This is a tough one for me, only because I revere women and my memory isn’t what it used to be, so I am terrified of leaving someone out. I doubt many of them will even remember me, so hopefully that means they won’t be offended. The ones who were special to me know who they are.
My first love was Roxanne Rollings. We both attended Churchville Public School, now long gone. She lived right in Churchville and I lived several roads away, in the fifth line. Each line is normally about a mile apart, so I think where she lived was the third line, making it two miles between us, but that’s as the crow flies and I had to ride my bike and that added about another mile or so, some of it down the dirt road to her house. She was a real sweetheart, but I don’t think she ever really knew how I felt about her. She eventually married Wayne Wilson. I found her on Classmates recently, but she didn’t respond.
Through High School I was in the band, originally The Tempests and this seemed to attract a lot of women. I don’t remember anyone too special – just a lot of groupies. I was in the band for over ten years and these women were always around. No idea what the attraction was because we certainly were never “rock stars”. I don’t remember ever having a special relationship with anyone in high school. I remember Francis Carkner, who I also saw recently on Classmates. My first sexual experience was when I was thirteen, with Renatta, and I was pathetic. I had no clue what to do, but thankfully she did. Best two minutes ever!
During a period when the band, at this time called the Bow Street Runners, was the house band at the old Club Bluenote at Yonge and Gerrard I started going out with Pat, a gorgeous little blonde, who worked for Al, greeting people at the door and other things. I was barely sixteen at the time and she was twenty-one, which got a lot of ribbing from my band-mates and my parents weren’t too thrilled either. I think, as uncomfortable as it was for them, they knew that if they forbid me to see her that would only make me more determined to continue just to spite them. We all rebel against our parents about something.
We did some fun stuff, although I have no idea how I ever found time to be with her. I was working at the TD bank full-time during the day and playing at the Bluenote Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights until four or five in the morning. We backed up acts that were appearing in Toronto and would come over after their shows to play our floor show. There were too many days when I drove home and couldn’t remember getting there.
Pat was a very beautiful girl and, well, one thing led to another and we made love and it was amazing. Naturally, and stupidly, I assumed she was on the pill, but she wasn’t. I don’t remember every circumstance at the time, but I think we weren’t still playing at the club. My Dad’s advice at the time was pretty simple. First he asked me if I loved her and I said I didn’t really think it was love. I was too young to know. He asked me if it was mine and I said I couldn’t be absolutely sure. His advice at the time, right or wrong, was to cut-off all communication with her, which I did, albeit not comfortable with this decision. Months later my father told me a story that she had shown up at our house, threatening to kill herself and painted a picture of a crazy woman. He said he had “handled it” and to put it out of my mind. Not until recently did I learn the truth about what happened, and it saddened me, not only because what he said had happened was all lies, but because these lies were what my decisions were based on.
(Years later I had my family and my aunt at Ontario Place and we were leaving. I had gone on ahead to get the car, when I young boy came up to me and called me “Daddy”. When I said he was mistaken he pointed back to his Mum and told me she said I was his Dad. With my family coming up behind me, admittedly I panicked, more because of my aunt than my wife, because she didn’t know anything about this. My wife did. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. It was a very traumatic experience.)
Moving on, there were a couple of girlfriends, like Marilyn Adams, before I met my soon to be wife, Janice. Heather lived in Mimico and we got along really well. I’m not sure why we never went anywhere. I do know it was fun convincing my wife that when it came time to name my daughter, Heather, it had nothing to do with my former girlfriend. Honestly. The night I met my soon to be wife I was at a party with my then girlfriend, Bev Jackson. When Janice walked down the stairs I literally left Bev, walked over to Janice and the first thing I said to her was to ask her to marry me. She told me later that her friend, Lynn, had warned her that I was a sucker for blondes. She told me to beat it, but I told her she was going to marry me, now or later, and she might as well get used to it now. I later discovered she had a boyfriend, Doug, who treated her like you know what. We had a confrontation and he spit in her face in front of her mother, which ended it for him. Janice got pregnant with my son, Chris, and we got married August 16th, 1969 in Streetsville. The reception at her parents’ home was a riot, mixing her Scottish relatives with my English ones. They all got on great and hardly noticed we were there. I still remember Uncle Billy falling down the stairs carrying a case of beer, and all he worried about was if he broke any of the beers (he didn’t).
Janice and I spent twenty-three long years together and I could write a book on just that one relationship, but save to say we drifted apart and never came back together as the people who married. She never really forgave me for getting her pregnant and we went years with no physical relationship at all and that killed me. I stuck around hoping it would someday get better, but it never did. In 1992, when I had moved out and was basically making appointments to see my kids, I realized just how much I wanted to be out West with my own family. I figured the kids would come out to vacation with me, plus they had encouraged me to go. So, in July 1993 I packed everything into the van and moved out West. No question. It became the best fifteen years of my life, excluding that the kids abandoned me for some unknown reason and I haven’t spoken to them since. Janice remarried my best friend, Gary, who unfortunately passed away last year. I sent her a card but never heard from her either. Didn’t expect to given how she has poisoned my kids against me. Still don’t know why.
