Stuck in the '70s

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rainbows, Campers & Chance Encounters

Well, it's been awhile since I've written in this "online diary." I've had a lot of comments about my old diaries from the '70s as well as site visitors asking if I had found my1980-81 diaries to add to the site to complete my high school years. No, I haven't found those diaries, but the truth is, I haven't had the time to look! The hours are still sucking. When I work the "early" shift, I'm off in time to get supper and help with homework. When I work the late shift, it's almost my fuddy duddy bedtime when I get home, and homework goes undone, and notes come home from the junior high and high school. Apparently, someone needs to hold a kids' hand around here to make sure homework gets done and turned in.

I've thrown in (above) a couple pix I took recently. One is, obviously, a rainbow. I took this pic from my front yard. It hadn't even rained that day; and I couldn't get the entire rainbow in the picture. But, nevertheless, it was beautiful, so I snapped the pic. The other is from a few weeks back when I actually had a weekend off from my job at the country's second-largest retailer. It's of my brother, Mike's, 1978 Dodge camper van, parked at the Silver Dollar City campground, The Wilderness, in Branson, Mo. We had a ball. Of course, the trip fell on my one weekend off and the weekend that the boys, incidentally, were to spend the weekend with their dad. So, it was for the best they weren't with us because it was only a test run of the disco camper. If we'd have broken down on the test run, we would've sent the most spry along the Ozark Mountain roads for help. (Go for it Nick.) All went well. I don't know what kinda gas mileage that thing makes, but Mike paid for the whole trip, so that was groovy. We had color TV, in fact we had CABLE satellite TV; we had the gas cook stove, we had the refrigerator, we had a shower and working toilet, we had wireless internet on my laptop, we had no tent to pitch, and by the power of God, we had no rain -- a true Fidler miracle!!!! We had fun. This weekend, another well-deserved weekend is coming. One boy is going with us -- the other is going on a Boy Scout camporee (sewing patches on his uniform shirt as I type), and fun will be had by all. Gone are the days of roughing it in the tent with a little propane heater to keep us warm on those late October nights -- although it made for family togetherness one ex-husband surely couldn't understand or appreciate. That's some serious together quality time. That's an experience to write home about. That's time spent together that has been wasted previously working to put food on the table. Anyway ... off the soapbox.

Speaking of working and such, I've been doing just that however I can since I quit the last job and the job before that and the job before that. People in town come into the store and see me there and wonder what the hell I'm doing there. Well, the answer is -- I've worked at every damn media outlet in town and do NOT want to uproot my family and move elsewhere. So, a woman's gotta have a job to support her family. Therefore, I report to work daily in the retail field in which I've had no experience except for the 2 months I worked at Kmart when I was 15 in 1978. I'm constantly asked what someone, with so much experience in the field of journalism and a college degree from a respected institution, is doing there, hoisting appliances onto people's trucks and having sand kicked into my face when some customer thinks I'm unworthy or I don't know how to answer their questions. I'm there because I need a job. Period. I recently learned of another job in town, right up my alley, in my chosen career field and training, for which I more than abundantly qualify. I submitted my resume a few weeks ago, have contacted the boss in charge of hiring there and haven't heard a word back. Again, God works in mysterious ways. Why would the Big Guy want me hocking dishwashers rather than writing feature stories to promote a college I attended and love? Who knows? All is not said and done where that is concerned though, and I still have my fingers crossed things might develop.

As an appliance "specialist," I was finally scheduled this week to take the "Selling Appliances" course at another store in our fine state after having sold appliances for the past 4 months without the class. Ain't nothin' special about me asking people if they want to buy a refrigerator. Ain't nothin' I ever cared to learn about Express Freeze. But, today, I found myself getting up at 4:30 a.m. to go to this other store in a town 2 1/2 hours away to take this required class. Called the boys umpteem times on the drive to make sure they were up and at 'em and not going to miss the bus. My co-worker and cohort, who has been in hardware since the store opened in mid-July, has been moved to appliances and given the new title of "appliance specialist." So, she and I headed down there to this other store at 5 a.m. She is the same age as me, and I truly enjoy being around her. However, she had an issue arise with her young son overnight and spent the night in the emergency room. She called me early this morning to let me know she'd had no sleep and wasn't sure about going on the trip. She ended up going, and I picked her up on the way. A real trooper. It was supposed to be a 2-day class, and we were encouraged by a manager to get a motel room to stay in this other town overnight so we'd be there for the second day. Neither one of us could do that and leave our children at home to fend for themselves. We planned to drive back home tonight and return tomorrow. So, we got lost and missed the exit and went a few miles past the store, but found our way to the class about 10 minutes after it started. The teacher, who works at that store, was kind enough to wait on us.

