Untotaled: Stepping 58 (Later That Same Night) Did I say no? What I meant was … March 14, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2531)

(Transcript)

So…

I invited my startled, shocked, surprised, nervous, worried, shattered, partially giddy and apprehensive girlfriend over to my motel room that night to share a pizza and discuss our dilemma.

Of course, being teenagers, the first thing we did in a motel room was ravage one another, unleashing the frustration of a five-week absence.

After the brief and awkward romantic encounter was over and the pizza was delivered, we sat and munched on Italian delight, discussing our Middle-American quandary.

Her situation was simple. Obviously, if she had wanted to return to a relationship and marriage, she would probably have found a way to fly back to Ohio to be with me.

She had naturally been wooed from such a committment by the fact that her parents had moved to a bungalow next to the ocean in Guaymas Sonora, Mexico, thirty paces from walking on the beach, and they had thoroughly excited her about being a freshman at the University of Arizona.

Somewhere in the midst of her enthusiasm, she had left two realities out of her thinking: the baby that continued to grow within her loins, and me, who had been the visitor to the same.

Even though the conversation I had with this girlfriend was very tender, fruitful and never escalated to anger, by the end of the evening she candidly shared that she would not return with me. There was just too much to leave behind.

I placed her in a taxi (which she had to pay for) and she was off and away.

As far as I knew, that was the end of it.

I didn’t sleep much that night. Mine was not merely the turmoil of a forsaken lover, but also the annoying prospect of trying to figure out how I was going to get a fifty dollar ticket to return to Columbus, Ohio, and what I was going to do when I arrived, since I had missed the opportunity to sign up for college in the fall.

It was the shortest night of my life because my brain moved at hyper-speed, and before I knew, it was six o’clock in the morning, and I was in desperate need for a plan to get from my motel room, to the airport, and back to my normal surroundings.

Yet I decided to call her one last time.

  • Was it to say good-bye?
  • Was it to ask her if she might reconsider?

Well, I got very little out of my mouth during the phone conversation before she explained that her new girlfriends at the dormitory had been talking to her all night about her decision. One of the young ladies had developed a tremendous dislike for my girlfriend’s father because of how rude he was when he called the dorm, looking for his errant daughter.

These young ladies thought she was a fool for walking away from love to merely study such encounters in books at the university.

So my girlfriend changed her mind.

She said she had packed her bag, would hop a taxi, and be there in less than an hour. She actually arrived. I was a little surprised, considering her history of missing appointments.

When she arrived, she showed me a checkbook her father had given her for college, with a balance of $750.

My dear God, I had never seen $750. We were starting off our journey wealthy.

With that money we were able to purchase our standby tickets and enjoy a swordfish dinner at a fancy restaurant during our Chicago lay-over. We landed in Columbus feeling like Romeo and Juliet, without being dead.

We were certainly not ready for what happened next…

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Untotaled: Stepping 57 (September 6th, 1970) Leavin’ on a Jet Plane … March 7, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2524)

(Transcript)

I had never flown on an airplane.

Matter of fact, the only time I had been to the airport was when I got lost in Gahanna and ended up with the front end of my car staring at a fence, at the end of a runway.

So when a friend dropped me off at the Columbus International Airport Terminal (an unfortunate choice of names) I was scared to death and inched my way through the door and up to the ticket counter, where a lovely young woman assisted me to purchase a stand-by student ticket for Tucson, Arizona, which was due to leave at 10:44 that morning.

She asked me if this was my first flight. I lied and said no.

I don’t know why I lied–I guess I didn’t want to come off like a rube, but it was a huge mistake. Because after I acquired my ticket, I sat in the lobby at the front of the terminal, and when 10:44 came and went, I found the courage to ask the lady who had sold me the ticket why the plane was late.

She, realizing now that I was a liar about travel experience, explained that it was necessary to go to the gate to depart on the airplane–not stay in the lobby of the airport.

It was a good tip.

She graciously found a way to transfer my ticket to the next flight, and at 2:23 that afternoon, I flew out to Arizona.

Rube, as it turns out I was, I had not considered what I was going to do when I landed in Tucson. The airport ended up being quite a distance from the university and a taxi was out of the question.

