It was the fall of 1974, and I was a sophomore in high school. My first class of the day was physical education where we were required to run laps. The walls of the gym were papered with giant, life-sized posters of the varsity basketball team. A girlfriend suggested that we each pick our 'dream-guy' from the posters on the wall and use that image to motivate ourselves around the gym floor. Each time we'd pass 'our guy' it would be a lap.
After a while, my friend and I shared the identity of our dream-guys with each other. Before I knew it, my entire circle of friends knew I had a crush on the guy with the curly hair and killer smile. Dream-on!
My sophomore and junior years passed rather uneventfully and it was now July 2, 1976 (I remember the date well). I was on my way to pick up a friend for a bi-centenial party when I was nearly blown off the road by some loser in a bondo-mobile. I decided to show him a thing or two and when given the opportunity, blew past him in my speedy little AMC gremlin. Ha! I showed them.
The road narrowed into a no passing zone and the car's driver was now forced to follow along behind me in my cheery yellow hatchback. When I made the turn into my girlfriend's neighborhood, they followed and I began to get a bit nervous. As I negotiated the turns through the neighborhood and approached my destination, they followed still. Perhaps I'd chosen the wrong time to show-off my prowess behind the wheel. As I pulled up into the driveway, they slowed to a stop in front of the house.
By now, I was sure there was going to be trouble and wasted no time getting from the car to the house.
I was barely inside the door when they appeared behind me; the driver and his passenger. As I glanced over my shoulder, I realized that the driver was none other than my 'dream-guy' from the gymnasium wall, now a full blown college-man. He wasn't following me, only coming to pick up my girlfriend's older brother. As we stood together in the foyer, not a single word was exchanged between us. A few minutes would pass before the unthinkable happened. We were invited to tag along to a fireworks display and party with the college guys. Be still my beating heart!
Thirty-four years and three and a half grandchildren later, and he still looks good in a basketball uniform. The long, curly, dark hair is short and peppered with gray now, but he's still my dream-guy and always will be.
The photos are from top: Our Wedding at Churchill Country Club in Pittsburgh, Rick's Senior Pict (he cut his hair for it), Rick's '75 Bondo-mobile, My '77 Gremlin, My Senior Homecoming Dance, My Senior Prom, Graduation Day, On-board Rob's Boat in San Diego Bay 2005.