Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Our Better Than A Hollywood Movie Story

My favorite history- How We Met Again written by Cliff

In the year 2000, I bought an iMac, my first new computer since 1990. With this embarrassingly cute machine, I finally had access to this internet thing I’d been hearing about for the past seven years.

One intrernet feature was a People Search Service. I typed in my own name, and sure enough, up came the address, phone number, and map of where I had lived six years ago.

I typed in friends’ names… but if you tried a common-sounding name, you’d get hundreds of possible matches around the country. So I tried to think of people from my past with more unique names… and made contact with two that night: my old Army buddy Brewster McCracken, and my old church buddy Jane.

Jane came into the Asbury First United Methodist Church Youth Group as a freshman when I was a senior. She was very quiet and very adorable. We also went to the same high school, and I eventually asked her out.

I was just beginning to study cinema at the George Eastman House, one of the top film archives in the world. They were doing a series on Jack Nicholson, and for our first date, I took Jane to see THE LAST DETAIL (1973)… little suspecting that a story about a trio of U.S. sailors might be a bit, uh, salty, for a 14-year-old girl. Soon I was dying in my seat. If this girl next to me gave her parents any inkling of what I’d exposed her to, that would surely be The End.

But she didn’t, and it wasn’t. We went out a few more times. Jane informed me that we’d actually met some years earlier. She was born in September of 1971. The Little family, who lived three houses down the street, came to visit with a baby gift. 31/2-year-old Cliff presented newborn Jane with a Fisher Price stacked ring toy. It was both a hello and goodbye: a week later, the Littles moved to the next town.

Back to 1986: Jane and I drifted apart. The following summer, she played a bit part in one of my amateur movies. She came to my house for the gala premiere party, and that was the last time I saw her. In 1988, she and her family moved to New Jersey.

After my hello call in 2000, we exchanged a few emails over the next year. After 9/11, I wanted to visit NYC, and contacted Jane about meeting her. The only night she was available was New Year’s Eve.

We had a wonderful time. Our hosts Kevin and Dina led us around Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and we rang in 2002 at Marie’s Crisis CafĂ©, a hang-out where Broadway folk gather around a piano and sing show tunes.

Exactly one year later, the four of us were again around the piano at Marie’s. The singing stopped about a minute to midnight so people could get ready for the Big Moment.

By the time the countdown for 2003 began, Jane and I were engaged.

Here are my rings from Cliff. The first were Fisher Price the second ring belonged to his Grandmother before me.