Sabrina Throws a Party

Awaking late the morning of Jan. 1, 1978, head still buzzing from the night out with Stephanie in the backseat of Harvey’s ’68 Mustang, I had one pressing chore: Pack for the Family Project’s ski trip to Telemark Resort in Wisconsin.

Dad had rented a condo in the town of Cable, on Lake Owen, and we were leaving on New Year’s Day. We’d be gone for nearly a week. I hastily called Steph, the diary reports, “before we left around 7:00 or so. I told her I’d be thinking about her, she said she’d miss me too.” I added, “But when I get back, there will be Sabrina’s party for us to go to.”

The drive was uneventful. But when we reached the place near midnight, it wasn’t yet ready for us. Dad angrily put us up at a little place called “The Alpine Motel,” where we spent a restless night.

Once we were in the condo, it was three and a half days of skiing, taking saunas, and trying to beat Brian in pinball and pachinko up at the main lodge. The parents went cross-country skiing and shopping in Cable. Back at the condo Brian and I sat around listening to The Beach Boys’ Endless Summer on cassette tape.

It was an odd moment in my life as a teenager.

I was a senior in high school, soon to take my first trip abroad in March, had a girlfriend from another school, a part-time job, friends and a supportive family. I felt both contemplative and, oddly, physical—“I did 6 km more [cross-country skiing] on my own. The sun shining so bright made it a good day to think. I felt strong, alive, and in control of a destiny calling.”

Destiny, maybe. But devotion to Stephanie? Questionable.

I jotted in the diary: “Brian and I spent a lot of the day ‘looking for girls’—and found them. We were following these two brunettes, both very cute. They apparently were staying at the Telemark Townhouses. We had close encounters (of the nice kind) but we had to leave when Mom and Dad came at around 4:30.” What I meant by “close encounters (of the nice kind)” draws blanks for me now. It’s doubtful we “made out,” and were just chatting and flirting. How Mom and Dad reacted, or how we reacted to Mom and Dad’s reaction, the diary doesn’t say and my memory no longer serves.

That mid-winter getaway was likely important to the folks since I’d be graduating high school soon, with Brian following in two years—empty-nesters before they knew it—and they wanted to make the good times last. The picture at left is from that trip, but I’ve no clue of whether it was taken by Dad, Brian, or even Mom.

Thursday, Jan. 5, around 2 p.m. Back on home turf. I phoned Skeeze and Steve, the latter with whom I drove over to see Kim and family. I was being sucked in again, thinking about the Beach Boys I’d heard on the trip. The diary states that Kim “looked really wonderful—our conversation was so warm—she glittered. Dear Diary—I love her eyes!” Suddenly “California Girls” came on TV and Kim said, “Mike, there’s your Endless Summer.” The entry concludes: “Yeah.”

Friday I was back to work at Sam’s, catching up with Sabrina about Saturday’s party. I punched out at 3:30, and was planning to get a haircut, but didn’t have enough money. So Steph and I sat in the mall lobby, holding hands. She walked me to the north entry where we kissed and I caught a bus home.

“I told her I would call her,” the diary reveals, “—but I couldn’t.”

Couldn’t? What was preventing me?

There’s no further explanation; only mention that fellow senior Mark McCurdy, whose parents owned a dry cleaning store in Navarre, had a case of Miller in the trunk of his car and intended to drink it, notably with me, Steve and two girls from our class, all joyriding out in the vicinity of Monster Road.

Which we did.

I worked at Sam’s on Saturday with a crushing hangover, and didn’t get a chance to apologize to Stephanie for the lapsed phone call. Hair finally cut, I took the bus home where I learned Dad had decided to yank my car privileges for the night—no holiday party at Sabrina’s.

“Mom got mad about dumb things,” the diary reveals. “I left… (walked) to Tipi-Waken (very cold) talked to Skeeze” who was with his girlfriend Joni at the time.

Fellow Sam’s coworker Dave Zanor picked me and Steve up at a local gas station and drove us to Sabrina’s party, where we found a pony keg in the bathtub and Neil Diamond blasting from her living room stereo.

Stephanie didn’t show, the diary says. “I felt bummed out.”

~ by completelyinthedark on October 27, 2012.

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