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Chapter 23: Living in the Material World...  the lull before the storm

 

 


DESTINY


CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE:
LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD

Written by Rick Archer
 

 


SUBCHAPTER 90
- REFLECTION

 

I was certain the strange connection between Vicky and myself had not been an accident.  I was absolutely convinced the Unseen World had sent me to Vicky's side in the exact same way the Unseen World had once sent Mrs. Ballantyne to my side.  The Sťance incident became Supernatural Event #15 on my List with a Five Star rating, the maximum.  This evening had been weird beyond weird in so many different ways. 

For one thing, I had gotten my wish answered.  Realizing my considerable debt to Mrs. Ballantyne, I had recently asked for a chance to one day 'Pay it Forward.'  To my surprise, my wish had been granted almost immediately. 

There was a clear parallel between the two incidents.  Mrs. Ballantyne had been shocked to discover she was talking to a boy who had a background nearly identical to her own.  Then she turned around and rescued me from despair. 

Now the same thing had happened to me in reverse.  What were the odds I would meet a young girl who walked a path so strikingly similar to my own unusual childhood?  And why was Vicky so powerfully drawn to me?  The moment I saw what a lost soul Vicky was, my heart had gone out to her.  I had always wondered why Mrs. Ballantyne had given so much of her time to me back in that Weingarten's parking lot.  Now I had my answer. 

Thank goodness I had found the same empathy within me for Vicky that Mrs. Ballantyne once felt.  I saw myself in Vicky and wanted to help.  Talking to Vicky like I did was the first truly decent thing I had ever done for someone else.  Thanks to that strangest of nights, I could not help but think I had played a brief but critical role in Vicky's life in much the same way as Mrs. Ballantyne had done for me.

However, I am forced to admit I badly dropped the ball after that.  I never saw Vicky again.  Although I had done a good job of encouraging Vicky on Sťance Night, afterwards I deliberately avoided the girl due to the terrible specter of death surrounding her mother.  That summer I worked at Uncle Dick's data processing center in Arlington, Virginia.  I spent the entire summer kicking myself for running away from Vicky.  When I returned to Hopkins to start my Junior year, it was too late.  My visit to the Quaker Meeting confirmed that Vicky's mother had died. I also learned that Vicky had moved to Canada to live with her distant relatives.  What an ordeal this girl had faced... alone.  To this day, I regret my unwillingness to check on Vicky again. 

The main outcome of Sťance Night was the development of my social conscience.  My experience with Vicky had elevated me.  I had finally learned the value of caring about someone else for a change.  After reading about the thousands of lives that Edgar Cayce had touched, I now realized I wished to help other people as well.  The time had come to quit feeling sorry for myself all the time and begin to find ways to contribute.  By chance, on the same morning I learned that Vicky had left Baltimore, I discovered there was a day care center at the Quaker Meeting.  On the spot, I volunteered to help one afternoon a week.  It was a start. 

 


SUBCHAPTER 91
- TERRY

 

The 1970 Sťance incident involving Terry was the only paranormal experience of my life.  Unfortunately, since I have no psychic ability of my own, I have no way of knowing what really happened that night.  Whether I was visited by the actual ghost of my dog I cannot be sure.  In the darkness, I saw and heard nothing.  I felt nothing but cold air.

All I can say is that the incident unfolded exactly as I have written.  Something highly out of the ordinary took place; that much I am sure of.  Either Terry really did appear or Vicky read my mind and used the information to make up a terrible fib.  Since I do not believe Vicky had any reason to trick me, I believe I was visited by the ghost of my dog. 

Although I do not possess the power to confirm the existence of an afterlife, the Sťance experience gave me a firm reason to consider an Unseen World really does exist.  

I continued my Magical Mystery Tour reading project throughout my Junior year.

To my delight, I read where Edgar Cayce confirmed the existence of animal souls.  Cayce said there is a phenomenon known as 'soul progression' where humans evolve through many incarnations.  Cayce said the same thing is true for animals.  Cayce added that close contact with humans will dramatically accelerate an animal's progress. 

If that was the case, then Terry had definitely earned his stripes by taking care of me.  Wouldn't it be nice if Edgar Cayce was right?  I would be so grateful to know that my years spent with Terry helped fast-track my beloved dog down his own spiritual path. 

Lord knows Terry was not only incredibly smart, Terry had a loyalty within him that was profound.  For the nine roughest years of my life, Terry was my constant companion.  I would have never made it without him.  Terry was such a special dog, the very best.  I firmly believe Terry was put on this earth to take care of me.  I owe Terry so much.

 


SUBCHAPTER 92
- GOOD LUCK BAD LUCK

 

It was January 1945.  The Battle of the Bulge was the last major German offensive campaign during World War II.  It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region in eastern Belgium towards the end of the war.  The surprise attack in the dead of winter caught the Allied forces completely off guard.  American forces bore the brunt of the attack.  With their defenses down, they incurred their highest casualties of the war.

My father's unit of fresh recruits was quickly dispatched to reinforce the beleaguered Allied forces.  My father had only been in Belgium for a couple weeks when he was told to join a patrol sent through the deep snow of the Ardennes forest. 

 

As my father's unit made its way through the thick snow of this winter wonderland, a shot rang out from a thicket of trees.

The bullet hit my father in his right hip just barely above the leg. 

Instantly my father was knocked off his feet.  He fell to the ground writhing in pain.  Unable to walk, he summoned every ounce of will to crawl towards a nearby log for protection. 

It was a good thing Dad moved because another shot whizzed right past him.  The sniper was trying to finish the job. 

 

The sniper did not get another shot off because my father's comrades began to retaliate.  They inundated the spot where the shot had come from with a hail of bullets.  Then they carefully explored the area to find the sniper.  All they found was packed snow and two empty shells behind a tree. 

My father couldn't walk, so they carried him back to camp.  The pain was overwhelming.  It took everything my father had in him not to scream.  Seeing his agony, every man in the unit made sure to express their sympathy and encouragement as they carried him back to camp.   

Now in the hospital, Dad was in tremendous pain for days on end.  Even when the pain finally subsided, Dad was unable to get out of bed without a wheel chair for four months.  He walked using a crutch for a year.

So I have a question.  Was this Bad Luck?  Or was it Good Luck?   What do you think?

 


There was a old farmer in the remote Taihang mountains of China
who used a horse to till his fields.  Considering how rocky the soil was, this was an arduous task.

One day, the horse escaped into the hills.  Now the farmer had no way to till the field.  When the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer shrugged. 

