With the move to Mesa, Carl needs to make a new set of acquaintances. He starts going
to skating rinks on Christian Night, and makes several decent friends there.
He meets a redhead named Alicia Van Dyke, who takes more than just a passing interest in him. He also makes a new buddy named Barry Fitzgerald who goes to Apollo High School.
Shortly, one guy mentions a church in Mesa and Carl starts attending there regularly. He turns back to God again and straightens out a lot of things in his life. On December 9, 1985, the Corolla Diesel is finally repaired, and Carl starts work with Hop-To-It Messenger Service on January 20, 1986.
MAY 24-25: Carl decides to make one last try at Nicole D'Amato before giving up. He drives to California for the graduation ceremonies at Ichabod College, knowing that Nicole's brother Geoff will be there. Sure enough, Carl meets up with Geoff D'Amato and his girlfriend at Foster's Donuts and they give him a ride back to Campus. Carl tells his story about Simpson changing the room assignment and Carl missing out on the perfect girl. Geoff tells him that she's not coming to the ceremonies because she has to work.
JUNE 1986 - JULY 1987: Having given up completely on Denise and Nicole, Carl decides to see what Phoenix has to offer. Alicia has dug her hooks into him pretty firmly by now, but she's not everything Carl wanted in a woman and he rebels. After trying most of the summer to win the heart of a girl named Maryann, and losing out to one of the rink's best skaters, Carl needs a little reassurance -- something to lift his spirits. He forms a bond with a big guy named Eddie Kessler who's long on the jokes. Eddie quickly becomes part of the skating crowd.
In September, Alicia and Carl go to a football game with Barry at Apollo. Carl meets Barry's girlfriend, a 21-year-old handicapped girl named Linda Chemult. Her mother only carried her four months; when she was born she was a blue baby. She's about 140 cm tall and weighs 36 kg., and has not yet graduated. Carl thinks this is what Denise Gottlieb must be like.
EARLY 1987: Eddie Kessler moves to Glendale, California. He keeps in touch.
APRIL 18: Carl moves into an apartment in Phoenix.
Attempts at relationships with various women falter and by mid-1987 he's wondering why he gave up on everything he wanted before. He decides to find out whatever happened to Nicole D'Amato.
AUGUST: Sitting in his apartment one day reading the Ichabod Alumni magazine, Carl learns that an alumni directory is now available. He mails his order on the 24th. It arrives on October 5.
OCTOBER 16: Carl drives to California attempting to meet with his friend Rich Scott at the USA gas station. His friend has quit and never shows, but just to pass the time Carl rings another friend of his, a guy named Dave Peterson. Dave tells him where he's working. Later, when Carl goes home to Phoenix, he checks the alumni directory again and learns that Geoff D'Amato works at the same place!
NOVEMBER 2: Carl rings Dave and plans a trip to California the next weekend. With the motivating factor being running into Geoff, he asks if he can meet Dave at work. Dave agrees. The following morning, however, Carl awakens with a strong pain in his side and has to go to the hospital. He learns that he has a kidney stone. Instead of California, he spends the weekend at Phoenix General Hospital.
NOVEMBER 12: The doctor gives Carl the all-clear to go to California.
Carl has a brainstorm: he rings Dave on the phone and arranges a three-way
call between himself, Dave and Geoff. He learns that Geoff is getting married
on the 27th, and of course his lovely sister Nicole is attending! Unfortunately,
Carl is so excited by this sudden turn of events that he fails to ask Geoff for
an invitation. Still, he plans on going out there.
Trip #3 to Winslow is put on hold again because full attention is given to Nicole D'Amato.
NOVEMBER 25: Having taken a day off of work, Carl drives to Pasadena, and spends the night at his friend Andy's brother's house. The next day, he enjoys an Egyptian Thanksgiving dinner with them. He attempts to contact Geoff, who is so busy preparing for his wedding that he's impossible to get hold of.
NOVEMBER 27: Dave has to stop by his work for a few minutes and Carl
meets him there. He comes up with a new plan: since Dave is invited to
the wedding, he can talk to Geoff at the reception and ask if Carl can come.
Yea or nay, Dave can ring Carl and let him know. Dave goes home to get dressed
for the wedding and Carl rings him from outside the Melody Theater, giving him
the numbers of all three pay phones.
At 6 pm, he goes to the phones to await Dave's word.
Dave never rings. Carl finds out the next day that Dave didn't even get to talk to Geoff. A golden opportunity has slipped by.
