Dick and I continued on in our relationship. Despite the fact I had just turned 15 and he was 4 years older we had a surprisingly mature relationship. I'm sure it had to do with how fast I had grown up and the fact Dick was an old soul.
When I turned 15 my Dad had bought me my first car. Not that I needed it then, but owning a Service Station, he was a man who loved the automobile and he was really excited to have me living there. I have to back track a moment here. When my Mom and Dad divorced my Dad went out and bought himself a new car, it was a '67 Charger. If you are not familiar with this body style, it was only made for 2 years, '66 and '67. They were a really neat looking car and you rarely see one on the road anymore or even in a car show. I just loved that car and when I was 5 I made him promise me he would save it for me until I was 16. He said he would...lol Of course it and many other cars passed through our lives, but interestingly enough when I turned 15 and he decided he needed to start looking for a car for me he found a '66 Charger. We went to go look at it and I must say it wasn't pretty. Of course it had theh beautiful body lines and the neat features, but it also had rust, ugly wheels and someone had painted it baby blue. He got me to see past those things and he bought the car for about $600 I do believe. He was like a little kid, he was so excited. So while he had not saved his '67, he had delivered on his promise. More to come on the car.
There was something else I had always wanted in my life and that was a horse. When I was 11 and I was still living with my Mom we had a place to keep a horse but of course my Mom claimed there was no money for one. My Dad bought one for me and paid for everything related to it, tackle, food, upkeep, everything. I enjoyed him quite a bit, but he was a pretty feisty horse, so when I moved in with my Dad we traded him for a calmer one. This new horse was really a beauty. He was a chesnut color with a white blaze on his face and his name was Fury. I had to board him at a place not terribly far from home because we didn't have a place for him. Dick enjoyed Fury too, so many nights after dinner he drove me out to see Fury and we would take long rides through the trails. It was fun, romantic and really made beautiful memories. Those rides were so therapuetical for me. We used to talk about anything and everything as Fury walked along the trails. Dick was such a safe person to talk to, what you said to him stopped with him. I had not been raised with any religous background, but I did learn at that point in my life, God puts who you need in your life when you need them.
It would definitely appear I was quickly becoming a priviledge teen, having a car at 15 and my horse. And, I guess I was, but considering my background, I didn't take anything for granted and was grateful for the smallest of things. I felt so different then other kids and I felt like it could be read on my face. This was significant for me. It bothered me. I had started school a little late and of course didn't know anyone when I did start, so I was just trying to get my bearings. I was in 10th grade now and was going to Webster Groves High School. Of course like any school there were the different cliques and social groups. I can remember times just watching groups of kids chatting together in the halls or before class and thinking how they looked like they were so "in the moment". I didn't know how to do that around groups of kids. When Dick and I were together I could feel that way, but not with kids my age. I never did find my place at that school. It didn't help I left town every weekend to go to the Lake, so while other kids were making their weekend plans to hang out, I was being picked up at the door of the school by Dick and leaving until Sunday night. I did make a friend or two, but to be honest no one I can remember. I didn't even stay at that school, which I'll explain later.
Dick, being older and out of school, had his own car, which was a '72 Olds 442. It was really a beautiful car. I loved it. It was now 1976 so his car was very new and he took good care of it. Since we were going to the Lake every weekend and my car needed to be driven from time to time, my Dad offered him my car to drive every other weekend to the Lake. This would keep his car from getting a bunch of miles on it and would get my car on the road. Dick liked the idea so that's what we did. I liked the idea too because I got to enjoy my car some since I was not able to drive it yet.
Dick and I did all kinds of things at the Lake, from ice skating to dirt bike riding, but the best memories were the chats we had. I felt like no one understood me like he did. By now I was definitely in love with him. I don't know if ever was with me, because it remained unspoken, probably because of my age and my fears. I couldn't imagine life without him.
I mentioned I had no real friends at school.... well there was a girl that befriended me. Her name was Beth. It was really odd because she seemed to come out of no where. She was also two years older so I wasn't sure why she was bothering with me or how she even found me. She approached me one day and introduced herself, she was really friendly and clearly wanted to be friends. I was really excited to have a friend so I tried not to analyze it to death. Beth and I talked for a couple of days at school, then one day when Dick picked me up from school, which he often did, I mentioned her to him. Well, it turned out she was an old girlfriend of his that was not over him. She had worked with him back in his Dairy Queen days. She apparently had been watching and noticed him picking me up from school. She wanted a connection back to him. I confronted her about it the next day, but oddly enough, we really did enjoy our friendship, so it continued. She realized it would not get Dick back and was okay with that. Dick wasn't too happy about it at first, but he realized it didn't change anything between us, so although the friendship started for the wrong reasons, it did go on for the right ones.
When summer came that year Beth and I came up with this idea. We would get jobs at the Lake and live there for the summer. I approached my Dad about it and he decided we could do it. You'll never believe how that went....
I will pick up here next week...