He replied, "Bad luck?  Good luck?  Who knows?"

A week later, the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills.  The farmer put them all in a corral.  This time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck.  

He replied, "Good luck?  Bad luck?  Who knows?"

Soon after, the farmer's son attempted to tame one of the wild horses.  The mustang reared up and threw the boy off its back.  The boy hit the ground hard and broke his leg.  As the boy screamed in pain, everyone agreed this was very bad luck.  Now the old man had no one to help him. 

The old farmer wasn't so sure.  With his whimsical smile, as usual the farmer's only reaction was, "Bad luck?  Good luck?  Who knows?"

Some weeks later, there was a Mongol invasion.  The local army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they could find.  When they saw the farmer's son was unable to walk on his badly broken leg, they didn't give him a second glance.  In the Chinese army, everyone had to march. 
The boy was left behind. 

Good luck or bad luck?  Who can say?

 

In my father's case, Dad told me without hesitation that this injury was the luckiest break of his life.  Why?  Because it got him out of the war with his life, body, and pride intact.  My father's next stop would be college care of Uncle Sam. 

Many of Dad's friends in the unit weren't quite so fortunate.  Their next stop was a snow-covered grave in the Ardennes forest.

 


SUBCHAPTER 93
- GOOD LUCK

 

It was March 1971.  Here in the second half of my Junior year at Hopkins, I was studying in the Hutzler Reading Room.  It was late in the afternoon and pretty soon I would be heading to the gym for basketball.

I was tired of studying.  Taking a break, I sat back and reminded myself I had no job lined up for the summer.  I asked myself what sort of job I would like.  After daydreaming for a moment, an unusual idea crossed my mind.

Wouldn't it be cool to be a camp counselor?  

A big smile crossed my face.  Very cool indeed.

I had spent my entire life inside the protective walls of Johns Hopkins and St. John's.  Wouldn't it be great to get outdoors for a change?  Canoes, swimming, archery, softball, basketball, volleyball, nature hikes, practical jokes, marshmallows, campfires, singing, and, best of all, ghost stories. 

The very thought of it all had me smiling, so I continued to daydream.

 

Where would I like to go to be a camp counselor?  Well, Colorado, of course.  Now that was a fun thought.  I had visited Colorado several times as a boy with the Clark family and went absolutely nuts over the magnificent mountains.  To me, Colorado was the most beautiful place on earth.

Camp counselor... what an odd thought.  I had never thought of being a camp counselor in my life.  To begin with, I had never been to a summer camp.  Nor had the idea ever been discussed in my home.  There was barely enough money to pay the bills, so entertaining frivolous thoughts such as European vacations or Rocky Mountain ski trips was an exercise in futility.  Therefore I was not at all prone to fanciful thinking.  This explains why I became so curious to know where this odd idea had come from.  It seemed like the idea had just popped into my head out of nowhere. 

Had this thought occurred prior to last year's Magical Mystery Tour, I would have dismissed it as an idle thought.  However, ever since those 14 young men in my 'Philosophy of Religion' class had dismissed my Yogananda-Edgar Cayce 'Hidden World' inspiration as complete hogwash, I was bound and determined to look for evidence to support my belief system.  Since the absolute randomness of the counselor idea made it stand out, I gave it serious scrutiny.  We have a saying... 'out of thin air'.  I can assert without hesitation the thought of being a camp counselor had never occurred in my life.  Therefore I wondered if someone had put the idea in my head. 

To be honest, I have no idea where original thoughts really come from.  That said, I had the impression the counselor thought was either sent telepathically from beyond or perhaps it originated from my Higher Self.   As further events unfolded, that impression was strongly reinforced. 

My mind began to evaluate whether the idea was realistic or not.  As I rolled this unusual idea around, I agreed it sounded like fun, but my practical side dismissed it as absurd.  How silly to even imagine.  What were the chances of finding a job like that?

For one thing, there wasn't much time left.  This was March.  Summer was just around the corner.  Furthermore, I had absolutely no idea where to even begin looking.  Since I had never been to summer camp, I did not know the name or location of a single place.  Nor did I know anyone who had ever been to a summer camp.  I did not have the slightest idea how to go about applying. 

I imagined with some research, I could come up with the addresses of several camps in the Maryland area.  But why bother?  Even if I went to the trouble of sending a letter to a total stranger, why would they hire me?  I had no connections and no one to recommend me.  Furthermore, what exactly did I have to offer that made me special?  I knew nothing about being a camp counselor.

My practical side suggested that most camp counselors were chosen in-house.  In other words, any college student who had previously attended a particular summer camp as a teenager would have the inside track.  If they had made a good impression as a camp kid, they would surely be the first person asked to return in the counselor role. 

I shrugged.  Oh well.  My camp counselor idea was a nice fantasy, but far-fetched at best.  It seemed like a complete waste of time to give it another thought, so I got up and headed over to play basketball.  The entire idea was soon forgotten.

Two weeks passed. 

Homewood Friends Meeting where I visited on Sundays had a day care center.  Back in September I had felt very guilty for deserting Vicky last summer.  The thought that I had forced her to face her mother's death alone weighed heavy on my conscience.  Looking for a way to atone for my cowardice, helping out with this day care center seemed like a good idea.  Normally pick-up basketball was my afternoon activity, but I was doing this volunteer work on a part-time basis as a new way to snap myself out of my constant loneliness.

I liked playing with the kids and it was a fun thing to do one afternoon a week.  One day I was playing with Eric, age 4, my favorite kid.  I made a point to seek Eric out whenever I was there.   Great kid, all boy.  I loved to chase Eric through the elevated playhouse, across the hanging wood bridge and through the tunnel, etc.  I could be a great monster when given the chance, but today was special.  It was springtime and I was in rare form. 

"Grr, grr, I'm gonna get you, Eric, and when I get you, I'm gonna sit on you!!"

Eric squealed with delight as I lumbered after him, growling the whole time how I wanted to catch him and sit on him.  Eric and I had a standing joke that monsters were so stupid they thought 'babysitting' meant sitting on the baby.

We were right in the middle of monster mania when Eric's mother arrived.  When Jennifer called out to her son that it was time to go, Eric immediately began to protest.  "I don't want to go, Mommy.  I want to stay here and play monster with Rick!"

Jennifer laughed.  Eric's protest was a part of our little game.  The three of us went through this ritual practically every time Jennifer appeared.

