Saturday, October 16, 2010
In the city I grew up in, Redlands, California, Spring Break meant Palm Springs and the Salton Sea. That is where everyone wanted to go.
One year I got my mom's red station wagon, filled it with girlfriends, and off we went. We were not allowed to spend the night, we had to be back by dark. When we got there, we found a bunch of kids from school. It wasn't long before all my girlfriends had found their boyfriends and soon I was left all alone. I didn't know what to do with myself, and I didn't know any of the other kids so I kind of stood off alone looking off across the lake, hoping no one would notice me.
"Hi, I'm Rocky." Someone was speaking to me. I turned, and there was a real cute boy. As I have said before, I am not a social butterfly. I'm sure I was just as shy with Rocky as I was with all boys, but he didn't seem to care. He wasn't a big talker, in fact most of the time we just walked together and ate hot dogs together in silence. He put me at ease, which was unusual.
Soon, it was time to go. No one wanted to leave, but back in the sixties most of us were terrified of our parents, so we said our goodbyes and left. But on the way home there was a terrific sandstorm. The desert sand was so thick I couldn't see where I was driving. Everyone on the road stopped and started turning around going back to Palm Springs. I had remembered what my father said a sand storm could do to your car so I turned around too.
When we got to a phone, I called my dad and told him what happened and that we would have to spend the night. He said ok, but after I hung up he checked the weather and it didn't say anything about a sandstorm so he went after me, but he hit the storm too and had to turn back.
Anyway, we spent the night in the tents with all the boys and Rocky stayed with me and kissed me goodnight and we had a good sleep and nothing else. I knew he was being kind to me because I was alone and needed to feel I belonged in the group. I really appreciated it.
When school started again, on the very first day a group of angry girls (the elite) surrounded me. "Why were you with Rocky?" they asked. I saw that one of them was standing off a bit and crying.
"Why were you with Rocky, and what did you two do?" the girls asked again. "Don't you know he already has a girlfriend? Look what you did!" she pointed at the crying girl.
I hadn't known Rocky before Spring Break, and no, I didn't know he had a girlfriend. Looking at her now, I could see that yes, she could certainly be Rocky's girlfriend. She had a birth defect on her face, yet was very pretty.
"We didn't do anything. We are just friends. Rocky was being kind to me." That is what I said to the girls and it was true. I was never under the illusion it was anything more.
All these years later I still think of Rocky once in awhile, not just because of what he did that time but what he also did for me later in the school year. He was just a great guy in every way. I'll let you know the second thing he did for me tomorrow.