Part 17 in the series. The year was 1974.
|“I Second That Emotion”-Part 17
"The Way We Were"
During my life I only dated two men named Bob. The first I left in 1973. The next one I met in 1974, Bob H.
Bob H. was the newly hired manager of the Rodeway Inn in Boulder. He was, technically, my boss. When he was hired, I was happy to have him as a boss, instead of one of the owner/builders who was only doing it until they could find the right person.
We had spent New Year’s Eve working together, as several groups had us cater their parties. The hotel was also full, and it was nearly four by the time we got all of the messes cleaned up. We collapsed and he called the kitchen, asking if they would make us omelets. Who is going to say no to the boss?
It was our turn to have a drink, so I made us Bloody Mary’s, and we toasted the new year. We talked about the business, but also touched on our personal lives. He and his wife had split up in the previous year, and as I explained I was now unattached.
Bob had big dreams, not just of being a hotel manager, but he was entrepreneurial. I had enough excitement in my life, and loved the job I had, as well as making a good living at it.
I loved living in Colorado, even the snow wasn’t bad, it made me appreciate the seasons even more. I loved being in close proximity to the mountains, and would use every opportunity to visit them.
I had fun going to downtown Boulder, the little college places. It reminded me a little of Berkley in it’s flavor. I dated a student for awhile, he was nice enough but even though our ages were not far apart I felt I was eons ahead of him, in life experience. I remember going to his attic room, and it was so....student. Once when I was out with him he asked if I would like to meet one of his professors. Actually, he said he had told his professor about my former profession, and could he arrange a meeting with me.
Sure enough, I did meet his professor, Mr. Johnson, the Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. The three of us had dinner together, and the Professor wanted to know more about my views of legalized prostitution, and how I came to work. By the end of the evening he had asked if I would come to the college and speak to his class.
I felt very honored he would think I had something worthwhile to impart to his students. I was given instructions on where to park and meet the Professor. I had no idea the impact this meeting would have on my life.
I wrote down what I wanted to say, explaining how legalized prostitution in the United States worked, realizing that it had only been legalized in Nevada (certain counties) since 1971. I had taken some speech classes in school, but to be a speaker in a college university was something I never expected.
On the day of the lecture my nerves were getting the better of me, I wanted so badly to do a good job. I was also very frightened about what people would think of me as I stood there before them, baring my soul. I never shied away from talking about my experiences, but I never expected to be talking in front a class of college students about it either.
If I would have had any inkling that my “speech” was to be held in an auditorium for 200 people and that I would be standing on a stage in front of a huge crowd, I’m not sure I would have agreed to do it.
By the time I was led into the auditorium I was shaking all over. Young people, not much younger than me were filing in until all of the seats were filled, and still they came, standing in aisles and along the back. Suddenly the lights dimmed and Professor Johnson was introducing me.
“Hi. U-m-m-m.” I felt my voice wavering, my knees shaking. “Well I have to tell you how surprised I am to be here talking.” They laughed. “My higher education consisted of the school of hard knocks, the University of Mustang, Reno. I didn’t get graded, I got paid....” They actually laughed again. The tension was broken and I spoke for about thirty more minutes, then I said, “But what is it you want to know?”
Every hand in the audience shot up. For another ninety minutes I was privileged to answer every question that they had, and they were not shy. I answered them honestly, non-stop. Finally Professor Johnson stepped in and thanked me, telling the students they had taken enough of my time. Imagine my natural high.
Many of them came up and shook my hand and thanked me. It was a major turning point for me. I had information people wanted, and I could deliver it in an entertaining but informative way.
During the new school year in the fall, I gave my second lecture at the same school, and it was just as well received. So in addition to having a job with responsibility, I now was learning about supply and demand of a whole different sort.
Life was again preparing me to make another major change, and Bob H. would
play a role.
This photo shows me in 1974. I had a week’s paid vacation and traveled to Mexico. This was taken by my friend in front of the hotel.