Dad was career Army. That meant we never lived in one place more than three years. From late 1964 to late 1967 dad was assigned to Fort Ord, California. I have many fond memories of those years but the best and worst of them revolve around a girl named Randi. She was my first love and she was the most wonderful girl in the world. She was smart, she had a quick wit, she was pretty and she loved to laugh. I was madly in love with her and her fabulous family. Her mom encouraged me to be more outgoing and less worried about peer pressure. Her dad was a strong, quiet, intelligent man who wasn't at all intimidating to talk to. Her younger brother got me started playing the guitar. Her youngest brother was an impressive pianist and smart as a whip. I even loved their dog. Of course I was a teenager, knew everything and my world mostly revolved around my newly discovered libido so it was only natural for Randi to, finally, break up with me. In retrospect I can describe the two following years as my 'Gothic Emo' period but those words, in that context, didn't exist at the time. Suffice to say that I wore a lot of black and was extremely depressed most of the time. I refer to those as the 'hard years', by which I mean, it was always hard and I never got to use it. I poured all my passion into my guitar (excepting only the occasional bit that went into a kleenex).
Fast forward forty-some-odd years and I was able to track Randi down on the web. She has fond memories of me because she went on to meet lots of guys who were way bigger jerks than me. So now we're old friends, meaning sometimes we bicker, other times we ignore one another but beneath it all is a secure, comfortable bond, built on love. Sort of like family would be in a perfect world, but that's another story.