Love From a Phone Call (this is a long one, folks)

I was talking with the receptionist, Dawn, at the home health care service my wife, Beth, works out of. I was picking up her paycheck. Somehow, the conversation turned to how Beth and I met. When I told her, she said, “You have to put that on your blog.” Sooo, here tis’.

I was working in Phoenix, AZ. (Oct. 1988) when a friend from Michigan called and said a friend of hers was going to write me a letter. She said, a few nights ago, they had a birthday party for Beth, and Jackie had played my Incurable Romantic album (for those of you who don’t remember, albums were big round records in big square album covers) for everyone, and Beth loved it. She said she was going to write me and tell me how much she enjoyed it. Sooo, I waited 2 weeks for a letter and nothing came. I called Jackie back and said this lady had not written me. Jackie said she would call her. The next day Jackie called and said Beth said she had been a little drunk at the party and in the light of day was not about to write a letter to some strange man in Phoenix. But, Jackie said, Beth was now going to write me. Another ten days, no letter. I called Jackie, and asked for Beth’s phone number. When she answered, I said, “This is the Incurable Romantic and where is my letter. (She later told me she held the phone away and said to herself, “Who the hell is this?” To make a short story long, we spent, between us, over $600 in phone bills over the next 5 weeks. (Back then, kids, you had to pay for long distance calls.) After exchanging photos and philosophies, we decided we needed to meet. She lived in Flint, MI. and I lived in Phoenix. We were both working 7 days a week, but she had new years weekend off. We split the plane fare and she arrived at 11 am. And a good time was had by both! (Yes, kids, old folks get it on, too) We had pretty much gotten to know each other really, really well over the phone and letters. Sooo, the new years in Phoenix was our 1st date, (new love is so much fun) with another 2nd one in Phoenix in late February. I was booked in Zurich Switzerland for August and September, and I had plans to go over in June, and spend June and July traveling with my Swedish friend, Claes, to many of the jazz festivals Europe has in the summer. Claes was a math teacher who played trumpet in a Dixieland band in Stockholm. I had met him when I played at the Stockholm Sheraton. Back then, I was working in Phoenix resorts in winter and Europe in the summer. Tough work playing music, but somebody had to do it. Anywho, Beth and my next date was when I went back to MI. and left my car at Beth’s place and flew into Frankfurt to pick up my old Ford Taunus I had bought when I started working regularly in Europe. I drove it to Stockholm, and Claes and I  headed out for JAZZ!! (There’s another story from that trip.) Beth and my next date was when she came over to Frankfurt to be with me for her 12 day’s vacation. When she arrived in Frankfurt, I still had 3 days before I had to start the gig in Zurich. We stayed in a castle on the Rhine. (Let me tell you, guys, if you want to impress your woman, just do what I did.) Then we drove to Zurich and the hotel I was working in was small and they had a very small apartment for the piano player. It just happened to be in the red light district. Each night, I would go into work and then Beth would come in an hour or so later. I always asked her if she made any money on her way over. I had my days off, and we drove to several cities in Switzerland; Montreux, (sp?) Geneva, Davos, etc. etc. for lunch, and on my days off we went to Beaune France (Beaune was Beth’s maiden name) the 1st. weekend, and Salzburg, Austria the 2nd one. Sooo, that was our 4th date. The 5th date was when I flew home to her place, and we drove to Denver. That was when I asked her to move in with me. And, low and behold, she did, and we’re in our 25th year (We got married after 13 years. We wanted to make sure it would work.) And that’s our love story. And we still love each other a bunch. The key to a long-lasting relationship is 3 words; Yes my love! Whew, I hope you read this far. Mikey


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