I got a lovely surprise on Facebook this week.
One of my good friends is a man named John Ferguson. In Oklahoma, he’s better known as Count Gregore, host of horror movies every weekend of my childhood and early teens. Even now he will show up on the occasional scary show.
I have a fairly recent photo of Count Gregore pretending to bite my neck.
At one time, he was a sales representative for a local TV station and a few days ago he put up a picture of the owner of a successful local furniture store, Evans. He had handled their advertising account.
Larry Evans was standing amid his furniture with a smiling brunette, which John didn’t identify.
I did. It was me.
It was 1975. I was in college and I’d seen a little blurb in the paper about a $1,000 scholarship for one girl from Evans and a wholesale furniture company, Masland Duran.
Because my RA kept me from working a lot of jobs, I qualified for a state scholarship through Vocational Rehabilitation. It paid my tuition and fees. I thought the extra money could pay for my books, and possibly, buy my football ticket. (The University of Oklahoma’s football team was awesome then).
My mother and I went to Evan’s and I filled out an application and did a little interview. They said they’d let me know.
A few weeks later, around Thanksgiving, Larry Evans himself called to tell me I had won the scholarship and would I like to come to the store and film a commercial with him giving me a check?
Of course I said yes. Evidently a photographer was there too, taking pictures. It was a real shock to see a picture of me, taken by a friend of mind one long ago day in 1975. In his post, John said he didn’t know who the beautiful girl was.
I, now with white hair and dentures, was thrilled to solve his mystery.
I look at that smiling girl and I’m glad she has no idea of the life to come. That young lady had been diagnosed a year earlier with RA and an immune system that wasn’t fighting off strep infections. I was taking a muscle relaxer and antibiotics, a combination I took for years before the pain and exhaustion started taking its toll.
I love seeing the girl I was and I also remember all the good things she has coming: cool jobs, great events, and yes, football tickets.