David’s mother Suzanne was the one who started our families on the road toward each other… literally. In the Summer after my 4th grade year I was walking down Woodland Trail when a beautiful woman in a convertible slowed along side me. She said “I have a son who I believe is about your age, and we’ve just moved into town. Would you like to meet him?” I replied “Yes”, and she said that she wouldn’t drive me, but rather that they lived at the T intersection of Woodland and Ski Hill Road, and I could walk down and she’d meet me there.
David and his twin older sisters Christine and Joan had moved to the dunes from Southern California. Exotic, to me, although they were actually moving back to the area, having lived in Valparaiso for some time before California. They moved to follow Dave’s father Jack’s work.
In the decade to follow Dave and I became best friends, and spent thousands of hours together. We played ping-pong in their rec-room while we listened to music (tastes changing over the years, from my first purchased LP “Chicago” through Styx, Kansas, Billy Squier, Van Halen, the Doors, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Black Sabbath, the Police, Boston, Queen, Foghat, Jethro Tull, the Doobie Brothers, Average White Band, Supertramp, and others. A dollop of Steve Dahl and Larry Lujack on the radio. That Seventies Show, basically. 🙂
We explored the dunes, and spent a lot of time on the beach and in the water. The Hinmans came to have a Sunfish sailboat, and a small outboard waterskiing boat… Jack taught us to sail and to ski, and drove the boat on weekends… we’d put in at Lefty’s Marina in Burns Ditch, slowly make our way out into Lake Michigan with all the other boaters, find a spot on the beach to stake a claim, and then zoom back and forth parallel to the shoreline skiing. Joan and Christine, I imagine, spent more time on the boat than we did, but with their friends.
In 7th grade David began playing trombone, while I started on tuba. In 8th grade I started playing trombone as well, and by high school, we were both in band and jazz band together, and I at least became a band geek… an uber-band-geek really. When Dave got his license, he started driving to and from school, which helped a lot from our junior year on, when I had my own tuba and case which I schlepped to and from school daily (in Dave’s car, or getting a ride in early with the cross-country team or others).
Around that time we also started playing soccer and football, Dave as a fullback, I as goalie, Dave as defensive tackle and I as offensive center… both sports only lasted a couple of years for us, because trips in the Summer and marching band in the fall took their place. More on that in the next post…