Delaware in General

Okay. Altogether I spent just about three years in Delaware, late spring of 1976 to late spring of 1979. I’ve got Levi’s that have lasted longer than that. But so much happened during those three years.

I’ve already told pieces of the story.

Rachel, Joshua and I moved there after living in England. If I have the dates right, Joshua wasn’t even one year old yet. We had an okay cheap two bedroom apartment with okay cheap furniture on the edge of Dover. (Unknown to us at the time, Holly, Jonie and Holly’s first husband lived in that same apartment complex at about the same time.). . I was still in the Air Force, as were so many of our neighbors. Rachel was going to college.

About a year later, we were split up and I was living with two or three airmen in a house closer to the Air Force base. As I’ve already written, I remember almost nothing about the month or so I lived there except the one guy’s Steely Dan collection. I think he had glasses.

Then there was the O Zone, which I just wrote about. Dave and Cheri, Deloy and Joanne (no, a different Joanne), me and Marty. Then Joanne moved out. Deloy moved out. Donna moved in,

I performed Donna’s wedding, it was the biker wedding. I’ve told that story.

Donna also pulled a nasty trick on me. Since I didn’ have a car, I didn’t drive. I wouldn’t drive. One night at the Peanut Room, pretty much the only bar I frequented at the time, everyone was there drinking and dancing and having a great time. Right around closing time, Donna comes up to me and asks me to drive her home. I refused. She kept asking. She was almost begging. She told me that she was tripping on acid and everyone else was too drunk or just weird to drive her home.

“Please. Please. You’ve GOT to. You’re the only one I trust that’s not too drunk.”

I drove her home. I was grinding through the gears of her car, but I got us home.

The next morning I went to check on her.

“Oh, I was fine. Everybody said I couldn’t get you to drive me home. I knew I could get you to do it.”

Anyway, after Marty moved out and FORBADE me to let Joanne (yes, that one) to move in, I lived on other people’s couches for a week or two. Fortunately, I didn’t have much stuff at the time.

Then one day, while I was walking home from Del State, a car stopped. It was Linda Henry. Linda Henry was a former neighbor from Chippewa Lake, a friend of my mother. Learning of my housing dilemma, she took me home. She and the family offered to let me stay with them until I was back on my feet.

About two months later, Rachel let me know that her friend Karlton had an apartment and needed a roommate. So I moved to downtown Dover.

I had met Holly at Del State. She bummed a light and I bummed a cigarette. We’ve been friends ever since.

It was a dark and stormy night when Holly and her daughter Jonie showed on our doorstep. They needed a place to stay for the night. It seemed longer, but they lived with Karlton and me for maybe four months.

During that time I had a brief yet intense relationship with one of my professors. (Holly had one with one of her professors at the same time.) My relationship ended on Bastille Day. Her husband never found out, but her other boyfriend did. He threatened to tell her husband unless she left me. She left.

Remember when I wrote about the moving job Marty and I went on? Remember I said I met someone at the birthday party that was going on when we got back? That was Debbie. Debbie and I got together. I moved in with her and her son, Jon.

After Holly and Jonie moved out but before I moved out, Eric moved in. Eric was the son of one of Karlton’s girlfriends. Eric was 21. Karlton was 24. Work that out on your own.

When I moved out Karlton and Eric decide they wanted to keep the phone I had, so Eric and I walked down to Diamond Bell to switch the phone over to them. When the woman working there asked what name the listing should be under, Eric said “Eric N. Karlton” and that’s the name she put down.

A little while later, about when Eric and Karlton decided to move on, they figured out that neither of them actually had a phone bill. Eric N. Karlton had a phone bill. They decided that he would want people to use that phone as much as they wanted, especially long distance, so they invited all their friends and all our neighbors to use the phone.

And then they moved out.

A couple of months later, Karlton and Eric ask Debbie, Jon, and I to move into this huge house on Governors Ave. I think there were five official bedrooms. And it was cheaper than where we were.

About a month later I answered the phone. It was Diamond Bell, asking for Eric N. Karlton. They thought Eric Jones, the current “owne” had used a fake ID to get his phone.

Anyway, Debbie and I broke up. She kept the bedroom; I got one of the attic rooms.

Joanne moved in. Joanne got the other attic room.

If I remember the sequencing right, Eric, Karlton and Joanne moved to Philly and two new girls moved in.

I’m really sorry I can’t remember their names. They were sisters. Their father was a police lieutenant. I kind of dated the one. She was hot. She was a tease. She was born-again. Yeah, that didn’t work too well.

I moved back to Cleveland. Actually, I only planned to visit. I could convince myself there was a good enough reason to go back.

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