Summer of 1974

Summer of 1974

A Story by barleygirl
"

true story . . .

"


I’ll never forget the overstuffed feather bed on the screened-in porch of Freddy’s rustic cabin. That’s where we spent plenty of afternoons during the summer of 1974. It was that kind of fluffy bed where we sank down a few inches upon first landing in a heap of friskiness. Uncommonly attentive to housekeeping, his luxuriously smooth sheets were always cool and clean against my skin.

His cabin was a backroads retreat surrounded by barren squirrel-pocked hills with lonely cow trails carved into heat-baked clay. A scattering of pepper trees adorned with berry clusters blocked the blazing sun from streaming through tattered screens. Still, it was always so toasty we peeled our threads as soon as we hopped out of his powder-covered BMW while a trail of dust settled along the barbwire-fence-lined dirt road. I was surprised to find such a modest dwelling when I followed this winery executive home.

Freddy was the winemaker at nearby Paul Masson winery. His best friend Sam married my best friend Sally a month after she and I graduated from high school. I met Freddy in the proverbial wedding party connection. We were inseparable that summer before I scampered off to University of California at Santa Barbara on an engineering scholarship. Freddy continued to pursue me but I stopped returning his calls when the excitement of college life in a beach town full of tanned well-built surfers completely distracted me.

Many of our evening outings that summer comprised a foursome with our two wine experts guiding two naïve eighteen-year-olds through the intricacies of wine tasting. It all felt so sophisticated after my country bumpkin upbringing. As Sally and I whipped up culinary delights straight out of Fine Cooking magazine, our courtiers served up a variety of vino options complete with eloquent explanations. Every get-together was liberally punctuated by intermissions with each couple kissing and fondling.

But my favorite times were those spent with Freddy in the solitude of his humble abode. Having grown up in the boondocks where no TV or radio signals could reach, I was only marginally aware of various cultural influences such as music. Freddy delighted in sharing his eclectic collection with me as we swapped full body massages moistening simmering skin with almond oil. The most memorable tunes were the early instrumental sounds of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. I still think of those summer romps on Freddy’s feather bed whenever I hear ELP.

Freddy would’ve been the perfect catch. He was responsibly socking away his considerable salary so he could build his dream home with cash up front. Like me, he had no interest in kids. But my wild nymphomaniac phase launched spontaneously in Santa Barbara, a well-known party town at the time, and suddenly all this mature and responsible sophistication started to chafe and bind. Freddy drove hours to visit me on weekends, arriving with flowers, jewelry and wine, but I often ditched him without notice. Eventually he got the hint and presumably nursed his broken heart beyond my awareness.

Two decades later he looked me up as a married man. At the time I was living and working in Sunnyvale, so we met for an extravagant meal in the city and then he hired a sail upon the San Francisco Bay as the setting sun sprinkled the lapping waves with coral-rose sparkles. It was obvious Freddy expected reciprocal payment for his generosity but I was turned off by his pompous self-aggrandizement in conversation. Clearly he felt he was superior to me, having attained a pinnacle in his career, basking in affluence. This was only the first example of how my gut instincts served me well even as I was often clueless and careening through my twenties.




© 2017 barleygirl



Author's Note

barleygirl
It seems Ken Simm and I might be offering dueling stories from the 1970's! *smile*

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Featured Review

Wow a sad tale this feels. well told and lovely cultural and visual detail. How people change and how we judge one another. I remember 1974 very well as I left home at the beginning of that year and the summer in Surry was glorious and I met my first love. Unfortunately I did not have such instinct despite warnings from my friends and she turned out to be schizophrenic.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

2 Months Ago

Such an interesting tidbit from a similar period in your own life! Thanks for sharing, as these expe.. read more
John Alexander McFadyen

2 Months Ago

Thank you!



Reviews

Just some guy trying to show you what you missed out on, when in reality you dodged a bullet, it seems. It makes sense how material wealth could be enticing, especially to a young person straight out of school. Nothing wrong with having those things, but it says a lot about a person who can be happy without them.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

2 Months Ago

I enjoy reading your viewpoint becuz it is always truthful & interesting. There are a number of guys.. read more
Reading this tells how humans are same and similar whatever part of world they live. I am glad that your instincts were strong even at that age.
I want to add that it not just the other gender that behaves so. Our school mates whom we didn't even know much, once they achieve something they just try to display it some way other way and always trying to show that we are losers and they are the winners.

But virtues are things that one cannot earn through materialism. Either you have them or not. And the secret is: when we make no comparisons and we are happy.
Your story has brought many memories back..Thank you for sharing , Margie!



Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

2 Months Ago

Your review is so intriguing & interesting, the way you compare the experiences from different cultu.. read more
Bala Gorthi

2 Months Ago

The pleasure of your works is always mine Margie, always enlightening in someway or other..
You were right to trust your instincts and move ahead to experience life. I shudder to think what would have happened had you got stuck in matrimony in early age. Then some people only grow more pompous with time. I have a strong suspicion he wanted to impress upon you what a mistake he thought you made. Thankfully, you followed your heart, which proved to be a wiser choice.

I loved the deft, skillful story telling and great choice of words. Kudos!

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

2 Months Ago

You are so astute, to point out how he was probably trying to show me what I missed . . . you are so.. read more
DIVYA

2 Months Ago

It will be great to read you again :)
(HUGS)
Wealth and ambition can change personalities so quickly. We all try to climb out of our rut, but are scared of falling back again. We abandon old colleagues, not intentionally, but environment changes our tastes. Snobbery and inverted snobbery are a conditioned reflex, even though we may not care to admit it. But at the end. if we are happy with our lot, then we are a success.

Lecture over ... Your romps were titillating , inebriating and I could even say, educational. (((Hugs)))

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

2 Months Ago

It's been a lifelong lesson for me to understand that not being impressed by material things can be .. read more
Your life, like so many, is strewn with flowers, honey and stinging nettles. It seems the fine wine that was Freddy became less delicious for many reasons, some of which were a change in his character, but also your changing taste buds. To quote one of our favorite bands,
"Maybe I might have changed
And not been so cruel
Not been such a fool
Whatever was done is done
I just can't recall
It doesn't matter at all"

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

2 Months Ago

You are an exquisite friend, with this perfectly-chosen lyrical share! I can tell you get my drift a.. read more

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Added on July 31, 2017
Last Updated on August 2, 2017

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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Just loving life & sharing my blessings. more..

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