January 1977 was a mess weather wise–there was a combination of snow, sleet, rain and ice on the 2nd, 6th, 9th and just snow on the 18th and 19th. It was just cold–5 degrees–on the night of the 17th. There is no way to describe what happens in Memphis when it snows. I can start with the drivers who drive like a bat out of Hell to get home and cause more accidents in one hour than would happen all month! Needless to say our classes were empty and we lost money.

Margie quit in March and by August Johnny and I were finished  with his eventually moving out November 6 and the cherry on the top was I came down with gonorrhea! Oh, and I got a speeding ticket in September! Yes, things were falling apart and adding injury to insult I was alone on New Year’s Eve and I had heard whatever you were doing at Midnight on New Year’s Eve you would be doing the rest of the coming year.

1977 wasn’t all bad. During the year I saw Tom Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Bette Midler in concerts, had a mini affair with a guy named Perry for a couple of months but I have no pictures of him, have no idea who he was/is and I don’t remember a thing about him but according to my diary we went to plays, movies, ate in the best restaurants and slept together quite a bit. On December 27, coming back from Covington ( after doing a class? Having dinner with Johnny’s family? Diary doesn’t say but…) my car broke down near the Millington Naval training place and 2 sailors stopped to help me and I thanked them by inviting them to stay at my place when the came to Memphis. Each did, separately, and the rest is history. I did a post a couple of years ago about Dr.K/Bob, who was the choir director at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, traveled over the world with the Robert Shaw chorale, sang on the Perry Como show, looked like aworldclassconductordressed in his tux and looked like stud of the year in his jeans and plaid shirt when cruising the park. We weren’t soul mates but soul brothers. Bob gave me a gingerbread house for Christmas, the first I ever had and to this day I remember it, how it tasted and every time I see one I think of him and recall the smell when I opened box.

We opened in Pocahontas and Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, but at the same time we had to change our Raleigh meeting room. I went to a Positive Thinking Seminar and on my summer vacation. This was the year that I took the trip to St. Louis with Dr. K to see “A Chorus Line” and life was moving along. I was still having the weekly orgies and people were still responding to my Advocate ad. In July the police went on strike in Memphis and the city was on a curfew but somehow or other Dr. K came home with a couple of them. I had a frightening thing happen on August 29. I was returning from my class in Covington, was stopped at a railroad crossing and somehow or another my car came out of ‘park’ and smashed into the train and spun the car, and me, 360 degrees. I was so mad that I got out of the car and kicked the door until I realized that I could have been killed. The front was smashed in but somehow or another it started up and I was able to drive it totheShell station on the corner of Park Avenue and White Station Road. The next day it was declared totaled by the insurance company. By the way I didn’t have a drink that night.

The beginning of the end, or the realization that things were wrong, was when I got a station wagon, which is so unlike me, but the accountant said that I could claim I was using it for business so that Our Weigh could pay for it. The following week I took Bobby, Ronnie, Larry to Pallazino’s to celebrate Issac’s birthday and the ladies in the office got teed off as did the accountant. I was being questioned about spending money for the first time but it should have happened from the first day!

A very strange thing that I can’t figure out why there was so little mention of Chuck unless I didn’t meet him until after Johnny and I broke up but that doesn’t seem right. I mention Charlie from Spartanberg, Charlie Lee, a Chuck Cagle, a Charles from Chattanooga but no Memphis Chuck. There is a comment about driving up to see Dr. K in Carbondale with ‘2 plus Tommy Stewart’! The first mention I have of Chuck (along with his last name) is on October  18 but that was in relationship for our trip to Dallas with Tommy and Charles Cagle to see, yes, “A Chorus Line” and after that there are a lot of mentions of Chuck. It is hard for me to believe I only knew him for a year before I left Memphis.

On December 1, 1978, the entry states, “Business very bad–I am broke–having book sale”–1979 would bring to a close one of the best, and certainly the best financial, decade of my life.




Posted August 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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