No one can really understand how hard it is for someone as romantic as me to have no love at home. Believe me, I tried, for years. We never slept together the night we got married or anytime on our honeymoon. It was not a good start. My first temptation was with her friend, Bobbi Rogers. She was babysitting for a friend and asked me to come over to talk about something. She was another gorgeous blonde, just like my wife, but she was VERY friendly. It was all I could do to resist the temptation and nothing happened. I wasn’t as lucky the next time. During most of my career at various jobs I had the opportunity, especially traveling as much as I did, to get involved with other women. Sometimes it was as innocent as just dancing, but sometimes it was more. I don’t want to count notches in my gun, but there were a couple of special ones. Brenda, who I met on a flight from Dartmouth to Montreal, and who I spent an amazing night with; Cheryl, who was my customs broker and we fell deeply in love and she was the only woman I ever really thought about leaving my wife for; Carolyn, who worked as a receptionist for a company I was with and with whom I had some very long lunches. I actually slept with her at her house when her husband could have come home any minute. Not one of the smarter things I’ve done in my life. There was also Marie, my very best friend girl ever and someone I would have left my wife for if she did not have a boyfriend. We worked together at Indal Products. Her and I and Heather were the three musketeers. We had such fun. We actually ended up in a motel room one night after a lot of wine and tried to make love, but they were my best friends and it just didn’t work. Later Marie asked me over for dinner and seduced me, but the sex wasn’t good because we were such great friends. I loved her in so many ways.
After I had moved out and was working at Fellowes in Markham I started seeing Gale-Ann, the President’s secretary. Although we had to sneak around at work, obviously, we ended up moving in with each other. She was the only real 10 I’ve had the good fortune to go out with. It all ended when I flew her out West to see Kelowna and she had no intention of moving. I put her on a plane back after only a week out of the planned three week vacation. It was a bitter break-up but I did see her years later when I drove down to Toronto.
Sad as this is, I really don’t remember who my first “girlfriend” was out West. I had so many really great women friends – Laura, Linda, Darleen, Norma, Sue, Karla, Bianca, and many others. I love spending time with them and just never got serious with any of them because it would spoil a great friendship. I met tons of women at my favorite bar, The OK Corral, but this usually didn’t lead to a relationship outside of the Corral. Exceptions were Jackie, who I was with for three years until she screwed around on me, and Heather, who I had a brief relationship with. I spent a couple of years living with Karen Falloon, but that ended when she planned the rest of my life for me.
I met the first true love I ever had, Tracy, when she was actually going out with a buddy. That ended and Tracy and I ended up moving in together and spent the most wonderful time of my life. We were so very much in love. We joked that we could not go fifteen minutes without kissing when we were together. We had “special moments” every day. We talked for hours. We told each other we loved each other all the time. I loved her so deeply and figured we would spend the rest of our lives together.
She was twenty-two years younger than me, but it was never an issue for us or for our friends. We were very good together. We always joked that I was young for my age and she was old for her age. Whatever we were doing, and we did a lot, she always had a hard time keeping up.
One thing we enjoyed was me pushing Mads and Bray in one of those wheeled carts with me roller-blading. They would squeal with delight when I said we were “all going to crash”. I would look back and there was Tracy huffing and puffing trying to keep up.
When we did the stairs at Lynn Canyon in North Van (I think there were four hundred or so) we joked about who would be helping who in twenty years. She started to question how things would be in twenty years though and this broke us apart. She asked me to move out and leaving her and the kids was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I left my own wife of twenty-three years without a single tear, but leaving Tracy destroyed me. I cried like a baby for weeks and really fell apart. I thought I would never love again.
Some years later I met Crystal at the Corral. She and I were pure magic on the dance floor and I tried as hard as I could to be more than a friend to her, but she was just never there. We slept together but nothing happened. We spent a lot of time together but it ended abruptly after a very bad “vacation” in Puerto Vallarta and she went out with someone else. The very biggest regret of my entire life is that her parents helped me out financially and I could not pay them back. I keep hoping that I will somehow have the money before it is too late. I don’t want to leave this earth until I have paid these great people back. I think of them every day and know how badly they think of me. I would love to win the lottery and give them a hundred thousand dollars for their kindness. They did not deserve to be hurt.
In Panama I had the most unusual relationship of my life. My girlfriend, Magaly, was twenty-five years younger than me, which was fine, but she didn’t speak a word of English and my Spanish was poor. Somehow we had a great relationship, I think partly because we couldn’t argue because neither of us would understand each other. If she got upset I just kept saying I’m sorry in Spanish until she was over it. We made love every night and went on a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica that I will never forget. I felt so incredibly bad for her when I had to return to Canada. She had done nothing wrong and I hurt her by leaving, but I had no choice.
Back in Toronto women were the last thing on my mind, but “life is what happens when you are making other plans”. I met a girl on the internet and she eventually came to Toronto. For me it was love at first sight. I thought I would spend the rest of my life with her and I moved to London to be with her. We had a great love, but something was obviously missing for her. She went away one weekend to spend time with another guy and lied to me about it. My only two requirements in any relationship are trust and respect. I had lost both with her. They ended up breaking up but the damage was done. As much as I love her daughter like she was my own, her mom is simply too destructive for me to stay with as a friend. Even my doctor warned me that she was just using me and told me to end it with her long ago, but I cared and was stupid enough to think something might be there, but now I’ve learned that it’s just never going to happen. I still care for her despite everything she’s done to me, and I miss her terribly. I am in a strange town and know no one and have no friends. It is tough to live without the one friend I thought I had, but with her is worse than without her, horrible as that sounds.
Well, there you have it, at least as much as I can remember. I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone along the way. Before I dated Bev I remember going out with the most gorgeous, but shy, girl whose name I just can’t remember. Oh, and at one point I went out a couple of times with Miss Brampton, whose name I also can’t remember. There’s a couple of one night stands, like Sally in Chicago, and a couple of late night flings with girls from the Corral, but no one else of any consequence, at least not that I can remember. Sorry if I missed you.
I hope there will be more to the story. It’s been a very long dry spell and I’m very lonely. I can only hope that I find I way to get back out West and find someone to love again before I die.