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Friday, March 30, 2012


Besides being in all the Plays, and Variety Shows and All, I was at a School dance my Junior year, and they had somehow gotten one of the Stars from a television show called, "Swing Lively" to D.J. our dance. Swing Lively was taped in Lansing in the Channel Six News Room. MoTown in Detroit was BIG at the time and not that far from Lansing. It was very similar to "American Bandstand." Swing Lively managed to get most of the Stars from MoTown Records to come. You must remember this was during the 66/67 school year, quite a while back. The Big Acts came to Lansing to sing on the show.
I was dancing when Jay Stern called me over to him. He liked the way I danced and asked me if I'd like to be a dancer on his show? I was excited! He gave me a pass and said it would get me and one girl in every week.
Swing Lively had Jay Stern and Dennis Day as host. It was sponsered by Yankee Department Stores (Owned by Debbie Reynolds). It was a syndicated show that was on in quite a few states. We'd show up for the dancer's meeting and the taping on Thursday nights and watch ourselves on television Saturday afternoons. They had singers such as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, The Supremes, Ike and Tina Turner, etc.
We didn't get to dance while they sang. They'd go in and tape their singing. I guess they didn't want distractions. After they sang, we,d be allowed in and dance to their music while those big, old style, t.v. cameras bumped us around as they taped us. Afterwards, we'd get to meet and visit with the singers.
One night during the Dancer's Meeting Jay told me to shorten my sideburns. I told him I was growing them out for a play I was in, but he said they had to go. So I quit.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I know this has little to do with my beginning life with girls, but it's a story involving David and me that I believe needs to be told. As young boys there were many war shows on the t.v. depicting WW11. And the neighbor boys and I would split up into teams and play war. We started out by shooting each other with toy guns and rifles, We would pretend we were hit, fall dead, count to ten, and jump up and continue playing.
Then we got the idea to make it look more realistic we'd go out into the field and get dried clumps of dirt and throw them at each other. If they landed close they would turn into a bomb of dust. I don't know who had the original idea, it could even have been me, but I really don't feel right blaming this next idea on David. We walked into the pony lot, and as you may or may not be aware of, horse manure is round or oval and fist sized.
From all the neighbor boys going out of state at one time or another, we had a near endless supply of those little, zebra and black Cat firecrackers. We walked around the pony lot looking for just right horse manure. We wanted it dry and crusty on the outside (so it wasn't messy to handle) and still nice and mushy on the inside. Then we'd bore one of those little firecrackers into its side. Walla! We had invented the horse shit hand-grenade!!! The idea was to light the fuse, throwing it over the other teams head before exploding. They were quite short fuses and on occassion one would blow up in our hands before we could let go.
We were laughing, and exploding horse shit hand-grenades when my mother came out of the house to see what all the comotion was about. That was the end of horse shit hand-grenades. How green the grass grew, and how thick and plush it stayed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hopelessly Homely Me

It seems like lots of teenagers go through a period of low self-esteem at one point in their lives. I certainly was no exception. Every time I looked in a mirror, I began picking myself apart. My nose was too big. My lips were to big. I had zits on my face. My ears were too small, my hair was ugly, and I had a dimple on my chin.
My low self-esteem lasted for several years and held me back from having relationships with girls, other than friendships. Afterall, who would want to go with the looks of me? My girlfriend broke up with me, and little did I know, my Texas girl was living within five or six miles of me.
So it must have been around the tenth grade I went back to being a homely, but very dedicated farm boy, and during the winter I tried to play basketball. To tell the truth, I was better at pitching cow manure. The fast turns and pivots in basketball caused my knees to dislocate (Very Painful). And I found myself spending most of the winter on crutches. The following year, during practice before the first game, I jumped up while trying to intercept a pass and went over backwards with all my weight coming down on my wright wrist, breaking it up really bad.
After that year I gave up basketball and ran track. Then I became involved in all the Senior, All School Plays, Junior Play,and managed to land the lead parts, Suddenly, I became very popular and didn't really know how to handle the girls actually chasing after me. I even wrote and directed the Varsity Club Variety Shows and played guitar in several Garage Type Bands. The problem was, I was over-doing and soon began having Severe Migrains. One complete side of me would go numb and then the blood vessels would open suddenly causing horrible pain for hours and hours. Mom took me to a Nerologist and I was pleased to find out it wasn't a brain tumor.My mentally impaired sister's room was next to mine. She talked to imaginary friends all night and sometimes she would scream, "Roger! There's a man in my room!!!!" She was going through a very difficult time, and the lack of sleep only added to my agony.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Worse Boyfriend

The rest of the summer past by quickly. I didn't make it to the lake. As before, I spent every afternoon at my girlfriend's house, in the livingroom, watching Soap Operas, sitting on the couch, and holding hands.Toward the end of summer, I guess my girlfriend had enough. Our relationship was going no place, and one afternoon she broke up with me.
I was crushed! I hopped on my Honda and went straight to Lacey Lake. I knocked on my Texas Girls door, but no answer. One of the girls at the lake told me they had left back for Texas a few days before. With my head hanging low, I drove my little motorcycle back home.
It was a long, cold, winter,but when the weather began to warm up, I rode my Honda back to the lake, only to find a gate across the Resort drive with a no trespassing sign attached to it. They had closed the Resort and I had no way to see if my Texas Girl was back,or not. Thus ended my experience with my first two girls. Sadly, the thing I failed to realize was my Texas Girl and her family had moved to Michigan to a near by town.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Facing the Music

I tossed and turned all night. I couldn't sleep just thinking about asking for my ring back. She was so sweet, and beautiful, and one of my very best friends. I didn't know how she would react when I asked for my initial ring back. I was so worried that she wouldn't want to be friends with me any longer. But thinking everything through, she was only here for the summers, and those long winters without even seeing her when she returned to Texas was just more than I could bare. I finally built up my courage and drove my Honda down to the lake. I walked up to their mobilehome and knocked on the door.
Suddenly, my Texas girl appeared in front of me with a big smile on her face. "Hello Roger."
I smiled and said Hi. Then I went on to explain to her that I had talked with my ex-girlfriend and she had agreed to go steady with me again. I was amazed at how well she took it. Then I went on to ask her for my initial ring. "Oh Roger! I'm afraid I've lost it. I'm not sure but I think I lost it in the lake while swimming. Can you ever forgive me? I am so sorry!"
I guess I would have to tell my girlfriend I lost it. Now I know why my Mother wouldn't let me give my class ring to any girls. I left the lake and returned to my girlfriends house. Once again, we spent each afternoon sitting on the couch, holding hands, and watching soap operas.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


So it was settled. I was going with my Texas Girl, but other than giving her my initial ring nothing had changed. We didn't hold hands, or kiss, or have any kind of romance. Things were no different than when we were just good friends. I guess she was too young and I was to backward. Our days continued as they had since 1962. We swam and played and floated around in those big, black innertubes.
A week had passed since my girlfriend broke up with me. My Texas girl and I were floating in our innertubes when I looked up on shore and saw my ex-girlfriend. She was wearing her older sister's leopard bikini, and she had grown into it perfectly. All eyes were upon her. She walked around, never getting in the water, and then she she stopped and talked to a girl. She then left the lake as quickly as she had appeared. It was about an hour and a half before dark, and I decided it was time to head home. As I was driving my Honda past my ex-girlfriend's house, I noticed she was sitting outside at their picnic table. I stopped in, and we talked until dark. She agreed to go steady with me again before I rode on home. Then it dawned on me that she had no idea I was going steady!I would have to go to the lake tomorrow and ask for my initial ring back.