I decided to walk through the desert to get to town. Fortunately, I was rescued by a long-haired young gentleman driving a green Volkswagon bug with a peace sign on it. He drove me to the college, took me to a motel, where I did actually acquire a room for the night–for five dollars.

Being insanely optimistic and young, I felt that the worst part of my journey was over, never realizing that back home in Ohio, somebody had gotten wind of my plans and had called my girlfriend’s father, warning him that I was on my way to get her.

So I took a short nap at the motel, walked out of my room towards the college, being trailed by a Tucson police car, which obviously couldn’t interrupt my plans, but certainly spooked me.

It was at that point that I realized that the adventure had just begun,

I found the dormitory my girlfriend stayed in, confirmed that she was going to be there and waited for her to get back with her friends.

It had just begun to rain in Tucson (which is usually a local holiday) when my girlfriend walked in the door with her pretty little raincoat and saw me for the first time.

I would not describe her look as glee; nor was it disgust.

How about horrified surprise?

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Published in: on March 7, 2015 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Untotaled: Stepping 56 (August 26th, 1970) Weighting… February 28, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2517)

(Transcript)

I was two minutes late.

For some reason I had scheduled an appointment with the preacher’s wife to talk about my dilemma. The plans I had made with my girlfriend–for her to fly in on her birthday, August 25th–apparently went awry. Well, at least, there was no girlfriend.

I was freaked out.

I had actually been freaked out for the whole five weeks while I was waiting for her to escape. I was so upset that my older brother, who was normally fairly unaware of my living condition, or even breathing, decided to step in and offer his gold Malibu for me to use to go on a date. He had souped it up (with as much as he knew about soup).

I had no desire to be with a girl but I did want to drive the car.

There was a young lady in Centerburg, Ohio, who kept bugging me to go on a date, so I thought there would be no harm in doing so.

It was a disaster.

I couldn’t stop thinking about my girlfriend, and she kept promoting herself like a car salesman at the end of the month trying to make quota.

So when the 25th came and went, I was desperate to talk to someone, and Larissa (as she insisted we call her), the pastor’s wife, was available.

I explained to her about our plan, as much as I was able to be forthcoming. I could not tell her about the pregnancy–that would have created so many problems that I would never have been able to get out of her office.

At the end of my sharing, she moved out from behind her desk, sat next to me on the couch and patted my hand. She said the following:

“Sometimes, Jonathan, we have to understand that not everybody knows our true value, and even though it hurts a whole lot, we have to let them go because they’re just not the right one. The one God has chosen for us.”

Well, folks, I was only eighteen years old, but I was pretty sure that God wasn’t choosing my female preferences, and if He was, I wasn’t particularly interested in His input.

I was courtly and mannerly to Larissa, but I walked out of the meeting more frustrated and confused than ever before.

There was only one thing left to do.

I made a secret phone call to the University of Arizona to find out when freshman Rush Week was, and discovered that it began on September 4th.

I also found out that a student standby airline ticket was $50 one way. I convinced my mother to give me $60. That gave me money for a one-way ticket to Tucson, Arizona, five dollars to eat, and five dollars for a motel room.

It was the most ridiculous plan ever devised by man.

But I was in all the way.

Next stop … Tucson.

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Untotaled: Stepping 55 (June 15th, 1970) Preaching to the Choir… February 21, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2510)

 

(Transcript)

The Buckeye Teen Chorale.

It was a hand-selected group of singers from high schools across the state of Ohio who got together to perform for special events, and then culminated and confirmed their purpose with a three-week tour of Europe.

My girlfriend was one of the members.

After the prom things got really bad with her parents. Her father decided to spy on us and in so doing got quite an eye-full one night. So she was forbidden to see me and we had to plan clandestine rendezvous in order to fulfill our love and satisfy our lust.

So one weekend, when she was scheduled to be at the Ohio State Fairgrounds for rehearsals with the chorale, she and I made plans to skip out on the event and spend the weekend together goofing off and enjoying each other.

Of course, as I look back now, it sounds like the most ridiculous idea ever conceived–because we certainly would get caught and then things would be worse than they were before.

