In Search of Spring Break: Then and Now

How Spring Break '89 stayed with me

All had been killed at the orders of drug-runners Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo and Sara Maria Aldrete, who ran their weed-smuggling ring using bastardized Santeria principles, which in their interpretation, included ritual human sacrifice. As they felt the dragnet closing in around them, they believed that they needed the blood of a blond, blue-eyed American to placate their angry and cruel god, so they waited for Texas Week at Spring Break and pounced on poor Kilroy. It now seems very much likely that Uecker had been an earlier target.

All that would come to light several tortured weeks later. My romance with my Kelly started to fall apart. She was still involved with her old high-school beau – I knew this from the start. (He was at Tech, and they had a "we can see other people" arrangement.)

And as I mentioned, I was no prize at the time. I did indeed flunk out of UT at the end of that semester, and I wouldn't have a job of any real consequence for 12 more years. I was still seeing her toward the end of my time in Texas. Over the course of hours-long, very expensive, in-state long distance calls (totaling about $700 before I was done) I begged her to elope with me to Tennessee once I was done at Texas. Then as now, she was more sensible than I was and demurred. Still, though I was crushed with sadness, I held no anger towards her over the end of our affair. We never really broke up, because outside of Padre, we weren't really together. We just drifted apart.

A younger me in the days of mindless hedonism.
Courtesy of John Nova Lomax
A younger me in the days of mindless hedonism.

"Ninety-nine percent of the world's lovers are not with their first choice," Willie Nelson once said. "That's what makes the jukebox play." And for decades, I played jukeboxes. "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain," "Angel Flyin' Too Close to the Ground," "Marina del Rey," "These Arms of Mine," "Dreams I'll Never See." All these took me back to she who got away.

Twenty years passed. We both married. I had children. We both traveled the world, crossing paths (though not seeing each other) in places like England, Prague, Israel, Egypt and Spain. She had also grown up two blocks south of my great-grandparents house in Briarcroft, in a home with the same street number as theirs. So after I moved back to town in 1997, I did see her from time to time in Houston – we tended to live in the same neighborhoods, and I would run in to her in bars every now and then, and it would always take me away to that happiest – though the most jinxed and most heightened and scariest – of Spring Breaks.

Kelly got a divorce in 2008 and I followed a year later. She found me on Facebook, and we picked up right where we left off back in Padre. She was still as gorgeous as ever and now, we had both lived our foolishness apart and were ready to live out our wisdom together. To the strains of "You Can't Always Get What You Want," I popped the question I had been wanting to ask since 1989.

In November of 2010, we got married at Avant Garden and danced holes in the floor until the wee, wee hours. This time, courtesy of the El Orbits, the music was a hell of a lot better than Tone-Loc and Debbie Gibson.

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11 comments
prebble
prebble

Wow.. I remember this vividly...Steve talked about this trip but not the depth/significance, which I only just put together....

Krast Lee
Krast Lee

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Krast Lee
Krast Lee

L_o_v_e__s_e_e_s__n_o__c_o_l_o_r.N_o_t_i_c_e__"""love~wealthy~com-"""W_here__l_o_v_e__out__of__walls.D_a_t_i_n_g__w_i_t_h__rich __singles and Admires___o_u_t__of__y_o_u_r__r_a_c_e____.

Haskellgossett
Haskellgossett

I also found my true love at Texas. Mine was different; I did not have the money nor the time to go to lovely spring breaks nor did I even think of this. I wonder who was footing the bill for the college works while you were touring the world and detting loop eyed drunk. I respect my more than to advertise how many times she rolle in the hay with me befre we were married. Yes, I am old fashoned and I still smile at my wife after 54 years realizint I am the only man that has ever had her. Times may change but God's law never changes.

Haskell Gossett

Bella Adela
Bella Adela

Awwwww!!! and... WOW. Seriously, WOW. I LOVED learning the backstory about you 2 crazy kids! :)

Dannine Donaho
Dannine Donaho

What a story. Thanks goddess for small mercies. I wish both of youse wonderful people all the best,

David Harry
David Harry

Great story! I met the love of my life after my first marriage as well, It is funny how life puts people in our path at both the right and the wrong time! Thank you for sharing your spring break story. Each year, when kids arrive her on SPI, I hope that they take memories home that will keep them coming back year after year. It sounds like you did!

David HarryAuthor, The Padre Puzzlewww.davidharryauthor.com

Timothy Freeman
Timothy Freeman

An ancient,abiding, and, for me, deeply important axiom, I first heard Martin Buber repeat on PBS when I was about 10, then heard Elie Weisel reiterate at MIT many years later,"The Truth of The Torah, is in the Telling."...The Life of The Truth is only Present in the testimony of the story's Becoming Now...You're a cultured,devoted, Ace, at this. And, Thank you!... I, personally, am pleased and proud to participate in it with you...If I didn't know you were a Papist, I'd swear you were a Christ-Killer...xo

TOLDYA
TOLDYA

Great story never pegged ya for a Jevy though, go Eagles 79

Texophilia
Texophilia

I try to go to the bathroom before the wee wee hours.

Blake
Blake

"In November of 2010, we got married at Avant Garden and danced holes in the floor until the wee, wee hours."

Yeah, I remember something like that

 
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