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A Story of My Life, Part 14: The Winery
I lived on my own. I had my own little apartment, and I had a decent car for a change, a white Chevy I bought for $1000 after my old "crate of wrath" car died, nearly killing me in the process. My little apartment was very lightly furnished. It seemed there were always so many bills to pay. There was very little left over. I had rent, car insurance, the utilities bills (which climbed to $300 per month in the winter but only $20 or so in the summertime), and I was paying off, slowly, month by month, a small college loan.
I had two jobs: one, in a plastics factory, second shift, from Sunday night to Thursday night; also a part-time job in a delicatessen. The band had slowed down during the winter, we had only a few little gigs over the summer. School was finished, I had my little two-year degree in accounting. It was time to get a real office job.
I applied for a position that was advertised in the newspaper, for a Federal Government Compliance Records Keeper in a winery. I was 22 years old, lively and bright, and ambitious for the future. I was forward-looking, and had a basically happy and cheerful outlook on life. Any difficulties in life I always considered to be temporary. There were always things to look forward to, ways to improve my lot.
I met my first husband. He interviewed me for my first office job. His desk was covered with papers. The phone rang several times. He was the general manager of the winery and a very busy man. But he stood up to greet me, offered me a seat, and didn't sit again until I was seated. That small, old-fashioned courtesy left a mark in my mind.
He said to call him "Edward". (Everyone else did.) Well, I had a bit of a problem with that. He was the general manager and my future boss, so I settled for "Mr. Edward". That brought a very engaging smile to his face. We talked for a little while, between interruptions. He was decisive; a real problem-solver. He had good brains, I could see that very well on short acquaintance. He was of medium build, maybe forty years old. Blue eyes and sandy hair. I looked at his ring finger and saw a wedding ring. So I shrugged inwardly and said to myself, "Oh, well. It figured." He had a wonderful voice. I could listen to him all day on any subject. He had the most listenable and compelling voice.
He gave me a quick tour of the facilities. We walked out into the plant. I was awed by the fifty-foot ceilings. It was like a cathedral, only with no windows--skylights instead, and those majestic tall ceilings to make room for the stacked pallets of wine, the bottling equipment, and the huge fermentation vats in the fermentation area which held 60,000 or 70,000 gallons of wine, with catwalks across the tops of them. We made a brief tour of the champagne lines. The champagne was "Naturally Fermented in the Bottle" so there was tirage, a cold room, the disgorging machines...
It was a quick tour, then back to the office to discuss my future duties, to meet the other office workers, and the company's President, and to have a finalized offer, with salary and benefits.
I was hired!
I went home all in a whirl. I had to start Monday, and this was Thursday, which was no notice hardly at all for either of my two jobs. I hoped they wouldn't be too angry with me. I had my Thursday night shift at the plastics factory, then a morning shift Friday at the deli, then a Saturday afternoon shift at the deli, then...Saturday night, we were playing out with the band for the first time in almost two weeks...I couldn't wait to tell the band about my new job. I was elated. I felt like I was on my way, climbing up the ladder by my boot straps. It meant an awful lot to me to work in an office. An office! Whoopeee!!! A real real job at last!
I came home from the plastics factory. Yes, they were a bit angry with me. I worked my last shift there, and when I told them it was my last night, they told me to punch out and go home, now. It was only 9pm or so, and I was used to working until midnight. I was keyed up, too, about my new job, and a little nerve-wracked about the way my former employers took the lack of notice. I felt punished. They wouldn't even trust me to work out my shift. I also felt like I burned my bridges, big time. I knew they'd not have me back, if my new job didn't work out.
So I decided to go out for a little while. I counted out my money and looked over my checking account. There was a little extra, all the bills were paid up for the month anyway...I decided to take three dollars, that meant two beers and a pool game, and go down to the neighborhood tavern, have a couple beers and go home again. Just to wind down. It was so unusual for me to get out on a Thursday night...
Michael the Archangel
So I went out to the neighborhood bar, all decked out in my cheap sexy little clothes. I was celebrating.
