Make your own free website on Tripod.com

MAY 17, 1993:
A TRIUMPH LONG AWAITED

The following is a moment-by-moment account of Carl's third trip to Winslow, Arizona; and his success at meeting Denise Gottlieb (all times approximate):

6:00 AM: Carl wakes up, showers, gets ready for trip. In addition to the necessities, he packs a portable radio (the one in the Corsica is broken), the country videotape, and the 1983 Inquisitor article.

7:10 AM: Carl leaves for Winslow. After a light breakfast at McDonald's at McKellips Road and Country Club Drive, he heads north on State Route 87.

9:20 AM: He makes a short stop at a market in Payson.

10:50 AM: He reaches the Winslow Town Limits. He gets gas, drives around town, then stops to eat lunch at the Arby's on Northpark Drive.
          While at Arby's, he notices a display of photos of various service members from the area. He comes up with an initial plan. He writes down the names and commands of the service members stationed in San Diego. He briefly contemplates just going home from Arby's and trying to find these people when he returns to San Diego. But since he's already here, why not take a chance and ask someone about Denise?

12:20 PM: After thinking long and hard, Carl decides that asking someone about Denise is the best option. He's always been reluctant to do this before, but now sees it as a chance to practice his diplomacy skills. He calls Alicia from a pay phone outside Arby's and fills her in on his latest plan.

SOME TIME AFTER ONE O'CLOCK: He visits Schultz's General Store. He's heard about this place from David Henry's uncle Jim Allen, who wanted Carl to go there and pick up a Kachina doll on his first trip to Winslow in '82.
          No customers are in the store, just Carl. He buys something and then strikes up a conversation with the lady behind the counter, Betty Schultz. They get to talking and he eases the subject of Denise into the conversation, then shows Betty the Inquisitor article. Apparently, luck is finally on Carl's side as he learns that Betty Schultz is friends with Francine Gottlieb, Denise's mother.
          Betty mentions that she knows where Denise works. In a stunning show of faith, she offers to let Carl follow her there.

SHORTLY BEFORE TWO: Betty Schultz parks outside Denise's place of employment. Carl parks the Corsica right behind her. They get out of their respective cars almost simultaneously. Beaming, full of joy and overflowing with anticipation (and with half a cup of hot chocolate added to his system), Carl boldly follows Betty Schultz in the door.
          Inside the office are three people, including Denise's supervisor, Barbara Harrison. Barbara asks, "Can I help you?" and Betty replies, "Yes, is Denise Gottlieb here?" One of the men in the office asks Carl, "Who are you?" Carl has expected this reaction. He's run this scenario a few times in his head, putting himself in their shoes and always remembering that he is the stranger in the building and therefore must not appear too forward. Betty Schultz leaves to go mind the store.
          Carl tells them who he is and why he's there. He also gives a little background information about himself (in the Navy, drove all the way from Mesa, been wanting to meet Denise a long time, etc. etc.), and shows them the Inquisitor article, all the while keeping his cool and holding in as much nervous excitement as he can.
          Exercising self-control and keeping calm pays off. He is soon able to put Barbara Harrison's mind at ease, as well as the other people in the office.
          Denise, apparently, is in another part of the building while all this is going on, and one of the guys goes to tell her.


2:23 PM:-) The man returns to the office, escorting a young lady. He tells Carl, "Here she is!" Carl introduces himself to Denise and they shake hands.
          The next two hours fly by. Denise takes to Carl very well. She talks to him like she knows him, and this makes Carl very happy. Barbara Harrison makes photocopies of the Inquisitor for various people in the office.
          Barbara invites Carl over to the other part of the building, where cake and ice cream are being served. Denise partially colors in a drawing of a butterfly to give to Carl, and she signs it Denise Katherine Gottlieb. He doesn't give her the Opry tape; she says she likes rock, not country.

4:15 PM: Quitting time. Carl is sorry this day has to end. If not for a scheduled dinner date on May 18, he'd stay overnight at a motel. He finds an old video receipt on the floor of the Corsica and hastily writes down his name and address and gives it to Denise. she says, "Maybe we could go out for lunch sometime, and you could meet my mom."
          After Denise goes home, Carl walks back in the office beaming and tells Barbara Harrison what a great day this has been.

4:30 PM: Carl gets in the Corsica and returns to Schultz's, excitedly telling Betty about Denise and thanking her for her support. Then he heads back to Mesa, smiling and reflecting on a job well done.
          When he arrives home he tells his parents about the day's momentous events. He has never told them about Denise Gottlieb in all these years; this is the first they hear about her.

That evening, Carl calls David Henry, whom he hasn't seen since 1989. David is not there, so he tells Jim Allen about the day's big event and asks him to tell David the news.

Two days later his leave is over and he is obliged to return to San Diego. When some of his shipmates ask how his leave was, he replies with a one-word answer:
"Historic."

Return To Part III