Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tales Told Out of School

October 30, 2014
   Last weekend I was cut short in my comments at the Charlie Waters Memorial service by multiple pre-recorded church bells that went off in the middle of my talk. I have to admit it sounded very much like the Academy Awards music that is played when the producers want someone to shut up and get off the stage. I am convinced it was Charlie Waters himself, pulling the levers from beyond the grave in order to get me to stop telling a certain story about parking at the third green (technically brown) of the Kingman Country Club golf course. The story, left untold last Saturday, is this:

   When we were seniors in high school, Charlie was dating a minister's daughter. In fact her father was the minister of the very church the memorial service was being held in. If you looked up the word ironic, you would see her picture there.

   Rick Ridenour and I came up with a devious plan and it was a dilly. We were going to sneak up on his car after a dance in the study hall and jump in the back and then hide there as Charlie drove his main squeeze out to his favorite parking spot, then surprise them both at the most inappropriate moment.

   Although we missed our chance at the school. we followed them and then managed to jump into Charlie's car while he pulled into the Mobil gas station across the street from Desert Drugs and went inside to talk to the attendant. We ran out from our hiding spot behind the station and jumped in the way back of his father's station wagon and successfully hid ourselves. Charlie drove out to the third brown of the golf course and turned off the engine. The two love birds got into the back seat (we were just behind that seat, inches away) and then things got hot and heavy and we couldn't take it any longer, so we popped up and leering over the seat we said, "Imagine meeting you here."

   There were screams and cursing. It was horrible. She was mortified, Charlie was shocked and mad, but obviously more concerned about her and what would happen when word got out. In short, Rick and I were the worst possible friends a Kingman kid could have and Charlie STILL forgave us. I don't think I could have if the condom was on the other foot.

Back to front: Rick Ridenour, BBB and Charlie Waters, 1961

   So maybe Charlie was right to play those church bells. Not really a story his family would have appreciated now that I think about it. So I have Charlie to thank for saving me from that embarrassment as well. As I did manage to say at the memorial, about the only thing I ever topped Charlie at, was in asinine behavior.

   The photo, above, is from our eighth grade basketball team photo in 1961. Here we are without the warm up jackets:

Kingman Junior High Champs: back row, John Pemberton, Dan Harshberter, David Ostermier, Delano Havatone, Rick Ridenour, Coach Les Byrum. Second row, L to R: Heber Nelson, Charlie Waters, Ray Short, BBB, Jerry Eaton and Bill Blake. Kneeling, L to R: Jack Hedricks, Philbert Watahomogie (who got "Most Valuable Player" at the Blyth tournament), Wendell Havatone, Jack Thody and Ralph Mulenaux

Our cheerleaders were: Jan Key (later Prefontaine), June Smith, Karen Johnson and Michele Gilpin.

"Grandma was slow, but she was old."
—Coach Byrum's favorite saying