In the fall of 1979 I was living in Winslow on Bainbridge Island, across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle. I was working at an art supply store and sort of between phases in my life. I had recently returned from my bicycle trip to the U.K. and France, and from the Puerto Rico adventure as well. When I left San Juan I flew to Miami, FL, where I picked up the Mercedes coupe for Jim in Fort Lauderdale, and drove it to Seattle by way of San Antonio, TX. Once I was back in Seattle, I moved to Winslow and commuted to work via car ferry from Bainbridge Island into downtown Seattle – which was a great adventure in and of itself. The ferry terminal was shrouded in fog every morning that fall, and I always stood at the front end of the ferry; where I could watch downtown Seattle appear ever larger on the horizon, as we approached the downtown ferry terminal. From there it was only a short walk to work at the art supply store.
One Saturday morning, I was very comfortable while watching a Michigan State football game on TV in the condo that I was sharing with a woman in Winslow. I was under the green and white afghan throw that my mother had knitted for me, and was watching the Spartans play football in Spartan Stadium – and I knew at that moment that it was time to return to school and finish up my degree. I called Tom, a friend who had been with me on the 6th floor of West Wilson Hall my final year at MSU, and was now in grad school on his way towards becoming a chemist (one of those guys that always knew what he wanted to do and how to study in order to make it all happen); to find out when Winter Term officially started and if he knew of any places to live back in East Lansing. He lived in a house off campus, and a room was opening up for Winter Term which started in January, 1980 – so I asked him to hold it and I’d be there as soon as I could get back to Michigan. I packed up a few things and mailed about seven boxes to myself at Tom’s house, and Jim brought me down to the Greyhound bus station for my return to Michigan State University.
I sold my little MGB GT so I had some cash, and I took out student loans to pay for school; and my parents also helped finance my last year at MSU. My degree program was Business Administration with an initial emphasis in Advertising, before switching over to Marketing. With my business experience from working in Seattle, and a new understanding of how to properly study off campus; I had an almost perfect 4.0 average in business school in all of my courses. As graduation approached in the spring of 1981, I decided that I didn’t want to work in an office “cubicle” somewhere; so I decided to fulfill a longstanding dream of flying jets and further adventure, and signed up for the delayed enlistment program to be a navigator in the U.S. Air Force – and the rest is history as they say.
These pictures are of my second cross country trip by Greyhound bus; from Seattle, WA, to E. Lansing, MI, in early December, 1979. On this trip I shared the bus ride with a girl named Cathy, who was really sweet; and this bus ride turned into a mini-adventure of its own. She was traveling to New York City, and when I changed buses along the way for E. Lansing, I really wanted to ask her to stay and join me there; but of course it wasn’t possible for every logical reason under the sun. But my heart felt that I was missing out on another “impromptu” life opportunity in saying good-bye to Cathy, but it couldn’t have worked out – I had no income and couldn’t even support myself without assistance – so how could I ask her to stay with me? Sometimes the brain just has to say “no” to the heart…but the decision is never an easy one to make either way. I was able to see Cathy again when I returned to Seattle to take the boat trip with Jim the next year – but the situation was no different at that time either; however, it was very good to get a chance to see her again. As with every woman that I have ever known, I still think of her today…wondering how and where she is. How can a person not have such thoughts towards someone who had been very dear to them, if even for a short while?