Today I noticed Jennifer had a lady friend with her.  The woman was about 30, a couple years older than Jennifer.  Lonely as always, I could not help but notice that this lady was very pretty.  I sighed appreciatively and wished for the millionth time that Hopkins had coeds.  Then I blushed when I realized this new lady had been watching our game of monsters.  Good grief.  She must think I was the silliest boy on earth. 

As Eric hugged his mother's waist, Jennifer noticed my appreciative gaze at the new lady.  Jennifer decided to make an introduction.  

"Rick, this is my sister Mary Colvig.  She is visiting me here in Baltimore for a couple days."

I smiled.  I introduced myself and we shook hands. 

"Welcome to Baltimore!  Where are you from, Mary?"

"Colorado."

My eyes quickly furrowed.  Colorado?   I instantly had goose bumps as my mind recalled that weird thought from two weeks ago. 

"That's interesting.  When I was a boy, I visited Colorado on four different summers with the Clarks, a family I am close to.  I absolutely love Colorado.  In fact, I was thinking of applying to graduate school in Colorado.  What do you do in Colorado?"

"My husband Craig and I run a summer camp in Durango."

My eyes widened and my heart skipped a beat.  No way... but I had to ask. 

"No kidding?  Gee, that's an odd coincidence.  I was thinking of working as a camp counselor this summer.  I've been to Durango and I love that area.  Do you have any openings?"

Awaiting her answer, I stopped breathing.  Was I dreaming?  Tell me this is not happening.

"Why, yes, by chance we do!  But we are leaving town tomorrow.  Can you come over to Jennifer's house tonight and speak to my husband Craig while we're still in Baltimore?"

 

Before I could answer, Jennifer spoke up. 

"Oh, Mary, I think Rick would be a terrific counselor.  He loves kids and the kids here at the day school adore him.  Just look at Eric; Eric goes nuts over him."

At this comment, Mary broke into broad smile.  She knew what Jennifer was up to, but didn't mind a bit.  If anything, Mary appreciated hearing her sister's ringing endorsement.

So did I.  Wow!  Nice timing on the compliment.  I smiled at Jennifer and whispered a discreet 'Thank you very much!

I talked with Mary's husband Craig that night.  He liked me and, boom, just like that, I got the job.  I would spend my entire summer working at their camp in Durango, Colorado. 

What an amazing coincidence!  In fact, it was such an improbable break to see my afternoon daydream come true, I listed it as Supernatural Event #16, Four Star Rating. 

This had been an unusual stroke of good luck.  I never even had to lift a finger.  Instead the job had appeared out of nowhere.    Wouldn't it be nice if everything in life was this easy?? 

 


SUBCHAPTER 94
- bad LUCK

 

Well, maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it's the time of man
I don't know who l am
But you know life is for learning.

-- Woodstock, Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell said Life is for learning.  My favorite book Autobiography of a Yogi said the same thing, adding that Reincarnation is part of the game.  Through all our ups and downs, Hindu philosophy indicates we are here to learn something whether we like it or not

I assumed this unexpected summer camp counselor job was Good Luck in its purest form.  I can't even begin to describe how excited I was to get that job.  What a wonderful lucky break!!  Or so I thought. 

But guess what?  That job made me absolutely miserable!!

I learned some very bitter lessons that summer.  My problems started the moment I got there.  To my surprise, I discovered I was the only outsider.  The other 20 counselors were all from a nearby agricultural college.  Since most of them already knew each other, they were a very tight-knit group.  While I spent my time writing philosophy papers and contemplating God's will, these counselors were agriculture and veterinary majors who were learning how to make a living in this environment.  They were all life-long Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who knew how to ride horses and take care themselves in the Colorado wilderness.

On the other hand, I was an introverted philosophy major from an elite Eastern university who suddenly found himself placed in the Land of the Future Farmers of America.  I could not have possibly been more different.  While I spent the majority of my time questioning the meaning of life, I doubt seriously these young men and women spent much time in metaphysical contemplation.  Consequently I had no idea how to relate to the people of this world.  Although I had the sense to keep my unusual ideas to myself, these Colorado college kids still had a funny vibe about me.  I was different, I stuck out. 

 

The nail which sticks out the furthest is invariably the one that gets pounded the hardest.  There were three young men in particular who picked on me unmercifully.  Jack was their ringleader.  He was a mean-spirited malcontent looking for someone to bully.  Once he discovered that I was 'different', this jerk thought it was his duty to remind me every chance he got that I didn't belong here.  Since I was such a greenhorn, I was easy pickings.  As the teasing became meaner through my three month stay, I found myself at a loss.  Confrontation was not something I handled very well.  I did not have a clue how to cope other than retreat into sullen silence and depression. 

As the only city slicker in the bunch, I was completely out of my element.  My ignorance of the Great Outdoors showed up in all sorts of embarrassing ways.  I cannot even begin to share the fear I felt when Jack dared me to get on a horse.  I had never been on a horse in my life.  When that horse took off at full gallop, I was sure it was curtains for me.  While I hung on for dear life, the other counselors thought that was hysterical.  Thanks, guys, I could have been hurt.  Not that they cared.

There was one development that completely blew my mind.  I was so indoctrinated into my Hopkins world without females, the presence of female camp counselors had not even occurred to me beforehand.  And guess what?  The two prettiest counselors thought I was cute. 

In the first week of camp, Patricia invited me to join her for a long walk in the woods.  She even brought some pot along, but I turned it down.  You see, I was so locked into becoming a spiritual person, I did not touch drugs or alcohol.  Meanwhile, Patricia was high as a kite and ready for action.  I never made a move.

A couple days later, Nancy asked me to go for walk.  I really liked Nancy.  She exuded warmth and kindness.  I was alone in the woods with a girl I really liked... and did I take advantage of the situation?  No. 

Nancy was a born listener.  I was so angry at those three young men for picking on me that I spent the entire walk complaining about them.  No doubt the entire time Nancy was hoping I would shut up and do something bold like hold her hand.  I never made a move.

Both girls gave up on me.  Do you blame them?  To my dismay, they found themselves agreeing with the male counselors that I was weird.  There was something wrong with me.  To my dismay, I realized they were right.  Ever since Emily broke my heart in my Freshman year, two and a half years had passed without a date.  I had been able to hide from this fact at Hopkins, but not here.  At Colvig Camps, my fear of women was painfully exposed.

Those nine years being the underdog at St. John's combined with my dating problems at Hopkins had left mental scars that were tough to overcome.   Of course I blamed my problems on my acne scars.  But now things were worse.  The interest of Nancy and Patricia had challenged my mindset that my facial scars were holding me back.  Since both girls had asked me to take them for a walk, obviously they found me attractive at first. 