LATE 1987: Carl keeps in touch with Dave, who later finds out that Geoff is now living in the Santa Barbara area. Carl makes plans to save money and try to contact Geoff during spring break.
MARCH: Carl gets pulled off the road to work in the office answering
phones, at minimum wage. He can't afford to go out to California for any time
longer than a weekend.
In the middle of March, he goes out there with Alicia Van Dyke to try and find Rich Scott. They don't see him, but
they do visit Hollywood with Eddie Kessler, who picks up some rather odd sunglasses.
SPRING 1988: Linda Chemult begins to show an interest in Carl, having broken up with Barry.
MAY 1: Carl moves out of the apartment.
JULY: Carl asks to go back to being a driver. He gets the okay, and begins saving money for a major trip out to California. He wants to nip this crush in the bud. Alicia, meanwhile, meets and falls in love with an ex-Air Force sergeant named Donald Winters.
OCTOBER 21: Having saved about $US1800, Carl quits the job at Hop-To-It and takes an extended vacation to California. He stays at Doug Craighead's condo in Santa Monica. He visits Eddie Kessler and meets Eddie's eccentric friend Derek Mitchell. Carl goes back to Phoenix in November to vote, then back to L.A. a couple of weeks later.
DECEMBER 15: Carl has seen a Santa Barbara area phone directory and found a listing for Geoff D'Amato in Solvang. Carl and Eddie drive to the shopping center next to Ichabod college and meet Dave Peterson at the pub. They chat for a while and as Dave is leaving Carl says he wants to ring Geoff and asks if Dave would like to talk to him. Dave says, "I came here to see you, not to talk to him.". Carl doesn't ring Geoff.
* * * DECEMBER 16: During dinner at the Carl's Jr. in Westwood
Village, Eddie is finally able to encourage Carl to ring Geoff on his own.
The person who answers the telephone is a much older gentleman who turns out to be Geoff's grandfather and namesake. Carl says who he is and they chat for a couple of minutes. Then Carl eases Nicole's name into the conversation. Geoff Sr. mentions that Nicole married an actor just a week earlier.
When Carl gets off the phone, the world looks very different.
DECEMBER 1988 TO JANUARY 1989 is a period of indecision.
Carl contemplates going to California, making some money and selling his car
to buy a small truck. He thinks over getting a better job. He writes in his
diary that going to Winslow to try and meet Denise "...is starting to sound
like a good idea again." He has enough money to stay
in Winslow for a few weeks. But there's still the logistics problem: how to
Donald Winters and Alicia Van Dyke give Carl a little pep talk about the Air Force. Carl has contemplated joining the military for some time now, but he's got to give it more thought.
Carl rings Eddie Kessler in Glendale, California. He also rings Pronto Messenger Service. They tell him they are hiring. But he keeps the military option open.
For now, Carl's choices are a job in Los Angeles or possible romance in Winslow.
Unfortunately, he picks Los Angeles.
JANUARY 13: There is a mild drizzle in Los Angeles. Carl meets Eddie at Glendale Community College in the afternoon. That night, Eddie introduces Carl to a friend of his, Marcos Gutierrez, who goes to an Assembly of God church in La Crescenta. Carl spends the night at Marcos' house in Sun Valley. The following night, Marcos introduces Carl to a beautiful 19-year-old girl named Kerri Golden who goes to the same church. Carl falls for her. He really should have gone to Winslow.
MID-JANUARY: Carl rings Pronto, but by now they've already hired enough drivers to last them for a while. Road Runners appears to be out of business.
JANUARY 26: Nearly out of money and with his car acting up, Carl walks to the Air Force Recruiting Station near Craig Martin's old house. The recruiter tells him he's six months too old for the Air Force, so he steers Carl next door to the Navy recruiter. Carl takes the pre-test and agrees to take the ASVAB a few days later. He scores a 97.
* * * JANUARY 31: Carl passes the physical and is given a departure date of May 22. He continues courting Kerri Golden very slowly. Too slowly, as it turns out.
FEBRUARY 12: Eddie Kessler betrays Carl. He takes Kerri Golden as his own. Carl tolerates Eddie, even though he hates what Eddie did. Carl hangs around Eddie with the hopes of winning Kerri over. By now, he realizes that going to Winslow would have been much better.
FEBRUARY 28: Carl is finally able to go back to Pronto Messenger Service.
APRIL: Kerri Golden realizes that Eddie Kessler is just using her. Having finally seen the light, she dumps him. He blames the whole mess on Carl, even though Carl has had virtually no contact with her for several weeks.