We were. And they were. Caught. And things worse than they were before.

Her parents were hoping that since there were only eight days left before the trip to Europe that they could control her environment and keep me out of the situation. But by night I crawled on my stomach through their horse pasture and she met me in the barn with the finesse and subtlety of a Shakespearean tragedy.

She promised she would write me every day from Europe, and in so doing, we would figure out what we were going to do next.

For the entire twenty-one days she was gone, I kept going to the post office to retrieve one of her notes, only to have my hopes dashed daily with no correspondence.

My mind went crazy. I figured she had met somebody on the trip–that she had found romance near the Eiffel Tower.

When she returned she went to her girlfriend’s house. I picked her up and we escaped to a nearby cemetery. She explained that she was scared she would be caught writing me, and that was why she failed to communicate.

It was in the midst of those tombstones that I proposed marriage to this woman who was carrying our child. And we made a covenant that on her birthday–August 25th–she would fly back to be with me.

For you see, her parents had decided to retire in Mexico while she attended The University of Arizona.

It was a great notion.

I tried to prepare for the five weeks before I would see her again. August 25th seemed a lifetime away.

And it seemed that my lifetime was contingent on August 25th.

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Untotaled: Stepping 54 (May 7th, 1970) Prom Motion…February 14, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2503)

 

 

(Transcript)

It was early afternoon on Wednesday, May 4th, 1970, before the word spread through our high school that four students had been killed at Kent State.

The response was odd.

For you see, half of our teachers were nearly in tears over the unnecessary loss of human life, and the other half basically had the attitude that “the kids got what they deserved” for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So the school was split.

What made things even more difficult was that there had been riots all over the nation for weeks, and our senior prom was coming up on Saturday.

Having a myopic view of life at eighteen years of age, the shooting of the students at Kent State barely created a blip on my radar. I was thinking about the prom, romance, finally getting out of school and a big gospel concert I planned to attend with my date in the middle of the prom experience. Yes, we intended on leaving the prom for a few hours and going to the fairgrounds in Columbus to catch a musical show.

I was also excited because my girlfriend’s father told us we could use his Corvette for the prom. I would not say that her parents were in favor of our relationship–I think they were convinced it was merely a high school affair, and she would soon be in college and forget the hometown boy.

Prom night arrived. We went to the dinner, and then slipped off to the gospel concert, where we were confronted with a most bizarre situation.

Stationed at the fairgrounds were National Guard troops who were trying to keep order at Ohio State University. So as we walked around in our formal wear, there were soldiers not much older than us, carrying guns–dancing to the music with their rifles overhead.

After the concert we decided not to rejoin the prom activities but instead, went out, talked, made out, and ended up, just before dawn, on the long driveway leading to my girlfriend’s house.

We wanted it to be a memorable night so I took off my dress coat, placed it on the grass, and she laid down. I lifted her dress and she unbuckled my pants. We commenced to do things that we knew would be frowned on by anyone older than us.

Two weird things happened in the midst of this intimacy.

A horse my girlfriend owned came up to the nearby fence and stared at us. I couldn’t help thinking that he was critiquing my technique, And then, even more strange was that a nearby neighbor–a friend of my girlfriend’s father–pulled into the driveway with his pickup truck, sat for a minute and then backed out to depart.

We finished our fling and realized that it was unlikely that this intruding neighbor would keep his mouth shut. We were pretty confident that we had the horse’s silence.

So we drove the rest of the way up to the house and had breakfast–both of us realizing this was probably the last time there would be civility in her household over our relationship.

Not much happened after that.

Two weeks later, on graduation day, we both picked up our diplomas without much pomp and circumstance, with only one thing on our minds.

A time of the month had been missed–and we were afraid we were prematurely on our way to a grown-up world.

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Published in: on February 14, 2015 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Untotaled: Stepping 53 (October 27th, 1969) Drummond Park… February 7, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2496)

(Transcript)

Murray Gregory, a man with two first names,.

He was a deacon in our church, yet every once in a while he’d get himself an “alcohol rub” in his soul and go off two or three days binge-drinking and end up in the drunk tank in downtown Columbus.

