She Will, She Will, Rock You

Skeeze had decided the boys’ restroom just outside of the high school cafeteria was the perfect spot. Acoustically, that is.

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 1977, he, Greg Eidem and I started it off, stomping our feet and clapping our hands. Stomp, stomp, clap … stomp, stomp, clap echoed off the tiles and out into the hallway, where kids had paused to listen.

Then we started singing the opening lines of “We Will Rock You,” all the way up to where the guitar breaks in and we broke out—laughing, into the hall. No doubt Greg filled in as Brian May, air guitar and all. “Everyone in the hall looked at us,” the diary states. “We slipped quickly away.”

With my Super Sam’s earnings, I bought Queen’s News of the World LP that December. My boss Sabrina chastised me for wasting my money on music that wasn’t of the fine caliber of Neil Diamond’s “Desiree,” which I’m sure elicited derisive snorts from the guys working the back line.

Everything was going normally at Sam’s until one Saturday afternoon, Dec. 10 to be exact, she was suddenly there, working the front line—Stephanie Diaz.

The diary reports that “she really set the rest of us guys off…fantastic girl! I was fascinated.” She was short, perhaps 5 ft., 2 in., long, light-brown hair, button nose and sexy-sweet smile. Nine days later I stopped in to see her after school, working the front line again, writing later that she was “shy, interesting, beautiful.”

My observations were hardly made in a vacuum. Sabrina “recognized our intentions,” and even offered an assist, saying, “she was sure that Steph liked me, and suggested that I ask her to Sam’s Christmas Party Jan. 7th.” It was December 1977, a full year after I’d dated Kim, and here was someone new, someone interesting and attractive.

Also, she didn’t go to my school, so news about us would stay out of the rumor mill.

***

Then there was Grandpa Adams’ “mystery girl.”

As mentioned previously, my maternal grandfather’s weaknesses were gadgets and women. The latter got him in trouble with Grandma Mamie (pictured at left around the time she was dating Grandpa, and a dead ringer for Mom). Raymond cheated on Mamie just after Mom was born, which set in motion a total marriage lock-down, effectively making my mother an only child.

Now that they’re all gone, it’s doubtful I’ll ever learn who the mysterious woman was, but nosing around in some of Grandpa’s earliest photos may have revealed something.

Since Raymond was born in 1900, the photos I found show him in his late teens or early 20s at a campground or Indiana reservoir. Grandpa poses with a lovely bobbed-hair brunette who most definitely was not Grandma. There are no labels or inscriptions on the photos, which were in a tattered photo album.

There are five photos of her altogether, one with him leaning into her, his arm draped around her shoulder. The top photo is of her seated waterside, hands folded over her kneecaps. She’s also clearly not his sister, Edith, who appears in other shots holding a baby.

In a way, identifying her matters less than coming across photos from 1920 while reading about my own romantic fascinations in 1977. Fifty years—a mere blink in the scheme of things, whether at a long-gone summer’s watering hole in Indiana or a snowy Christmastime in Minnesota.

A powerful attraction toward women binds my experiences to Grandpa’s: the heart wants what the heart wants.

***

Meanwhile, two days after Christmas Day, Steph shows up at Super Sam’s with her best friend Kim. It’s a Tuesday afternoon and I’m taking orders on the front line. When Steph and I start flirting, Sabrina makes a face, trying to keep my mind on work.

“The more and more I see Stephanie,” I wrote in the diary, “the more fascinated I become. …You know what? I wish I could call Steph and really talk to her for a long time.”

Four days later I’d be doing more than that. On New Year’s Eve, we’d be going out on our first date.

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~ by completelyinthedark on August 24, 2012.

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