A Baby Boomer's Scrapbook
Connie Williams Page:
remember exactly when or where we met at school, or how, but the memories that I
have of Connie Williams are some of the most precious of my life. Like friendly ghosts, I expect and hope
that they will continue to haunt me until I am past this life and ready to do
some haunting of my own.
I don't think it was love at first sight
but I'm sure I was attracted to Connie from the time I set my eyes on her. The first thing I remember though is what
I think was our first "date". She
was possibly only 14 (or 15?) at the time and wasn't allowed to go out alone
with me yet so we must have agreed to meet at a dance in the
It was snowing lightly and very cold that
night. I got there before she did
and watched her and a friend walk up the sidewalk after someone dropped her off.
I remember trying to be near her most of the time we were there and to dance
every slow dance with her. As many girls did, she danced the fast dances with
her girlfriend. Some of the couples were kissing while they danced slow so, when
the adults weren't looking so did we. The
feelings I had for Connie back then were all very new to me. She was beautiful, she smelled good, she
tasted good and holding and touching her felt better than anything I had ever
done in my whole young life. It
seems that there are just so many first times that we are allowed in our lives
and my first time with Connie was one of the best that could ever have been.
On the down side, I also remember trying
hard not to step on her feet and that I was feeling as awkward at dancing as I
was at kissing.
At the end of the dance, I was as high as
kite as I watched her and her friend run up the sidewalk to the car when she
left and couldn't wait to see her again at school. From that time on, even when
I was with someone else, I was in love with her.
Whenever I looked at or thought of her or whenever she looked at me with
those big, beautiful eyes, my heart would pound, my palms would sweat and I
Until she got the OK to date, we met at
games and after-game dances and in the hallways at school. I suspect that I was too ton
gue tied to
talk most of the time, and she probably didn't notice but I would go out of my
way to look for or be near her whenever I could.
I think that the first time that we went
out alone together was when I asked her to go to a drive-in movie. I waited
until the night of our date before I ask my dad to borrow the car and he said
no! Begging and pleading with him didn't work so, out of desperation, I asked my
best friend Mike Kauppi's dad if I could borrow his Volkswagen and, luckily for
me, he said yes.
At the drive-in, I know I tried to pay a
lot more attention to her than to the movie and I don't know why I remember that
the name of it was "The Seven Faces of Doctor Lao" but I do. The memories I have of my clumsy efforts
to make out with her make me smile today but, at the time, I sure wished that I
was a lot further along on the Ďmake outí learning curve.
By the time I dropped her off at home that
night, I found the courage to ask if she would go to the Junior/Senior Prom with
me two weeks from then and was awful disappointed when she said that her dad had
given her the choice of this date with me or the Prom but not both.
It is jumping ahead a little bit but this
is what she wrote in my yearbook in the spring of '64.
No matter what you may think I feel,
I'll always think of you as a dear friend
and one who shared many good times
with me. Always remember those good
times. I wish you the best of luck when
you enter the "outer world" and may you
find the right girl some day.
Love you always,
I'll never forget
lesson you taught me.
I needed to learn it
sooner or later.
I wish there'd never been a reason for the
Post Script on this yearbook farewell. There
was absolutely no excuse for what turned out to be the most shameful thing that
I have ever done.
In hindsight, I'm sure that I wasn't smart
or mature enough to have sustained our relationship much past high school anyway
but my heart still aches when I think about what I did to drive us apart so
That offense and the events that led up to
it made that night one of the most emotional and stressful of my young life.
We were at a dance in the Meridian High
Connie was there with her friends and I
went by myself and, knowing how strongly I felt about her at the time, I
probably tried to spend most of my time close to or dancing with her if I could. I think I was doing OK at first, until I
got carried away and was a little too intimate with her while we were dancing. I
didn't understand the effect it had on her and she was very upset with me. I
must have been frustrated that she wouldn't have anything to do with me after
that so, just to help me get away from the situation, I tried to get friend Bob
Davids to leave with me and go cruising. Bob couldnít go so I stayed at the
dance. I should have left anyway.
