First things first…

Patrice, my good friend and kindred spirit at “The Heartbreak of Invention,” asked me to join in on this revealing look at personal “firsts,” inspired by one of her fellow bloggers, and in the spirit of friendship I offer this humorous look at some of my own firsts.  Enjoy!

First Girlfriend:  My first efforts at attracting what might charitably be described as a “girlfriend,” were so meager and tentative, that I really wouldn’t feel right putting any young woman in such a category until I reached high school, in which case I would have to say a wonderful young woman in my freshman year named Joan certainly qualified.  We met shortly after the school year began, and before long we had kissed and said, “I love you,” to each other, and were inseparable for quite a while.  I was so inexperienced as a “boyfriend,” that when I started to notice other girls, I couldn’t hang on long enough to make it work, and it ended badly for us both.  She married another guy years later and wrote to me that while it wasn’t the same “head-over-heels” kind of relationship that we had together, it was definitely better.  So much for my beginnings on the relationship road.

First Person I kissed:  A while before I met Joan, I was participating in one of the “after school” activities in my freshman year, and was cornered by a young woman who clearly had been “dared” to attempt it.  We were backstage in the auditorium, and she ran up to me, wrapped us both up in the curtains, and kissed me squarely on the lips, quite unexpectedly.

First Job: I was a porter at Dunkin’ Donuts at the age of 15, after school and then during the summer.  The manager was a wonderful man with an artificial leg with whom I would have “donut fights,” with the donuts we had to throw away at the end of the shift.

First Pay/What did I buy:  My first ever paycheck went straight into the bank in a savings account (per parental decree), but when I was finally allowed to actually buy something with my own money, I bought my first set of genuine artist’s watercolor paints and several high quality brushes in preparation for my summer art classes. (age 16)

First CD I recall buying:  It’s always funny to think of CD’s as the only way of buying music these days, because my first ever purchase of music was a 45 (record) by B.J.Thomas called, “Hooked On A Feeling,” which I played so many times it eventually became unplayable.  My first purchase of an album, which was an LP (record) was Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s “Trilogy.”  In between LP’s and CD’s were cassette tapes, and my first cassette purchase was “Yessongs,” by the progressive rock group, “YES.”  My first actual CD purchase when they became available was “Abbey Road,” by the Beatles.

What Age Was I When I Moved From My Parent’s Home:   I enlisted in the US Army at the ripe old age of 20 and never went back for more than a few weeks after that except for the summer after I got out of the military when I spent the whole summer with my parents down the shore in Brigantine, NJ.

First Holiday Abroad:  When I completed my military training, I was assigned to the Federal Republic of Germany, and only two weeks after arriving in that country, I spent a week in Munich, and attended the Oktoberfest.  Not only was it my first ever visit to another country, but one of the most amazing international celebrations imaginable.  I met people from all over the world, and discovered what might possibly be the biggest and best beer party in the whole world.

OK….and now I will pass this Memes:First challenge to   who is one of my favorite young writers here at and who might have some fun firsts to share, and also to  who is a wonderfully talented writer and teacher of English in the Philippines who inspires me with her drive to enhance her skills in all areas of language.

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