I met a man there. It was the very first time I felt instant lust, on first sight, for a man. I thought that was something men felt for women but women didn't feel for men. How wrong I was! The minute I saw Michael something chemical happened in my blood. I had to have him, to put it baldly. My pulses raced. I actually did feel weak in the knees. He was SUCH a BEAUTIFUL young man. Tall, rangy, well-muscled, and with the most gorgeous blue eyes, eyes of fractured blue, unforgettable eyes.
I was young enough to mistake that instant lust for love at first sight. How very young I was! How very naive!
He hit on me, he bought me a couple of drinks. He played some pool with me--not very well, I won both games, to my secret satisfaction. We bumped hips at the jukebox, picking out songs we both loved. Michael. Michael the Archangel, I called him in my mind, because of those incredible blue eyes.
We talked and laughed and could barely keep our hands off each other, and I got a bit tipsy, a bit high.
I was high on life, on being young, on having such good news that day, on having such a good time and such a fine evening with a simply gorgeous young man to share it with me, who (miracle of miracles!) seemed to want me, too!
The evening ended as you might expect--I fell headlong into bed with my new friend Michael the Archangel. It was the very first time I let someone take me home from a bar on such short acquaintance, and I had a lot of people, quite a few semi-drunken men, hitting on me while I was playing out, so I was a little used to that and could easily shrug it off, if I wanted to. It could have been, but wasn't, a one-night stand. I felt guilty about it but I also felt I couldn't help myself. Something just took me over that night.
I didn't know, didn't have the least clue, that earlier that day I had already met the real love of my life. I didn't know that the future had in store for me, the thrills and ills of true love and marriage. I had no idea what those years together with my first husband would mean to me, or how it would all end.
1980. 200 people were killed when the Corralejas Bullring collapsed at Sincelejo, Colombia
- In January, US President Jimmy Carter declares a grain embargo on Russia.
- January 6, 1980, the Global Positioning System time epoch begins at 00:00 UTC.
- Also in January, US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation approving a$1.5 billion US dollars loan to Chrysler Corporation to bail it out.
- In Saudi Arabia, 63 Muslim fanatics are beheaded for their part in the siege of the Great Mosque in Mecca.
- 200 people were killed when the Corralejas Bullring collapsed at Sincelejo, Colombia. That poor tortured bull finally got his own back. Those poor bloodthirsty people died horribly in the crush.
- In February, the Ayatollah Khomeini named Abolhassan Banisadr as President of Iran.
- The Ayatollah stated that Iran's parliment would decide the fate of the Iran hostages.
- In March, the Voyager I probe confirms the existence of Janus, a moon of Saturn. In November, 1980, the NASA Voyager I makes its closest approach to Saturn, flying withing 77,000 miles of Saturn's cloud tips and sends the first high-resolution pictures of Saturn back to Earth.
- In January, The Rock Island Line Railroad is liquidated due to debt, and in March, 1980, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad operates its final train.
- In March, President Trudeau returns to office as Prime Minister of Canada.
JR From "Dallas"
- In April, 1980, Operation Eagle Claw fails to rescue the Iran hostages. The commandoes have mechanical problems with the rescue helicopters.
- In May, Yugoslav's President Tito dies. The funeral ceremony is the biggest world diplomatic meeting ever seen.
- May 17, 1980--a police court in Florida acquits four white police officers in the beating death of Arthur MCDuffie, a black insurance executive. This provokes 3 days of race riots in Miami.
- May 18, 1980-Mount St. Helen's erupts, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion US in damages.
- Also in May, the 5th Star Wars episode, "The Empire Strikes Back", is released in movie theaters everywhere.
- Pac-Man, the best selling arcade game of all time, is released.
- In June, CNN, the Cable News Network, is launched.
- Also in June, comedian Richard Pryor is badly burned trying to freebase cocaine.
- June 10-Apartheid: The African National Congress in South Africa published a statement from their imprisoned leader, Nelson Mandela
- From June to September, a heat wave in the United State claims 1700 lives.
- In November, in the United States Presidential election, former actor and former governor of California Ronald Regan defeats Jimmy Carter.
- Also in November, a record number of viewers tune in to "Dallas", to find out who shot JR?
- December 8, 1980. John Lennon is assassinated by Mark David Chapman, outside Mr. Lennon's recording studio in New York City.