Therefore when Nancy and Patricia rejected me, it had nothing to do with my looks, but rather how I treated them.  This was a crushing blow.  I had no idea how to be a friend to these young women.  This served as a painful reminder of how unbelievably clueless I was around girls my age. 

I felt so bitter.  By the time summer was over, I felt just as ostracized by the Aggies at this camp as I had ever felt snubbed by the Preppies at St. John's.  I wanted to be accepted, but that wasn't going to happen.

In other words, my Good Luck to land this unexpected dream job had turned into Bad Luck that exposed glaring weaknesses in my social skills.  This job was a really bad break!  Or was it?  Joni Mitchell would say Life is for Learning.  Whether I liked it or not, I had been given valuable insights into specific areas where I needed to improve. 

Fortunately the summer was not a total loss.  Rejected by my peers, I poured my energy into the kids.  My popularity with the kids was a mystery to those counselors who wrote me off as a loser.  So how did this happen?

Well, answer this question... what kind of kids go to summer camp?  

Rich kids.  Who else has parents who can afford a ritzy place like this? 

And which camp counselor had NINE YEARS of experience being around rich kids?  Now you're catching on.  By a twist of fate, my time at St. John's allowed me to relate effortlessly to the kids at camp.  While many of the other male counselors were flat-footed when it came to relating to the Junior Preppies, I had a direct pipeline to what made them tick.  

In addition, I was still a kid at heart.  I was going to my first summer camp and I wore my enthusiasm on my sleeve.  To deal with the rejection of my peers, I contented myself by having all kinds of fun with the boys in my cabin.  I became the best older brother ever.  Sometimes we went on long mountain climbs.  Other times we played hide and seek or blind man's bluff.  Each night I would read ghost stories to the boys and scare them silly.

Even my background with mythology came in handy.  At the big camp-wide 'Capture the Flag' contest, all the kids and counselors were divided into two teams.  The older boys from my cabin nominated me as Captain.  Good move.  I had the nerve to use strategy.  Recalling the sacking of Troy, I devised a wicked plan.  First I made my own guys the captains of three different units and told them to sneak up from behind and wait.

Then I chose three girls who were born attention-getters to be my Trojan Horse.  The girls followed my orders beautifully.  They pretended to sneak up from the front.   They were so bad at it, they were immediately caught. 

These three girls had way too much fun with this.  They cried and wailed and complained and begged be let go.  I could hear them all the way on the other side of the camp.  They made such a fuss over getting caught, every boy on the other team tried to cheer them up over the shame of being caught.  Meanwhile every girl on the other team watched in disgust. 

The camp counselors should have known better.  They fell for it too.  They laughed hysterically at the 'stupidity' of the decoy girls who thought they could walk right in and steal the flag.  The distraction worked to perfection.  The other team was so busy obsessing over this exciting capture that the guards completely ignored the three attack groups sweeping in from different directions to grab the flag.  The kids called me their 'Fearless Leader'. 

I wasn't done yet.  For the big campfire songfest, I taught the older boys the words to The Last Kiss, a corny song about a guy who loses his girlfriend in a car crash.  On the surface, this was a really sad song.  However, I showed the boys how play the song for laughs.  During rehearsal, the boys had so much fun wailing for their lost love that I told them they were naturals.

So here comes the big campfire sing-a-long.  I groaned at some of the lame performances.  'Leaving on a Jet Plane', 'Puff the Magic Dragon', 'Jeremiah was a Bullfrog' and so on.  These songs were so syrupy I developed a case of diabetes just listening.  Then up to the stage came my five boys.

Oh where oh can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me!!
She's gone to Heaven so I gotta be good
so I can see my baby when I lee-eave uh this a world

At first the girls screamed at the boys like they were the Beatles.  I could tell the girls were screaming just to be funny.   But their enthusiasm inspired the boys to greater heights.  They hammed it up and began singing directly to the pretty teenage girls in front.  The result was electrifying.  Seeing the boys croon to them with passion and bare their hearts with painful teenage lament, those pretty girls went absolutely nuts!  The boys were so good, pretty soon the girls nearly passed out from screaming and laughing so hard.

My favorite part was watching the faces of the other counselors.  They looked at each other bewildered.  They knew this song too, but to them it was a tragic song, certainly not a song to laugh at.  They had no idea that the song could be played for satire.  Score one for cynical city slickers.

The boys in my cabin gave me undying loyalty for bestowing instant rock star popularity on them.  Seriously, the other counselors were astonished at how much the kids liked me.  They had no idea that my Prep School background was the secret of my success. 

I had discovered a secret talent for creating excitement.  As one might gather, I was receiving an early glimpse of the skills I would one day use to create my dance studio.  Despite my shortcomings, I had a good heart and wanted to do good things.  If I could just find a way to gain confidence around people my own age, I believed I had a lot to offer. 

However, my popularity backfired in a way.  Although most of the counselors simply left me alone, the three who disliked me intensified their bullying tactics.  I was unhappy much of the time because I had no idea how to handle the taunts of the bullies.  It was painful to see how socially awkward I was around my peers.  I was the least popular counselor at the same time I was the most popular counselor.  As they say, Life is for Learning. 

That is me in the far back.  Most of the counselors were okay.   Since I was 'different', they just left me alone. 

 Nevertheless, I knew my place... in back.

Nancy, Mary Colvig (owner of the camp), and Patricia.
I had a shot at these two pretty girls and blew it.

Notice my button down shirt... always the Preppie

And here are the Junior Preppies

I was so stupid I never knew girls would be here too
 

'The Last Kiss' turned these boys into Rock Stars. 
Garth, the blond kid next to me, was worshipped.

 

 


SUBCHAPTER 95
- SENIOR YEAR AT JOHNS HOPKINS

 

This had been a very strange summer.  My difficulties at Colvig Silver Camp marked a dramatic cooling to my Magical Mystery Tour

It is embarrassing to admit this, but I was a victim of my zeal to become a better person.  I wasn't 'holier than thou', but I was trying very hard to follow a spiritual path thanks to my admiration for Yogananda.  In particular, after being immersed in the Eastern concept of non-violence for the past two years, I had decided it would make me more spiritual to 'turn the other cheek' at all times.  This was not a problem at Hopkins where no one ever bothered me.  However, camp counselor Jack turned out to be the second coming of Harold, the boy who had labeled me the 'Creepy Loser Kid' back in high school.  Taunting me unmercifully at every turn, Jack really got under my skin.

