I ran into an old south side friend at the federal building at lunch yesterday. I haven't seen him since I was 13 years old. The old summer beach memories came flooding out during our few minutes together.
The last time I saw him we were on a CTA bus with my friends on a really great late May sunny morning heading to Oak Street beach in Chicago to hang out all day.
I was 13 years old without a care in the world. I was just one year away from working full time for the rest of my life. I had a $3.00 haircut, 3 more years with my braces on my choppers, black frame thick lenses, I was 4'11, in other words I looked like a train wreck.
It was a hot day with a lot of commuters trying to get downtown and I lucked out to get two seats to myself until we got to the corner of 55th and Crawford. That's when she entered the bus. As if time had stopped I saw her approach me and with an audible "gulp" from my Adams Apple she sat down next to me. She wore a orange sun dress, a gold ID bracelet, dishwater blonde hair with green eyes and holding a sack lunch. If she had a pie in that sack I would have said she was perfect. You have to understand Dave at 13 was a pretty shy kid with zero game with the girls and then to be seated next to this pretty girl for the next 50 minutes was too good to be true.
Our conversation started when she asked me to open the window up with a smile (there was no ac in buses back then) and in some ways I opened up and left my shyness that morning. We talked and laughed the whole ride. She told me she was going to visit her Mother who was working on Michigan Ave that day as a surprise. During our conversation she would do that cute hair flip and giggle thing girls do at that age and even tapped me on my knee (which was huge for a geek like me at the time). As we approached our final stop on Michigan and Wacker I felt cheated that the bus ride wasn't longer but she had to leave and so did I. We both got off the bus and she turned to look at me and said, "David it was so nice to meet you, thanks for making me smile, and have fun at the beach today." She turned and walked away. I turned and walked toward my friends and realized I fell in love for the first time today. She was kind, polite, sweet and beautiful and girls like that at that time of my life never gave me the time of day. Her name was Angela. I never saw Angela again after that day. In true stalker fashion I rode my bike to the same bus stop for the rest of the summer in hopes to see her there again, but for not. I gave up searching for her and I ended up going to high school the next year, got my braces off, wore contact lenses, bought a $9.00 haircut, started growing sideburns (behind my ears), got a hot date for my prom and graduated high school and moved into my adult life.
When I started getting into triathlons I was looking for my first good tri-bike which are pretty darn expensive. When I walked into the last bike shop I saw the TREK EQ carbon on the wall. I fell in love as fast as I did with Angela and I had to name the new bike after her. When I first took her out on the lakefront path for a ride it was a late May morning again, conditions were perfect, she responded with every move of my body, she left me breathless, I had a smile from ear-to-ear. I was 13 years old again and very happy.
|Age 13 in blue, Eddie O, Mad Dog and Stretch|
|Marie Miller and Davey boy, St.Shawshank Redemption High School Prom|
|"Angela" Chicago Triathlon|