A little later on, Carol another girl I
was close to came in upset and crying because she was trying to break off with
an older boy who was harassing her and wouldn't leave her alone. I was still way too charged up and, when
her distress got to me, I headed out to confront the guy with Bob Davids pulling
on my shirt tail to keep me from going. Although
he was a head taller and probably outweighed me by 30 or 40 pounds, I stopped
Carolís ex in the hallway on his way into the cafeteria and said something
like "If you want to bother Carol, you'll have to go through me and, though
you can probably beat the shit out of me, I'm going to hurt you as much as I can
in the process!"
Luckily for me, after a long mean look, he
stopped and didn't call my bluff. I
don't think I've ever been so brave (or stupid) since but the fear and anxiety
caused by that little episode probably didn't do me any good. I was even more
angry and upset.
I don't remember what happened from that
time until the end of the dance except that I must have been so emotionally
screwed up and fuming about her rejection of me that on my way out, as she was
standing at a locker to get her coat, I walked up and slapped Connie.
Knowing instantly that I had done a
terrible thing, I turned and, cowardly, walked away as quickly as I could.
Screaming as she ran after me, Connie
caught up to me outside on the sidewalk and slapped me back as hard as she
could. I only wished that she'd been able to hit me hard enough knock me out of
my misery for being such an ass.
There was no way at the time that I could
verbalize those feelings so I stayed up all night that night and wrote a long
letter to her in an attempt to apologize and tell her how I felt. The next
morning I hitchhiked to her house to let her read what I wrote. When I got there, Connieís mother,
seeming to understand what was going on, cleaned off the table so we could talk. I sat across from her while she read my
note. I don't remember what was said
after she finished reading. I only
know that I left as unhappily as I came.
For quite awhile after that, I felt so
much guilt that every time I saw her, I just wanted to turn a walk away. After some of the guilt was gone, most of
my contact with her was just watching from a distance. I have no idea what she was feeling about
After a long time, we did go out again
and, although I remember some of the details about when we went parking, I don't
remember what else we did that night or why we never went out again. Whether it was because I asked and you
said no or because I didn't ask again, I donít know.
I'm sure she didn't know but it always
hurt a little to see her with someone else.
I remember that for a little while, she was going with a neighborhood
friend of mine named Dave Schneider. She
also spent some time dating another friend named Bob Pyle and, for some
unfathomable reason, I have a clear memory of her looking back at me when I
walked by while she was sitting in the bleachers with Bob at lunchtime.
I remember a party at Leslie Wetherall's
house on a cold winter night when she and a girlfriend skated across the lake to
get there. I tried hard but couldn't
get or keep her attention.
Another, different sort of memory, is of a
summer night when I was driving around
On another summer night at Francis Grove
there was a DJ who started a dance contest.
I think that I may have started the contest with Connie but she dropped
out and I finished the dance with someone else (I don't remember who she was). I'm pretty sure a guy named Clay Maxwell
and his date won the contest. I gave our second place trophy to the
girl I danced with.
After high school, I spent a year at Utah
When I got back to Midland from Logan,
Utah, I got a job at the gas station next to McDonald's and went to school part
time at the
Our last time together when we were young
was when I came home on leave from the Air Force sometime in the summer or fall
of '66. I went alone to a dance at a
teen nightspot and she was there with some girl friends. She accepted when I asked and we talked a
little while we danced. I don't know
why I remember it but she laughed at something I said when she asked what I had
been doing. She went back to her
friends and though I waited to ask her again to dance, she left and I
didn't see her again for many years.
Our last contact by mail was when I wrote
to her sometime in the fall of 1967 and she sent a nice reply. She was at Michigan State and told me
about a big snowstorm that just about closed everything down in Lansing. The letter is long gone and I don't
remember anything else about what she said.
I found her again in December of 2002 Ö
....but that's another, very different story and unfortunately, it ended too soon.
Here is part of that other story: Max and Connie meet again...