About an hour into the class, I was contently listening to the teacher when the door in the back of the training room opened, someone came in, and the teacher said, "You're wearing glasses. I didn't know you wear glasses." I, naturally, looked behind us to see who the teacher was talking to. I felt the sudden urge to vomit. Not because this employee was hideous or anything, but because it was my second husband. I had not spoken with him since Dec. 7, '04 on the phone and hadn't seen his face since Dec. 4, the night before I asked him and his leech-like buddy to get their stuff and get the hell out of my house. The only contact since then had been a couple of very ugly e-mails from him. He couldn't be found for the divorce filing, and I went on with it and got the divorce without him being present or signing anything. Last I knew, he was living in such and such town, tight with the psycho woman he was trying to get away from when he and I got together and deejaying at a local radio station. And, one of the ugly e-mails had encouraged me to remove quite a bit from this blog (which I did).

Our eyes met, and I knew he clearly saw me in the classroom. He said, in his big radio voice, "Yeah, just tryin' to keep a low profile." When this teacher was in my town to teach a training class before our store opened, I had to miss a half day of it to go to divorce court to get rid of this parasite. I had told the teacher, when I showed up late and he asked what my deal was, what my deal was. When break time came today, I said, "Remember the divorce I was going through when you were teaching the 'Selling Kitchens' class in *****ville? Well, the guy with the glasses is him." Apparently, he finally decided to get off his ass & get a real job (despite having to pay child support) and could afford to get the contact lenses I wouldn't pay for. Shame he can't pay me back for all the things outlined in the divorce agreement. At any rate, I ran into him face to face again a couple of times at the store while my friend and I were there. We exchanged a "Hey," and that was it. There were so many things I wanted to and should've said. But, that's over, and I've done a real good job of getting back to normal around here. It was just one of those Fred Sanford "It's the big one Elizabeth" moments. I hope I never have to be reminded of that stupid 18-month mistake in my life ever again.

On a lighter note, I received a review copy of the DVD box set of the Tony Orlando & Dawn shows as well as CDs of all of their albums. I already owned all of their albums, but was very excited to get them on CD for my re-listening pleasure. Now, the DVDs were a real trip. A real trip in a time machine. My youngest son takes all of these trips willingly with me. We watched all of the shows. Lots of guest stars and silliness. I especially like the parts at the end of each show where Tony & Dawn come out and interact with the audience. There was no lip synching on this show. They were really singing and had an orchestra. Tony was really wearing those tight pants and platform shoes. It was exactly as I had remembered it, and I fell in love again! You can see from my old diaries I was truly in love with Tony Orlando. Freddie Prinze makes several appearances on the show, and the DVDs include Freddie's guest-hosting experience on the "Tonight Show" with Tony shortly before he committed suicide. I know Tony & Freddie were very close friends, and Freddie's death was devastating to Tony. At the time, I didn't understand the whole thing. I held animosity toward Freddie for doing such a thing (and still can't understand it). But, now, after losing my own mother (and best friend) I can truly understand the devastation and depression Tony went through.

Don't know if I told you about getting reaquainted with an old friend or not. She was an instructor when I was going to college and not that much older than me. We became very tight, but she moved off after a divorce and followed her career path. Earlier this year, she moved back to this area and got back in touch. I'm so glad. We've been able to hang out a bit over the summer and still. She had been living in Hot Springs for several years most recently, so she and I were able to go for a fun and devil-may-care weekend there together. Now, she is seeing a former boyfriend from that area and has mentioned a friend of his who I "must meet." Cool. I'm game, and I'm available.

Well, I'd better sign off here. I'll try to keep you up to date more often (I always say that). But, I will. Until then, as Red Skelton would've said, "Good night, and God bless."



  • At 8:44 PM, Blogger Julia Elvarado said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Julie, That '70s Chick said…

    Readers, please note that only Spam comments have been removed.

  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger ptcitychick said…

    Julie, I haven't posted a comment in a while, but have been reading your blog and following your website for at least 6 years! (time flies, doesn't it?)
    You are amazing, Julie. You are a grounded woman who puts her children above all else and will do whatever to take care of them. You have a great sense of humor and always look at the lemonaide, not the lemons. I wrote you when my Dad died to tell you how you inspired me then and I think I did so again when my Mom died last January. It is obvious that you were raised well by two fabulous parents who instilled values of family and responsibility.Didn't mean to gush, but just wanted to tell you to keep truckin, girl. Your day will come. Those newspapers out there in Arkansas don't know what they are missing!!
    Take care,
    Robyn (ptcitychick)

  • At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi how are you , i looove you site , what stuff in your sept-dec 78 teen mags on goin coconuts do u have that u can make me copies of that ? write

  • At 8:16 AM, Blogger Julie, That '70s Chick said…

    At the present time, I don't have any magazines available from 1978.

  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger Valerie said…

    I LOVE your website! I've been spending hours here just reading. I found it by googling for Tiger Beat! Looking at all your Tiger Beat covers sure does bring back a lot of memories!!!!! I'm 43 years old, and grew up in the 70's like you did and we have a lot in common. Great site, keep it up!


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