together. Just
to be on the safe side, I took her husband aside and checked it
out with him first. To my shock, the two of them had
already discussed it. Karen had his complete permission to
Unlike Veronica, Karen was my age so I decided she was fair
game. If anything, she knew what she was doing far more
than I did. I saw her on two different occasions.
However I decided to break it off when I realized I was
developing feelings for her. This 'sharing' stuff didn't
come easy for me. She said she understood. Truth be
known, she was having the same problem. It was better to
break it off.
I also dated a girl named Nancy. To
this day, I would have to say Nancy is easily the prettiest girl
I have ever dated. She was also a sweet girl.
Despite her looks, she was quiet and modest. A
dark-haired, brown eyed Hispanic girl, Nancy was a real joy to
behold. One night I took her dancing to élan,
an expensive Disco in the Galleria area. I swear to the
Universe that she almost broke men's necks as she walked by...
they would spot Nancy and swivel their heads so fast it was
I have never in my life seen a woman
stared at as much as Nancy was that evening. At least a
half dozen men sat by themselves in our area watching our every
move all night long. I assumed they were hoping I would
give them some kind of an opening to approach her. Nancy
was that kind of pretty.
I doubt that Nancy was married although
she may been. All I know is she started showing up for my
dance lessons at the Jet Set by herself and I couldn't take my
eyes off of her. I never knew much about her personal life
other than she was seeing another man named Steve in addition to
me. I have no idea what her story was. My fantasies
ran the spectrum from model to high-priced call girl. I
decided it was better not to pry.
Nancy presented a real problem for me. She was so
beautiful I was falling in love fast. I could not be
around her and not have intense feelings. But I knew
instinctively that I wasn't the right guy for her. So my
brain said forget about it, but my heart said yes yes yes.
Ultimately I could not bear sharing her with another man.
I just knew I was going to get in over my head so I broke it off
with her as well.
To do this day I do not understand how
people can share spouses.
My experiences with Karen and Nancy taught me first-hand that I
was psychologically incapable of "sharing". Maybe there is
a gene mutation that allows people to do it, but I am
old-fashioned and there doesn't seem to be much I can do about
I will say thank you to the Jet Set for helping me learn this
lesson in a way where I didn't hurt other people in the process.
But unfortunately I failed to learn my lesson completely.
To this day, the worst mistake I have ever made in my life was
dating a married woman I met at the dance studio later this same
year. You can read that story in
Isn't it a shame that the Cosmos tried to teach me a lesson in a
delicate way, but I was too stupid to learn it the first time?
So I ended up causing a boatload of heartache and trouble simply
because I couldn't figure it out the first time.
Life is never easy.
Love never lasts.
We must carry on.
Keep our feet moving fast.
Not long after I broke up with Nancy I stopped teaching at the Jet Set.
I estimate I had been there for about six
months. At this point, I had run out of new material to teach because everything had to be
kept so simple. My friends had stopped coming because I wasn't teaching
anything new and the regulars from the Jet Set started to drop off for
the same reason. I was tired of yelling over the noisy crowd, I was tired of the constant smart-aleck remarks, and I was not having fun any more.
But mostly I didn't want to run into Nancy.
She continued to take my breath away. I just couldn't bear to
be around her. Plus I could tell that she still liked me.
But Nancy and I were from two different worlds. If I was the
trophy wife kind of guy, well maybe, but that's not me. I just
couldn't see it working in the long run.
I never quite managed to fit in either
at the Jet Set. I learned first hand the true meaning of 'consenting adults'. This was their life-style and I didn't think it was my place to condemn what was going on since I had never walked in their shoes so to speak. However privately I always felt vaguely uncomfortable because it
was so easy to fear that which I didn't understand.
I had no regrets for the time I spent at the Jet Set and I had no regrets when I left.
It was definitely an interesting stop along the way.
As the Grateful Dead would say, what a long, strange trip it's been!