Tuesday, May 17, 2011


There are a few people I miss from my past. One such person is Carol. I met her when I went to a community college in Southern California. I was under 20 years of age and it was decided to build a community college out in the middle of nowhere without any public transportation. I had a place to live that was very cheap and found a car pool. They asked for money for the entire month but left me stranded on the second week I was there. I had no idea on how I was going to get home. Walking on a lonely two-lane road for miles was not an option. I saw Carol with her art supplies walking to the car lot and asked if I could get a ride home. I asked if she wanted to car pool and she agreed. She refused to accept money since I was ripped off.

It was fortunate since I ended up with a friend that I kept for years after that. I never heard from those people and never even saw them again. It was a fairly large campus. I really liked her and we got along well. Her mother was a teacher and they lived in a nice middle-class home. They had moved to Chula Vista while she was in junior high school from Colorado. Her parents had gotten a divorced and her mother had invested her settlement in getting a teaching credential and advanced degrees. She had also got a PhD because she wanted to be a principal but in those days women were not hired for those positions. She taught elementary school. Carol never saw her father again.

When I was in my early 20's, I could see the handwriting on the wall as far as education was concerned. I was then going to San Diego State University then called San Diego State College and Ronald Reagan was governor. The education system of California which was once excellent was slowly being taken apart by the governor. I could afford it up to a certain point until the governor imposed fees to punish the demonstrators against the Viet Nam War. What was ironic as most of the demonstrators were not students. I no longer could afford it anymore. The professors that I had waited to take classes from had quit and gotten jobs at universities in other states. Newly minted graduate students were teaching the classes I needed to take in my senior year. It was a mess.

I could not get the scholarships I needed to get to attend the schools I needed to go to. Carol's mother told Carol that she was not going to fund Carol's education anymore and she needed to get a job as a CNA in a nursing home although she would provide a nice apartment for her. Carol's mother had found a husband who had a wandering eye. We had fun visiting the museums, shows, art shows and lots of other things; but I knew I had to find another way to fund my way up the career ladder. I joined the U.S. Army for the G.I. Bill.

While I was in the Army, I got married and settled in Kansas where I completed my education at the University of Kansas. I had two sons and got two degrees there at that fine university. I loved KU. Carol and I lost touch. I had friends but none of them were like Carol. I really missed her.

It was while I was living in Redding that I found out she died in 1995. I was devastated. I know I lost touch with her, but I guess I thought I could somehow find her again. I have no idea how she died. Her mother sold everything and took a job as a professor in Missouri. I guess she retired there. I had met her family in Chula Vista and National City and have no idea what happened to them.

I was thinking about her this morning. Sometimes I am friends with people because they want to be friends with me and we have some things in common. Carol and I had a lot of things in common. I think she was the only friend that I had that I had so much in common. The only thing we did not have in common was she used psychic means to ask advice on what to do such as the Ouija Board. I remember sharing experiences that were truly remarkable in that area, but I did not want to make up my mind on advice from a spirit from the "other world" although I do have a strong Spiritual Connection. It is different in that I don't depend on cards or other such devices.

We did so much together such as hikes, worked on jobs up in the mountains, did art projects for the community college and had so much fun. We even double dated together. I wasn't going to accept staying in Chula Vista in dead-end jobs while politicians played with the future of higher education in California. She grew so bitter towards those with advantages she did not have although in some ways she had far more advantages than I did. Her mother was willing to pay for a car and an apartment for her.

Our mothers did not like the other. My mother called Carol, "the Cossack" and Carol's mother just made it be known she did not like me. I have no idea why. We just ignored them but Carol's income depended on her mother while mine did not on my family.

What I liked the most about Carol is that she did not play the games women and girls often played with each other. We were not in competition for men or anything else. We just liked arts and science fiction. She had a strong liking for Mr. Spock as I did. She was an incredibly good artist.

I made some friends in Redding and had some friends already when I moved here to Portland. I am hoping to make more. The isolation I was in after I retired from the state of California is over, and I made friends in Korea. Although I love books, one can't live without friends. They certainly are the spice of life. I am hoping to make more friends especially those I have something in common with. I am hopeful I can.

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