I wanted to hurt Jack in the worst way.  However, I was unable to lash back due to my spiritual values.  Taunted at every turn and never retaliating, over the summer my anger mounted.  By the end, I found myself locked in my latest deep depression. 

And then the memory of those two pretty girls haunted me.  Nancy in particular had really liked me.  She was a quiet, gentle girl who was 'different' as well, although certainly not to the same extent.  She was sensitive to the feelings of others, a quality I admired.  During the initial part of our long walk in the woods, Nancy seemed very happy to be alone with me.  However, I used the opportunity to unload all my hostility towards Jack.  I complained the entire time about how Jack and his mean cronies were treating me.  Not exactly the swiftest romantic move.  Although Nancy remained my friend throughout the summer, the spark she had shown at the beginning was gone.  I spent the next three months kicking myself for throwing away a golden opportunity with this special girl.

When I returned to Hopkins for my Senior year, I felt like such a failure.  I had no idea how to cope with the three bullies, I had no idea how to relate to the other counselors, and I was a total zero with the girls.  I was disillusioned and disgusted with my well-intentioned... but misguided... decision to walk a 'Spiritual Path'.  Whatever I was doing, it wasn't working.  What my miserable summer had taught me was that I was not cut out to be a saint.  It was time I learned how to live in the Material World. 

My deflating summer as a camp counselor took the wind out of my sails.  I was so humiliated to see my spiritual path backfire that it took all the fun out of reading books on the Occult.  From this point on, I concentrated on my Hopkins studies instead.  My Senior year was about as ho-hum as it possibly could be.  There were no miracles and no problems. 

 

Since I still believed the spiritual values I had studied were important, I kept one foot in the Mystic World and one foot in the Real World.  My first step was to put my Mysticism books away and quit trying to be a spiritual goody-two-shoes.  If someone pushed me, I pushed back.  I even went back out to Goucher and dated with so-so results.  By dating three girls much younger than me, I avoided getting my feelings hurt.  However nothing really clicked.

Three times a week I drove out to Koinonia, a Christian community hidden deep in the Maryland woods.  Here I would meditate in the early morning.  Afterwards I would chat with my friend Erik, another Seeker on the Path.

Erik had done me a real favor.  Here in his Senior year, Erik had been allowed to move out to Koinonia on a full-time basis.  His sudden decision left Bill and Allan, his two roommates, needing a third roommate at the last minute.  Erik suggested that Bill and Alan ask me to take his place.  Suddenly I fould myself sharing a house with two guys my age.

This became the bright spot in my Senior year.   Although this house on the edge of town was normal in size, the expanse surrounding it was so immense that we felt like we lived on an estate.  With no other house even remotely near us, we called our house 'The Manor' and pretended we were important country gentlemen. 

 

My roommates had converted the dining room into my bedroom.  In order to get to the kitchen at 'The Manor', they had to walk through my room.  Fortunately Alan and Bill were very respectful of my space.  They kept their visits to a minimum and always remembered to knock first.  Consequently, not once was my unusual room placement an issue. 

Right now my biggest problem in life was learning how to be 'different' and fit in at the same time.  Bill and Alan were invaluable in this regard.    To my relief, Bill and Alan 'understood' me.  Thanks to Erik, they were already used to having a weird roommate.  Therefore they had no problems adjusting to my idiosyncrasies. 

One thing that helped was that both of my new roommates were in awe of my intense approach to my studies.  As we got to know each other, I noticed Alan would sometimes pass by me, then turn around and stand in the kitchen doorway to watch me study for a moment.  I didn't care; let him watch.  After a month of this, Alan decided to speak up.

"Rick, you definitely have your quirks, but your work ethic is amazing.  I think you have more determination in you than any person I have ever met.  I predict you will be very successful some day."

Bill and Alan took a shine to me.  They began to coach me on how to handle different social situations.  Since they were Jersey guys, they were sarcastic like me.  Speaking my language, they made it their project to teach me how to fake being normal.  I noted the hidden message... there was no way I would ever be normal normal, so fake normal was the best I could hope for.  Thanks, guys.

Sharing time with Bill and Alan was wonderful.  For the first in my life, I had a chance to be one of the guys.  I was beyond grateful for their help in the socialization process.  When we weren't watching basketball on TV, we talked about girls and dating over dinner.  Sometimes we would have friends over and play touch football on the huge lawn in front of our house. 

Although my Senior year spent at 'The Manor' was an idyllic time for me, I think my No Thrills Senior year did me a disservice.  I had gotten into constant trouble back at St. John's, but I breezed through college.   I graduated from Hopkins without a single incident.  I assumed this indicated that I had matured and that my problems dealing with authority at St. John's were pretty much behind me. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 


SUBCHAPTER 96
- THE MENTAL HOSPITAL

 

Alan's comment on my work ethic was one of the nicest compliments ever given to me.  Yes, I did hope to be successful someday.  Ever since my 'Susan and the Witch' awakening two years ago, I had my sights on becoming a therapist.  I very much wanted to help people.  However, my career as a graduate student would have to wait.  I was sick of school.  Although I graduated from Hopkins with honors and achieved high marks on my Graduate Record Exam, I decided to take a year off before starting Graduate School.

Be that as it may, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology.  So when I returned to Houston for a one year Interlude, the first thing I did was get a job as an attendant at a local mental hospital.  I worked at TRIMS, a State-sponsored training hospital.  I figured it would help to get some experience in my chosen field before entering graduate school.  

This turned out to be a good idea.  Now that I had left the protective ivy-covered walls of the university, I saw a side to life I never knew existed.  Recalling how lonely and unhappy I had been throughout college, I met people with problems vastly more serious than my own.  If there was one thing I learned, there are extremes within the human mind that exist far beyond my comprehension.  The following story is a perfect example.

One patient, Johnny, 15, was much younger than the rest of the patients.  He was a short, pale, non-descript kid with jet black hair.  Johnny really liked me because I was the only one remotely close to his age.  Oddly enough, I didn't see anything wrong with Johnny.  He seemed normal enough to me.  So I read his chart.  My eyes bulged at what I saw.  Johnny had gotten so wasted on drugs that he had driven on the wrong side of the freeway and killed two people in a car crash.  Later that morning I delicately asked Johnny to explain why he was here at the mental hospital.

Johnny rolled his eyes.  "My father's an attorney.  He wants to keep me out of jail, so he got me placed here before the trial to help bolster his insanity plea.  My father is convinced I can get a lighter sentence this way.  You know how that goes, if I'm insane, then I don't have to be responsible for my actions."

