Romantic Dreams

Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” came out in 1968.  I saw it 5 times!
First, when my World Civ’ II class was taken by bus to Washington DC. We experienced the love story in a super deluxe, modern theater with surround-sound and gigantic, curved screen.

We had to read the Shakespeare play first, of course. It was AP English. But the movie burned that tale into my brain forever. I walked around singing & playing on my flute the hit song from that movie,
“What is a youth? Impetuous fire, what is a maid, ice & desire….”

After getting home from the school trip, I dialed Sheila. I insisted that her boyfriend Al (RW’s older brother), Shelia, Robert W. and I go see “Romeo & Juliet” the next Saturday.  Date Night!

Robert W. and I saw it 3 more times on our own, dropped off by Al (neither Robert W. nor I could drive yet). Al & Shelia would go somewhere to make out, picking us up sometimes an hour late. We stood, holding hands, in front of the theater, speaking of Romance, music, paintings & poetry.

Robert W. and I talked feverishly about the Capulets and Montagues, their fathers’ hate and our true but ill-fated romance. This was us!! We agreed never to kill ourselves but to run off to California one day, like nearly every teenager in our Boomer Generation dreamed of doing.

“Your parents can’t keep me away from you,” RW pledged his troth. “If they lock you in your bedroom, I’ll float in through the keyhole.” What a freaky thought! Like from an acid trip, man!

My father did lock me in my bedroom whenever he put me “on restriction for the duration” for any offense–from “getting smart” to staying out past my 10:00 p.m. curfew. He’d switched the doorknob so it locked from the outside.

I was a fairytale princess, starving & lamenting life. I wrote in my Real journals: scrolls of paper hidden in shoes & boot boxes. The old diaries Dad had given me (“you’re the type of person who needs to write everything down.”) were in the left-hand drawer of my work desk. I wrote things like “Bob is an idiot” & drew goofy pictures in those, knowing my brother would sneak in to read them.

The scrolls contained my True Life Stories. Love, laments about boys being shipped off war, plans to run away, live in Beach Boy California with RW, Al & Shelia, sell paintings to tourists. We could live in a VW bus, painted inside & out by RW & me. Shelia was smart & practical. She took business courses at Langley. She’d get an office job easily. Al would do something. He was a man of many talents.

RW was a great mechanic & hard-working construction guy. We’d get a cottage near the ocean, pitching in our earnings for food & rent. Ah, Life Would Be Groovy!

me, Robt, Teresa groovy

Super Groovy friends: Robt, Teresa & me, dancing to groovy 60s soul hits

Author: dixiewriter

Due to my father's job as an explorer/cartographer, my family moved 48 times before I turned 13. We lived where Dad worked: on mountain tops (in park ranger cabins), in deserts, swamps, along coastlines from Maine to Key West & other wild places. My father mapped parts of Antarctica, living there for 8 months in 1961-62. A mountain peak & a glacier are named after him (William C. Elder, USGS) As an adult, I helped Lars Eric Lindblad (then president of World Wildlife) find out about the migration path of Silverback gorillas (from Tanzania into Kenya). On my information, he chose to move Lindblad Travel's photographic safari camps to accommodate these wonderful creatures. I got a Jimmy Carter grant to teach after I graduated from Madison College. Grantees had to sign up to teach for at least a year in a severely impoverished school anywhere in America. I taught for 3 & 1/2 years in SW Virginia near Bluegrass Central (Galax, VA). I taught 7th-9th grade English, Drama, Journalism. I was the forensics coach. Moved to Connecticut & worked for Lars Lindblad, typing up the manuscript for his autobiography, working with Liz & John Fuller on this book. (They co-wrote "Ghost of Flight 415" & other books about unusual phenomenon. Moved to Colorado in 1982. Worked as "gal friday" for 12 detectives at the Boulder Police Dept. Set up files for DA to use in court amongst other things. Then at a law firm. Next, CU/Boulder for 10 years. At CU, workers could take a free course each semester. So I did 5 Master's levels courses in special ed' & many in creative writing/history/religion & other subjects at the Master's level. I taught "Drama for the Disabled" in Boulder, CO after the teacher had to quit due to health issues. It was wonderful! My last 7 years working, I helped adults/teens/children with various brain differences such as autism. I was diagnosed at age 45 with 3 types of seizures, manic depression (atypical, rarely depressions, mostly manias), OCD & PTSD. At age 67 (!!) this diagnosis was changed. The manias are most likely due to temporal lobe "disturbance." The other symptoms are due to "high functioning" autism or Asperger's. Shock!! I do Tai Chi 3x/day which helps me to calm down. My husband & I work out at a gym 3-5 times/week for balance mostly but also weight training, running etc. We climb the beautiful Rocky Mountain High places (like Long's Peak & Maroon Bells) in summertime/autumn. We love archaeology, so when we travel, it's in order to discover ancient sites. My husband is an actor with a "day job." He has performed in shows with Zero Mostel (Fiddler on the Roof, the road show), Dick van Dyke (Diagnosis Murder), Firesign Theatre/John Goodman/Annette Bening et al. (Wizard of Oz/radio show) & many other wonderful people since age 14. We have traveled to: Iceland, Scotland (twice), Germany (3 times to visit friends), Ireland & fascinating places in America. We usually spend a month when we travel. So we go about every 5-6 years. Otherwise, we stay at home in a town in Colorado, attending Poetry sessions, working in local theater, enjoying our shelter rescue cats, writing, painting & dancing.

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