Folks from the church would go bail him out and by Sunday morning he would be at the altar, crying his way back to Jesus. Everything would be fine until the next time he got the inclination to jump in the bottle.

My opinion was that he was a sloppy drunk and a mean deacon. I will tell you this–he didn’t like me at all.

I bring this up because the bikini friend I had begun dating the previous summer had become my girlfriend, and we were beginning to experiment with one another.

Neither one of us had learned the facts of life–I never told, and she confused by parents who were over-clinical. Health class in high school only served to stimulate our interest without truly explaining our “stimulators.”

The young lady and I were not sure of the depth of our commitment, but completely enthralled with the width of our passion.

So there were a bunch of little parks that speckled the Central Ohio area, which had nothing more than a few picnic tables, an outhouse, and of course, a place to park.

One Indian summer afternoon, my girlfriend’s father allowed us to use his Corvette, and we, feeling that we ruled the world, ended up at Drummond Park, and decided to probe one another’s private parts. We had no intention of “going all the way.” That was un-Christian. But eyeballing the “land of promise” did seem within Biblical proportions.

So we studied each other with a fervor we had not had for education since discovering the glories of construction paper and paste in kindergarten.

Meanwhile, back at Drummond Park, we had just finished up one of these sessions. She had returned to her seat and I had restarted the engine, when Deacon Gregory came walking by the Corvette. We both had no idea where he had come from; he did not speak to us, just headed to the outhouse to do his business.

I did not wait for him to come out to find out what he had seen–or heard, for that matter–but made my exit as quickly as possible. We drove home, trying to figure out what trouble we were in.

I always felt like he was following us. I had no proof. But it did give us plenty to think about.

But the juices that were squeezed that day in Drummond Park released a drug in our systems, of human sexuality. Once it has been injected, it is very difficult to stop being a user and very easy to become addicted.

And as far as I know … there is no rehab. 

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Untotaled: Stepping 52 (October 17th, 1969) Kentucky Woman… January 31, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2490)

(Transcript)

Even though I know that going to church is not a sign of spirituality, if you have lived a life of attending the sanctuary, to suddenly cease and desist can certainly be a sign of some emotional, or even spiritual, regression.

From the age of twelve through seventeen, I attended church three times a week. That sounds a little odd in our world today, but it seemed normal at the time.

In the fall of 1969, I lost interest in the venture. I went only once a week, and then only if there was going to be a youth group meeting to discuss the Saturday night coffee-house.

I fancied myself the leader of that project, even though I think I placed the crown on my own head. I was always there for the coffee-house. It gave me a chance to share, sing and perform.

Then one Saturday night I showed up and there were strangers present. They were from Lexington, Kentucky, and had come to conduct a youth revival, to instruct us in some of the fresh changes going on in the church world.

They were led by a girl named Bree. She had long, blond hair, wore hippie clothes, talked so softly that you had to be completely silent to hear her, strummed a guitar now and then, and loved to lift her hands up and “worship,” as she called it.

All the young people in our church loved her.

I hated her.

She was stealing my spotlight. And I use the word “hate” because I had not yet reached an age when I was able to dislike something. I either loved it or hated it. She got my hate vote.

She challenged my authority by daring to take attention away from me. She pissed me off because when I questioned her, she answered me sweetly. And the other kids were drawn to her because unlike me, she seemed to love them for who they were instead of bullying them into being something else.

The animosity was so great that even though they only stayed for a week, it became necessary for Bree, the pastor, a couple of elders and myself to have a “sit-down.”

I was looking forward to it because I was prepared to show these religious leaders how this “strange woman from Babylon” was coming in to teach the “young’uns” peculiar ways.

The meeting was a disaster–at least for me. Bree was so self-effacing and gentle that she won over the room.

Three days later, Bree and her friends climbed into a van and headed back to Kentucky. Before she left, she found an opportunity to have a private moment with me. I thought to myself, Oh, here it comes. Now we’re going to get her real personality.

She walked up, gave me a quick hug, looked into my eyes and said, “I love you, Jonathan. The Lord has revealed to me that you’re going to be a great man in the Kingdom.”

I couldn’t breathe.

I still find myself … breathless.

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