Good grief!  

Another patient was Letty, short for Leticia.  Letty was a short Hispanic woman, dark hair, dark-skinned, plump and very unattractive.  The poor woman walked around in a daze.  I never heard her say a word and there was nothing in her eyes.  If there was a spark of light in this woman, it was well-hidden.  To me, it was like staring at someone in a walking coma.  Typically this ward only accepted people who had a fighting chance, Johnny for example, but Letty looked like a lost cause.

I asked one of the nurses what Letty was doing here.  The nurse whispered that Letty had just given birth to her ninth child before being sent to this mental hospital.  Nine children?  Unbelievable.  But there was no law against having too many children, so why was she here?  Looking for answers, I opened her chart.  There on top of the chart was a note in giant red block letters with this warning - Do not under any circumstances allow this woman anywhere near a man!!

What on earth??

As I read further, I gasped.  Letty had given birth to nine different illegitimate children fathered by nine different men, most of whom she had met in mental hospitals or halfway houses.  Talk about rampant fertility!  Every one of those children had been taken away from Letty and become wards of the State.  Now the State of Texas wanted to forcibly tie her tubes and put Baby Mama out of commission permanently.  Letty was here at the hospital pending an upcoming insanity trial to obtain legal permission to do just that. 

After watching Letty wander around, I concluded the woman was completely and utterly out of her mind.  I wondered if she had any idea the fate that was awaiting her. Hopped up on thorazine, she was little better than a zombie.   I could not detect any sign of any mental activity.  To me, Letty was walking dead.  With that thought, I shuddered.  I could not imagine what one of Letty's children would be like.  All I knew is I sure wouldn't want to be the sucker to adopt one of them.

One week passed. 

I worked the graveyard shift, midnight till 8 am.  I made rounds every two hours to make sure everyone was in bed.  There really wasn't much to this.  If I had one problem a month, that would be more than usual.  These people were too heavily medicated to be causing much trouble. 

As I walked the halls at 4 am, I noticed talcum powder footprints on the floor.  That powder had no business being there.  Then I heard sounds.  I traced the footprints and opened the nearest door.  I froze in shock.  Stunned by the most bizarre sight I had ever witnessed, I immediately called for help. 

For some reason, I was so shocked, I forgot to turn on the lights.  In the dim light, I saw that some woman had her bare legs straight up in the air and was having sex with someone, but for some strange reason I could not who it was.  However I assumed it was Letty.  In addition, there was a line of four other half-clothed men waiting to have sex.  All four men had erections and were screaming at Johnny to hurry up.  Plus there were three women who shared the room with Letty who were going nuts with excitement at the sex show.  Noticing one woman had most of her clothes off, I assumed she was getting ready to participate as well.  Why let the buffet go to waste?  In other words, I had chanced upon a developing sex orgy.

I really don't know how to do justice to how strange this situation was.  Just use your imagination and the worst thing you can think of is probably pretty close.  In the dark, I took a step closer to see the faces of the impassioned sex partners.  Sure enough, it was Letty, but I was surprised to see her partner was little Johnny of all people.   As Letty writhed in ecstasy, Johnny was on top joyfully thrusting away.  Johnny had a huge grin on his face and was completely oblivious to my presence.   I could not imagine how Johnny had gotten in ahead of those four men.

As my eyes adjusted, I figured out why I had could not see Letty's face.  She was completely naked and covered head to toe in talcum powder.  The powder not only camouflaged her face and body in the white bed sheets, it gave Letty an unreal ghostly white appearance. 

 

For the life of me, I could not figure out what the talcum powder was for, but now Johnny was covered in it as well.  In fact, as my eyes adjusted, I could see there was talcum powder all over the room... on the floor, on the wall, on the other seven people. 

About 30 seconds had passed since my discovery.  I had not acted yet because no one had arrived to tell me what to do.  Finally I made an administrative decision and pulled Johnny off of Letty.  Johnny screamed at me. "Goddamnit, Rick, I'm a virgin!  Don't make me stop!  Ah, shit, you just ruined everything!" 

Huh, maybe this kid wasn't quite as sane as I thought he was.  However, Johnny was the least of my worries.  While my back was turned dealing with Johnny, another man had just taken a flying leap on top of Letty.  In less than a nanosecond this guy had climbed on board and entered her.  Letty didn't even know the difference!  She just kept moaning away.  Good grief, did this woman ever bring her legs together?    Now I had to pull the next guy off of her too. 

It took a minute, but the reinforcements finally arrived.  Someone had the sense to flip on the lights and we soon had things back under control.  The head nurse said she would deal with Johnny and the other men herself, but to get Letty out of here STAT. 

"Go put Letty in the cooler and do it fast!  I can't restore order with her around."

This did not present a problem.  Letty was so zonked out from her medication and her orgy, she was barely conscious.  I decided it was easier just to carry her caveman-style than make her walk through the corridor.  Since I was twice the size of this woman, there was nothing to fear.  So I covered the woman in the white bed cover and threw her over my shoulder.  Letty offered no resistance.  She just laid on my right shoulder like a rag doll while I carried her to the lockup room at the other end of the building. 

 

Letty's wing was on the opposite side from the cooler, a room with nothing but a mattress and a door that locked.  I had a considerable distance to go.  The corridors were deserted.  All the other patients were asleep and the entire staff was down in Letty's room.  By the time I finished the five-minute walk, I was covered in talcum powder as well. 

I still had no idea what the significance of the powder was, but it added a strange element to the event.  I was convinced this woman was insane beyond insane.  As I carried her, I wondered who had arranged the gang bang.  Letty?   How?  I had never even heard her speak.  Nor was she talking now.  How was it possible this same woman who displayed no mental activity had suddenly come to life as a frenzied sexual maenad in her room?  And why had this frantic woman returned to being this lifeless zombie draped over my shoulder? 

The evening abounded with mysteries.

Recalling the talcum powder footprints in the hallway, I assumed at least one man, maybe more, had preceded Johnny.  It crossed my mind that Illegitimate Baby Number 10 could easily be on its way after tonight.  I'm sure the State of Texas would be just thrilled to discover this strange turn of events.  It crossed my mind that none of us normal people had ever realized Letty needed to be isolated at night.  We had no conception what Letty was capable of.  Our civilized minds could not anticipate such a stunt was even possible.  As I carried Letty, I wondered if I would be blamed for letting this happen.  Probably not.  I had made the rounds promptly at 2 am and 4 am just like I was supposed to.  Since I had done my job, why should I be in trouble?