MAY 13: Carl quits his job at Pronto to spend his last week in Arizona before shipping out to boot camp.
MAY 16: Carl drives home to Mesa. He contemplates driving to Winslow, but his alternator is acting up again so he can't chance it.
MAY 30: Having been delayed eight days due to illness and a few adjustments on his enlistment form, Carl ships out to Great Lakes, Illinois, where he becomes part of Company 221. The company graduates boot camp on July 22.
* * * NOVEMBER: It is time for Carl's A-School class to pick which ships they are going to. Carl hears a rumor that a year overseas counts as two years' sea time, and he picks a ship based in Sasebo, Japan for duty. He later finds out that the two-years' sea time deal is only for certain areas.
DECEMBER 1: Carl graduates from the 14-week course for his job in the Navy, and spends a week in New York with his aunt and uncle.
DECEMBER 8: Carl arrives back in Phoenix for a few weeks' leave. The weather is getting colder, and he's never driven up State Route 87, plus he's got the car problem. He needs to carry a battery charger in his car at all times, and he can't afford to get a new alternator.
It's almost certain by now that Trip #3 to Winslow will have to wait for the 1990s.
FEBRUARY 3: After a month in San Diego preparing for overseas, Carl checks aboard the USS Dubuque when it pulls in to Subic Bay, Philippines.
APRIL: With two exercises over with, Carl finally gets to see Sasebo. Their store stocks many American publications, including the Weekly Inquisitor.
JULY 17: Noticing that they haven't run a story on Denise Gottlieb since her 1983 graduation, Carl writes a letter to the Inquisitor.
* * * DECEMBER 29: A fellow notices Carl's Phoenix Suns sweatshirt (from Alicia) while Carl is dining at the Sunset Grill, located on the
naval base in Sasebo. The guy strikes up a conversation with Carl.
His name is Harvey Steinberg and he's a fireman aboard the USS Brunswick,
also stationed there.
Carl mentions his hometown: Mesa.
Harvey mentions his home town: Winslow.
DECEMBER 30: Carl visits Harvey in his barracks room. Harvey asks
what Carl knows about Denise. Carl mentions various items from the Inquisitor articles;
Harvey says that they are all correct. He says that Denise likes old country
music. Carl also learns that her mother owns Francine's Diner in Winslow.
Harvey tells him that Denise spends a fair amount of time there, especially
during their Wednesday Night Specials. Thanks to the information
given by Harvey Steinberg, Carl finally has a plan.
With major news like this, it seems as though trip #3 is finally in the bag -- he has something to look forward to when he goes on leave.
MAY 6: Carl takes his first leave since being stationed overseas. The car runs alright at first, and he contemplates a plan to go to Francine's Diner with Alicia and Donald. Then the car acts up again and, well, you know...
JUNE: Carl rings his detailer and tries to get orders to the USS Tarawa. The detailer doesn't have any billets open.
JULY: Carl advances to the rank of Petty Officer Third Class and tries a second time to get orders to the Tarawa. This time he is successful. He is to report there some time in early 1992.
MARCH 7: Carl comes home from Japan. The first week of leave he has the flu.
He is able to convince Alicia and Donald that going to Winslow would
be a worthwhile trip. He decides he'll go ahead and take the chance on Route
87, bringing the charger with him and possibly a spare battery. The only
minor annoyance is a rumbling sound coming from the car's front drive axle.
The Toyota place tells him that the drive axle mounts are pretty worn, and will have to be replaced soon. Getting an estimate, he finds that repairing the drive axles and flaky alternator would be cost-prohibitive at this time. The car is running alright after some minor work, and a date is finally set for Trip #3 to Winslow: Wednesday, April 1.
MARCH 30: On the way to Scottsdale, the rumbling noise stops. Carl should be relieved, but he is wary. Minutes later it is replaced by a clunking sound, like something keeps getting caught in the wheel well. He turns around and very slowly babies the car back to his parents' garage.
Alicia and Donald suggest Carl ask to borrow his father's 1989 Chevy Corsica. After some thought, his father decides he doesn't want Carl driving the Corsica that distance (288 km). And so it goes.
APRIL 7: Carl checks aboard his new ship, the USS Tarawa, and learns that they will be making a six-month deployment to the Middle East beginning May 28.
OCTOBER 12: After a long stay in the Arabian Gulf, the Tarawa pulls into Perth. Carl has to stand duty, but the following day (his 33rd birthday) he sets foot on Australian soil for the first time.
NOVEMBER 25: Carl returns home.
Go Back To Part One Go On To Part Three