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Old 01-01-2018, 05:23 PM   #1
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Your Most Memorable New Year’s Eve

Last night, New Year’s Eve, I was asleep by 10 pm. The usual. After 75 years on this Good Earth, I’ve reached a point where very few events will interfere with my sleep. I’m usually in bed by 10 pm. Martians could invade the Earth at midnight. Who gives a rat’s ass!

Oh, it wasn’t always that way. As I look back almost 70 years, Truman was President. The Korean War hadn’t begun. And we were ringing out 1949 and welcoming in 1950. I stayed up all night (my parents had gone to a New Year’s Eve party) that year to watch the ball drop in Times Square. I was 7-years old.

Over the years, New Year’s Eve, for the most part, hasn’t been all that exciting. Maybe the word I’m looking for is: eventful.

There were several times when I was in high school and college that I didn’t even go out on New Year’s Eve. And, many was the time, when I did go out, it wasn’t particularly a great evening. It all boiled down to expectations. On most occasions, those expectations never came close to being met.

Yet, as I think back, there were a handful of other times where New Year’s Eve turned out to be, for a better word, interesting.

Back in 1966-67, I was teaching on Long Island. I had invited two of my Boston buddies to come down and join me for a New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. I believe I coaxed them down with the idea that we could pick up women.

I ended up picking my friends up at LaGuardia early that evening. I drove them back to where I was staying so we could freshen up. About 10 pm, we drove into Times Square. I do remember it was quite cold (not nearly as cold as the current “deep freeze”). After I parked the car, we each bought a pint. As it turned out, we didn’t pick up any woman (but, it wasn’t for trying).

In fact, that year, only two memorable incidents took place - that is besides the countdown and the ball dropping from the Allied Chemical Building. First, we were interviewed by a college radio station (I believe it was NYU) and second, we went into a nearby Italian restaurant to take a piss. I distinctly remember the restrooms were at the very rear of the restaurant. Just before we arrived, the three of us passed this private party that was right out of a scene from “The Godfather”. There must have been about 20 pair of eyes looking at us and saying, “What are you chooches doin’ here?” Later, I would drive my friends back to LaGuardia so they could catch the first shuttle back to Boston.

If there’s a New Year’s Eve that stood out, it was back in 1968-69. I was still single, sowing my oats, and living in a studio apartment in Boston’s Kenmore Square section near Fenway Park.

I was double-dating that evening with a friend of mine named Stan (We took separate cars because Stan’s date lived about 20 miles west of Boston). We met at the old Boston Garden. We were taking our dates to an ice show called the “Ice Capades”.

After the ice-show was over, we agreed to meet back at my studio apartment for some food (my friend was picking up Chinese), libation (I was making Whiskey Sours) and what we both deemed: “Extracurricular Activities”.

Unfortunately, I ran into a snag. After the ice-show, my date, Susan, and I get into my car. I put the key in the ignition. The next thing I hear is: “Sputter…sputter…sputter…” Battery dead, shit! Maybe, alternator. No go. Dead in the water. I tell my date to lock the doors and shut the windows (keep one of the windows open a crack). I then set off for the nearest gas station. “Do you have a mechanic on duty?” I ask. “Someone with jumper cables,” I continue. “Just me,” the attendant replies. “I can’t leave.”

I rush back to the Garden parking lot where my car was by then one of the only ones left. I tell Susan, “I’m hailing a cab.” I lock my car. My date and I head for nearby Nashua Street. Seconds later, I see a taxi; I flag him down. In a flash, we’re traveling west on Storrow Drive; we’re headed for Kenmore Square.

When we arrive back at my apartment, Stan and his date are waiting for us. The first words out of Stan’s mouth were: “Where were you? What happened?” I explained the circumstances.

We went upstairs to my second-floor apartment. I fixed us some drinks while Stan doled out the Chinese. We threw on my black-and-white TV. We were just in time to watch the countdown and see the ball drop. “Happy New Year!” we all said.

After we had finished our food and sipping on our Whiskey Sours. The four of us began “petting” and “necking”. Yet, as I’m doing this, in the back of my mind, I’m still thinking about my car that’s sitting in the Boston Garden parking lot.
It’s now somewhere around 1 am. My friend Stan mentions he has a long ride west of Boston to drop of us date before returning to Boston. At that time, he mentions that he could take my date home; she lived in Boston, as well.

At that moment, I had one of those “flashbulb” memories that stays with you throughout your life. I remember, at that instant, the look on both Stan’s face and on my date, Susan’s face: Surprise. Utter surprise. At that moment, I thought I could read Stan’s mind. It would have gone something like this: “The straight-laced conservative Walter is going to have a sleep-over. What is this world coming to!” Shows you what a few Whiskey Sours will do.

After Stan and his date left, I told Susan to call her parents. I wanted Susan to explain to her parents what had happened. I didn’t want them worrying about their daughter. I’ll add that if they had any reservations about Susan staying over, I’d call her a taxi and pay for the cab fare. In the end, they were appreciative that they were called; they had no problem with their daughter staying with me.

The rest was a bit of a blur, but I’ll piece together what I can. I do remember I put a slow-dance record on my record-player. We danced. I remember holding Susan close. As I recall, it was a warm and wonderful feeling.
fter Susan excused herself to use the bathroom, she came over (I was sitting in an arm chair). She proceeded to give me a lap-dance (albeit an air-filled one; yet, all-in-all, quite erotic).

It was then that I suggested that Susan get undressed. As an aside, I have to tell you I loved burlesque shows. There’s something titillating (at least for me) when a woman coquettishly disrobes. As Susan was about to get undressed, I thought carefully about how I would approach this. My heart kept saying: I want to watch. If Susan does this in a flirtatious manner, all the better. I should mention, Susan was extremely well-endowed. The thought of her possibly putting a “follow the bouncing ball” routine had me frothing at the mouth and panting like a dog in heat. Not to mention…

Yet, in the end, my head prevailed. I suggested she get undressed, privately. I gave her a pair of my old pajamas. Oh, we slept together. A lot of playing around. But, no carnal knowledge. When Susan told me she was a virgin, I definitely decided not to “push the envelope”. No rationalization. But if we were engaged, or at least “going steady,” it might have put a whole ‘nother spin on this (I believe it was our 3rd date). I must add that thinking about my car in the parking lot was a distraction.

We ended up falling asleep. The next morning, I called a cab to take me back to the Boston Garden parking lot. A mechanic was available in a nearby gas station. He jump-started my car. I then drove back to my apartment. I kept the car running downstairs. I picked up Susan. We headed for her parents’ home. I remember walking in. I felt sheepish. I wanted to say to her parents – although I didn’t – nothing happened. I remember kissing Susan before I left.

As a postscript, as it turns out, I would never see Susan again. As 1968 turned into 1969, I began seeing the woman I would later marry, the person I’ve been married to for nearly 49 years.
Walt (Teach)

"Walt, make a 'mental bet' and lose your mind." R.N.S.

"The important thing is what I think of myself."
"David and Lisa" (1962)

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