We finally reached the cooler.  I carried Letty inside and tried to gently put her down on the mattress. 

Out of nowhere, Letty instantly sprang back to life!!  I was scared out of my wits when she clawed at me like a wildcat.  Letty grabbed me by the neck and attempted to pull me on top of her.  I panicked and threw her off, then bolted hard for the doorway in terror. 

I was terrified that Letty had chased me.  The moment I slammed the door shut, I looked back through the window in the door to make sure her fingers had not been caught when I slammed the door.  I could not believe what I was seeing.  Letty had remained behind on the mattress, but she was rolling around and extremely animated.   What in the hell was she doing? 

Before my eyes, she ripped her cover off and started to writhe on the mattress in wild sexual frenzy.  Letty arched her back and gyrated her hips as if some man was inside her.  This was insane!  I thought I was witnessing a scene straight out of the ExorcistI had never believed in demonic possession before, but now I was starting to wonder. 

Letty continued to move her pelvis in an imitation sex act.  Judging by the expressions on her face, she was in some sort of rapturous state.  Either she had a heck of an imagination or the Invisible Man was having his way with her.  Meanwhile I could not seem to tear my eyes away.  The woman's frantic movements were magnetic to my eyes, hypnotic.  I felt guilty for watching this bizarre porn show, but I was too incredulous to pull myself away.  This was so far beyond the edge of Ordinary I could not stop watching.

Just then, something terrible happened.  Letty suddenly looked up and saw the look of horror on my face in the window.  Or was it horror she saw?  A huge smile came over her face.  Letty instantly redirected her pelvis to give me a better view.  Frantically lifting her pelvis up as enticement, Letty screamed, "Come here and fuck me, damn it!  You know you want it!"

This was the first time I had ever heard Letty say a word!  To my dismay, her demand cut like a knife through my defenses and went straight to my loins.  Watching her writhe and beg, I lost control and got aggressively turned on against my will.  I was in some sort of Altered State and felt helpless to prevent my arousal.  This sex-crazed woman had a power over me I never knew existed.  I suddenly had a wild impulse to throw the door open and take her violently.  The temptation was unbearable.  I felt tremendous urgency to participate in her wild sexual fury. 

Knowing I was losing my mind, I deliberately fell to my knees.  My only chance was to force myself to stop watching before it was too late.  Horny out of my mind and scared at her power over me, I stumbled frantically to the nearest restroom and hid inside a stall.  My lust was so strong I was shaking.  I tried not to be ashamed of myself for losing control like that, but it was terrible how strong my forbidden impulse had been.  That had been the strongest sexual desire I had ever felt in my life.  It was so powerful in fact that I had just barely avoided doing something that would have gotten me in serious trouble. 

How was this possible?  How could I have been so out of control?

This was not the first time I had experienced the power that a sexually available woman had over me.  At Little Mexico five years earlier, an attractive Mexican girl named Linda had laid alone in her bed in the room next to mine.  Knowing for certain that Linda left the door unlocked for a reason, it had taken more will power than I knew I possessed to avoid opening that door in the middle of the night.

Tonight the only thing that had saved me from Letty was that same mysterious willpower.  However, I had come oh so close to doing something I would have regretted for the rest of my life.  If I had been caught, it was not only a criminal offense, it would have been very difficult to get someone to accept that I had felt powerless to  resist.  Unless someone had been in this situation themselves, no one would ever understand.  For a moment there, Letty's raw sexual frenzy had made me feel helpless to resist her.

I was 23 years old.  I had spent my entire life learning it is a man's job to control his sex drive.  However, tonight I had just learned that in certain circumstances a woman has the power to annihilate every single defense a man has and attack him on a level that he is powerless to defend.  I had heard rumors that women could turn men to swine.  Now I knew in the right circumstance it was possible. 

Stepping back from this strange story for a moment, one would assume this improbable event was unlikely to happen again.  While on the one hand I can confirm that this was the worst situation by far, I would encounter an unusual number of 'Forbidden Lust' situations over the next few years.  I have no way to compare the frequency of these Taboo situations to other men, but I am forced to wonder if it was my Karma to learn to conquer temptation in this lifetime.

All I know is that as long as I lived, I would never forget the immense power this crazy naked woman had exercised over me.

 


SUBCHAPTER 97
- ARLENE

 

My Interlude year between Hopkins and graduate school was great.  I had a college degree, I had a job, I had my own apartment, I played pick-up basketball practically every night of the week, and I was full of confidence. 

Even better, after 22 years of failure, I even managed to get my very first honest to goodness girlfriend.  Wonders never cease. 

 

Arlene was in training to be a nurse.  One of her rotations placed her at the mental hospital where I worked.  One look at the fear on Arlene's face at this unsettling new location was all it took to see an opening.  I used my job to perfect advantage when I approached her.

'Hello, you must be new here.  Did you just start working here?

"No.  I am a nursing student at Texas Women's University in the Medical Center.  I am here on a two-week rotation as part of my training.  What do you do here?"

The ice was broken.  After a nice talk, I asked her out.  To my delight, Arlene said yes. 

I was thrilled!  This had been a spur of the moment decision.  Arlene was literally the first pretty girl I had ever approached without encouragement on the woman's part.  Long ago I had met a girl named Cheryl at a rock concert and managed to strike up a conversation.  However, sandwiched between her passed out girlfriend and me, Cheryl had been something of a captive audience.  To meet Arlene, I had to actually cross a room and think of something to say.  Well, good for me.  It was about time I took a chance. 

In my case, the mental hospital with its depressing atmosphere was so foreign to Arlene, I think she was relieved to see a young man offering his friendship.  At some level, I believe Arlene appreciated my unspoken offer to protect her. 

I was 22 years old and I finally had my first relationship with a girl that lasted beyond a few weeks.  Arlene was a good catch - pretty, sexy, smart, hard-working, educated and decent.  Even better, Arlene liked me. 

 

I am sorry to say that I did not treat Arlene very well.  Mostly I ignored her.  If given a choice between playing basketball and seeing Arlene, basketball came first.  Arlene had me pegged.  She often said I loved basketball more than her.  I suppose Arlene had a point there.  However, in my defense, basketball had been the only thing keeping me going for the past ten years.  The basketball court was my playground and my sanctuary rolled into one. 

On the other hand, most people would agree that loving a human being was ultimately more satisfying than worshipping a round ball.  Yes, I knew there was something wrong with me.  If forced to guess, all those years of being a loner had made it difficult for me to open up.  I was an only child who did not make friends easily. 

