Back to Phoenix
<<<October 24, 2001--Uncle Bushy
Oct 24, 2001
<<<October 24, 2001--Uncle Bushy
December 17, 2001, Germany>>>
Dec 17, 2001
December 17, 2001, Germany>>>

October 27, 2001
The Silver Lining

Mikey, Bicky, and Daewoe

And now kids, it's time for a short story from a short Horsey: In 1968 Bettye Pfender moved next door to my grandmother (Mamaw) when Bushy was still living with her. Little Vicki Pfender played in the back yard with her hula-hoop and when Mamaw took care of Darrel and I, Vicki came over to play. Bushy shot this photo in April 1968. We have recordings of me at three, saying I wanted to marry Vicki when I 'got big'. Darrel and I took turns kissing her on our home movies. She was our special friend. No children were harmed in the shooting of this photo.

Bettye and Bushy dated, married on July 4, 1970, and Bushy became the only father Vicki ever knew. Except for a birthday card I mailed Vicki in 2000, we had no communication in over 20 years. At the funeral I kept thinking,"I want to see Vicki!" I so wanted to see her that when her sister Carol came to me, smiling, and asked,"Do you know who I am?" I replied,"Vicki's older sister", although I knew the answer should've been Jesus--I was Baptist.

Vicki's husband was a pallbearer too. I approached him, " snatched her right out from under my nose. I was supposed to marry Vicki! Didn't you know?" Darrel said, "Didn't you do a fake wedding with her in

Mikey, Bicky, and Daewoe, kids gone wild!

Mikey, Bicky, and Daewoe, after they got big

a little ceremony once?" and I said,"NO! That was Holly up the street--Vicki wasn't supposed to know!" How bigamy to do that. Vicki's husband was pretty cool (except for his beard). He said,"That's okay...I can't count how many cousins I married when I was a kid". Hmmm..."You just may be a redneck if..."

After the funeral I told Darrel,"We have to take a picture with Vicki!" Finally we were all outside taking pictures, and I asked Vicki. She had a sick look on her face and said, "Don't kiss me, okay?" (just like being on a date!) Here we are, 33 years later. At first Vicky looked a little uncomfortable--she was upset about losing Bushy as we all were, but I mumbled across to Darrel,"She's stiff as a board". She smiled and put her arm around me. I'll have to remember that line on my next date.

Two weeks later my mother's oldest brother, Wilbert, died at the age of 82, again of complications from a 1985 stroke. Weeks later, Beatle George Harrison died at 58 from cancer. I'm a huge Beatles fan so this was very sad for me. Paralyn McClain deployed to the desert in December. Although I met a nice lady named Hope on the Christian Singles site, and met her for real (for lunch--no hanky panky) on the way back from Indiana (we're buds), I had no human romance in my life. Romance for me, was sweating over a cold bicycle, and that continued with me doing 100-mile rides as late as December 1st, even with the Tour de Okinawa lost. I met a Christian woman named Rhonda, who virtually stood me up for my 36th birthday (again, a Christian woman!). I wasn't interested but it still upset me that a Christian woman would be so mean, but this wouldn't be the last, or least way I'd experience this. So I got my hair cut and had beer and pizza with my sweet neighbors, hair-cutter Judy, and Heather.

Miimii, (ex-wife) lost her six-year job at Canon and was devastated. For weeks she was depressed and I spent a few late nights trying to cheer her up and stop her from killing herself, and trying to find a way to get her out of my house. She found work in Dalton, Georgia, where Karen Gulledge lived. Ironic that I went to Japan in 1988 to follow Karen, met Miimii and got married, and now, Miimii was going to live in the same little town of Dalton, population of about 27,000.

On December 16, after being so close for 13 1/2 years, Miimii was gone, and her jealous new boyfriend wouldn't even let her drive me to the airport, which brings me to my finishing line. I couldn't even say goodbye because on that same day I deployed to Germany. They told me I could be forward deployed to a hot spot, so I hand-carried 272 pounds of luggage, included chemical warfare gear. There was no one to say goodbye to me. "My Year" had become just that--cold--just me--alone.