One more thing about Tucson before I tell about falling in love with Debbie’s sister in San Francisco. On what turned out to be the last day of our scrap out jobs, we finished an apartment early, around noon, and I suggested we play hooky and find a swimming hole. Bob, dedicated worker that he was, said no, he was going to find the boss to see what he wanted us to do next.
Now, you already know from reading the beginning of the “Rescue Mission” story that Bob was a really tall guy who could look out a windshield over a dashboard filled with layers and layers of accumulated junk and momentos, so of course the back sleeping quarters of the Volare had become quite a pit – and I took the opportunity of his going off to find the boss as a good time to do a little scrapping out of the Volare. When he came back he was furious! Bob and I had been friends for a long time without an angry word between us, and I know it’s hard to imagine two men in a Volare in a “domestic quarrel,” but that’s exactly what happened right in front of a he-men crew of construction workers. What a comedy for them!
A quick side-trip to Phoenix was eventful, L.A. was great, and the commune we visited outside of L.A. with a woman named “Peach Blossom” was quite the experience (all stories for later), but I want to speed ahead to Katie in San Francisco. Bob and I easily patched up our relationship after the domestic quarrel and by the time we arrived in San Francisco had spent many hours talking about what a fine lady Debbie was – so maybe we actually should look up her mother and sisters – and am I ever glad we did – what a great family one and all!
Mom, Liebe, was attending Hastings Law School on the rebound from losing her husband (a former Speaker of the Arizona Legislature) to cancer. Katie was a senior in high school and played cello in the San Francisco Symphony. Abby just a sophomore. They had already heard all about us from Debbie and we were invited to supper. What a place high in the hills of Tiburon overlooking the Bay. Extra bedrooms for me & Bob. We stayed a week there too. Katie had dark hair and was absolutely stunning in the black gown she wore performing in the Symphony. She also was the one who taught me the joke I re-tell in “The Summer of ’76.” How many 17 year-olds have enough self-confidence to tell a very lame joke one night and then wait a week before starting another joke which turns out to be the very good punch line to the first joke? She, however, was too young to start a romance with – and never knew how I felt about her as she died young – before my next trip to California years later.
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