And why didn't I make friends easily?  Because I wasn't a very nice person.  I was a selfish, self-centered guy who didn't think much about the feelings of other people.  I had two basic attitudes... 'It's all about me' and 'Me against the world'.  I lived my life according to me-first and nobody else.  My four years of isolation in high school and my four years of isolation in college had served to prolong my selfish ways.  

Arlene knew I was a lost cause early on.  One day Arlene came over to my apartment.  I was nursing a terrible cold, but hadn't said anything to Arlene about it.

Arlene said, "You must not be feeling well, Rick."

"No, I'm not doing well at all.  In fact, I'm miserable.  But how did you know?  Am I showing any symptoms?"

"Well, yes, actually I knew the moment I walked in.  I was surprised when you were sweet to me.  The only time you are ever nice to me is when you're sick."

Ouch.

One day Arlene said she had decided to break up with me.

"All you ever do is push me away, Rick.  I can't get past your sarcasm and moodiness."

I didn't try to talk her out of it.  I was leaving for graduate school in a couple of months, so it was going to happen one way or the other.  To my surprise, Arlene abruptly changed her mind a few minutes later.  In fact, she came over and gave me a hug.  Then we made love, a rather odd turn of events.

Later I asked her why she changed her mind.

"I can't bear to give up on you knowing that someday you could turn into a really wonderful person.  You are such an insensitive jerk most of the time, but I swear to God you have all the potential to become a really decent guy."

Arlene was right.  I had my good side and my bad side.  Deep down I was a decent human being who loved animals and wanted to make the world a better place.  My good side wanted to become a therapist and help people.  My bad side pushed people away.  Arlene had tried her hardest to penetrate that thick shell around me, but I wouldn't let her in.  I continually kept Arlene at arm's length. 

What was wrong with me?  I had a good woman who adored me, but I barely gave her the time of day.  The thing is that I really liked Arlene.  I just wasn't in love.  I was happy when she was around, but I didn't think I would miss her when I left for graduate school.  I told myself I wasn't ready to settle down.  In a way, I was right, but not for the reasons I thought.  I wasn't ready to settle down because I was an emotional cripple... but I did not know that at the time.  I looked like a confident young man on the outside, but inside I had the social maturity of a 16 year old.  I didn't need to worry about birth control; typically my personality worked just fine. 

I did not have the slightest idea how to love a woman at this stage of the game.  I knew next to nothing about women.  I had never dated in high school.  How could I?  I was poor and acne-scarred in a school where everyone else was rich and beautiful.  I was just as big a failure in college.  Like I said, I already knew there was something wrong with me.  I was cocky and arrogant one day, moody and depressed the next.  All I ever did was think about myself.  I didn't know the first thing about thinking of other people's feelings.

I planned to use Graduate School as my excuse to leave Arlene.  Despite all my warts and shortcomings, Arlene probably would have followed me to graduate school if I had snapped my fingers.  However Arlene had too much pride to bring the subject up.  I respected her for that, but I also used it against her.  We never once talked about the future because I made a conscious effort to avoid the subject at all costs. 

I didn't have many belongings, just some clothes, books and of course my beloved basketball which I immediately placed in the seat next to me for company.  One morning I spent 15 minutes stuffing everything I owned into my car and took off for Colorado.  I didn't even tell Arlene I was leaving.  I couldn't bear to face the tears.  I would phone her when I got there.  I was pretty much a hard ass in those days. 

Goodbye Houston.  I am sure I broke Arlene's heart in the process. 

So what?  I wanted to be free.  Graduate School was my ticket to ride.  From there, I would live happily ever after. 

A Buddhist monk was chased by a tiger.  To his dismay, he reached the edge of a cliff.  Now he was trapped.  Seeing a small shrub, the monk grabbed it and suspended himself over the cliff.  The tiger caught up and snarled down at the helpless man below.  Slowly the shrub began to give way.  At that moment, the monk noticed a strawberry next to him.  With his free hand, the monk plucked the fruit and ate it.  The strawberry was so delicious that the monk smiled.  And then he plunged to his death. 

The moral is to enjoy every moment because you never know what waits around the corner.

 


PART FOUR: COLORADO STATE

Chapter TWENTY-FIVE: MOONDANCE

 

 

   TIMELINE

  1955   Cut my eye out (01), Near Miss with the Stock Car (02)
  1959-1968   Nine year career at St. John's
  1959-1960: 4th Grade   Divorce, Mom falls apart, Dad abandons me, Feelings of inferiority begin to develop, fascination with Mrs. Ballantyne begins
  1960-1961: 5th Grade   Terry runs away for over 2 days
  1961-1962: 6th Grade   Hurricane Carla, Dad refuses to send to SJS beyond 6th grade, Granted half-scholarship to SJS
  1962-1963: 7th Grade   Fred Incident - Illness at boy scout camp leads to Invisibility, Katina Ballantyne joins my class
  1963-1964: 8th Grade   Knocked unconscious playing football due to blind eye, Caught stealing candy at Weingarten's , Discovery of chess book (03),  
  Granted full scholarship to SJS, Summer basketball project
  1964-1965: 9th Grade   Acne Attack (04), Basketball strike on swollen face (05)
  1965-1966: 10th Grade   Father denies third skin operation, Locker Room fight, set of weights appears (06)
  1966-1967: 11th Grade   Weingarten's Resurrection (07), I buy a car
  1967-1968: 12th Grade   Mr. Salls asks me to apply to Johns Hopkins, Little Mexico, Father's $400 insult, Cheating in Chemistry,
  Caught stealing gym clothes, Caught cheating in German (08), Jones Scholarship lost to Katina,
  Parking Lot Meeting with Mrs. Ballantyne (09), Ralph O'Connor hands me a scholarship to Hopkins,
  Close Call Car Accident (10), Senior Prom Cheryl (11), Mr. Salls Blind Spot (12)
  1968-1969: Freshman at Hopkins   Emily at the Train Station (13), Sanctuary at Lynn's house, Car stolen in December, Night School Computer class
  1969-1970: Sophomore at Hopkins   Connie and Company Kill Shot, Dr. Lieberman, Susan and the Witch at Quaker Meeting, Magical Mystery Tour,
  Antares-Astrology eye injury (14),  Sťance Night with Vicky and Terry (15)
  1970-1971: Junior at Hopkins   Camp Counselor Daydream (16), Colvig Silver Camp in Colorado
  1971-1972: Senior at Hopkins   Savitria, Koinonia, The Manor
  1972-1973: Interlude   Mental Hospital, Arlene

 

 

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