Firsts (part two) -- 02/14/11

So this is the continuation/conclusion of the meme Bev had posted on Saturday and which I had started.

First Girlfriend/Boyfriend -- Well, rather than mention various junior high and early high school "relationships," I'm going to mention my first serious love. The summer I was 16 I lost my heart to Pam, the 14 year old kid sister of our minister's wife (yes, the understanding lady in my "Office parties" entry). Our relationship continued when I went to college (although we did break up a couple of times -- due to distance -- she had returned home to a small town outside of New Haven and I was going to college on Long Island). I took many trips on the old New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad (as well as hitch-hiked or caught rides). So, on-and-off, we were a couple for about four years. (Pam was not her real name -- that was what her initials spelled -- she hated her actual first name, Pauline.)

First Encounter with a Famous Person -- Well, let's see... in early autumn of 1958 I "met" former President Harry Truman. Of course by "met" I mean he was in the back of an open convertible and I was standing close enough to stick out my hand and he could have easily taken my hand -- but, of course, he looked right through me at the crowd he was smiling and waving at and one of the security types (dunno if they were Secret Service or private security) took me by my shoulders and said "Step back son" and the motorcade moved on along the street. Okay, not a real encounter you say. Well, in that case, how about in 1960 I met Hugh Downs (I put in a Wikipedia link for those readers too young to remember back in the days before Jay Leno and before Johnny Carson, when Jack Paar was the host of the Tonight show.) It was in a diner somewhere in Connecticut when I was on my way over to New Haven for an admissions interview at Yale. He was very pleasant and spent several minutes talking with me.

First Brush with Death -- Well, I really do not have any particularly vivid tales to tell. (A few years ago I did describe one somewhat tense incident during the summer of 1961). Oh, there have been a few incidents in bars that were, how shall I say, somewhat less than upscale or discussions with some serious groups of tough guys who were packing, the kinds of incidents where you afterward wonder "How the hell did we escape that problem?" but we somehow always did. And a few automotive incidents, mostly involving loosing control in snow, but I never totalled a car until I was in my 40s (and that was not my fault, she was coming the other way and tried to make a left turn right through my car).

First House/Condo Owned -- That would be the house that Nancy and I bought in Binghamton, NY. We got married in June of 1979 and a few months later we began to talk about house hunting. This being in the pre-Internet days, I went to the library and went through all kinds of books about houses and how to select them and about mortgages real estate transactions, etc. I made up a multi-page checklist of things to consider and things to look for and photocopied it. We began to look through the real estate advertisements and look at houses. (A co-worker had a part-time side job as a real estate agent and he also took us through two or three houses.) We were beginning to wonder if we would find a place we really like that was in a neighborhood we liked and which was also affordable. And then we found a for-sale-by-owner (she was also a part-time real estate sales agent) that we liked -- in a perfect neighborhood for us (Binghamton's west side) -- and somehow we were able to squeeze into qualifying. This was in 1980. Our mortgage rate was 12.75 percent -- and we were glad that we had locked in at that rate because by the time we closed on the house mortgage rates had hit 14%.

First Film Seen -- I don't know. I can remember going to a movie theatre with my parents and seeing a western when I was fairly young but I have no idea what it was. It was in black and white and I do remember being confused in a desert scene because the sand looked like snowdrifts to me and my parents had to explain that it was sand, not snow.

First Favorite Recording Artist -- I grew up listening to shows on the radio -- I was in 3rd grade when we got a television -- so I would hear lots of singers and singing groups. Anyway, this is one of those questions I can't think of an answer to.

First Favorite Radio Station -- When I was really young, there was only one radio station in our town, so that would be the one people would listen to (in the morning and and afternoon) for local news and leave it on for music. In the evening, of course, we would be listening to the New York City stations for the network shows. So I would have to say WKNY. Later, there was second local station and then a third. However, by the time I was a teenager we were only interested in the rock & roll DJs from New York (mostly 1010 WINS): Peter Tripp, Alan Freed, Bruce Morrow, and Murray Kaufman. And, by the time we were cruising around at night we were tending to listen to WKBW (their slogan: the fifty thousand watt giant on the Niagara frontier!") from Buffalo, NY.

First Book I Remember Reading -- Gee, I sort of answered a very similar question one month ago (toward the end of the entry).

First Meme You Answered on Your Blog -- I believe that the first meme I answered was in my entry for October 7, 2001. It was a series of questions about the computer being used to answer the questions (screen savers, icons, etc.) -- I suppose there is a chance of having answered one earlier than that but I didn't find one as I skimmed along looking at entry titles and sampling a number of them. I had thought that there was a good chance of having done a meme in 2000 but I didn't see one when I looked.


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