When I Was 20, I Dated A 16 Year Old Girl

I began working construction in June 1986. Pale and skinny from my long bout with mono, I showed up to my first day of work wearing white tennis shoes and a long pointy hat that made me look like a penguin.

Everybody laughed at me. They didn’t think I’d last.

For the first three days, I did nothing but swing a pick and push a shovel. I collapsed in bed when I arrived home. Nobody thought that I’d last. I quit working mornings during the week at the radio station.

On Friday, the bosses Carl Elrod and Lee Gardner selected me to work on a special project the next day. I said that I couldn’t do it because I anchored weekend news on KAHI radio. Carl and Lee then got on my case and I changed my mind.

I got to work at KAHI early that next morning, did the first couple of newscasts live, taped my news segments for the rest of the day and left.

I drove to the Roseville home of Dominion Enterprises owner Doug Hanzlick and it was mutual affection at first sight. He correctly noted my accent to be Australian and he remembered my name. Doug also introduced me to his youngest daughter Becky, 16, who loved Australia.

Becky and I flirted most of the afternoon and that day became a turning point for my landscaping. For the first time I enjoyed my work. The Hanzlick family of parents Doug and Sharon, the two older daughters Cheryl and Shelly, and Becky praised me to my bosses Carl Elrod and Lee Gardner. They in turn promoted me to more important and better-paying work than swinging a pick.

Not only my muscles but also my ego swelled that summer. I logged over 400 hours landscaping some months, along with working 12-18 hours a week at the radio station.

On and off for the next two years, I dated Becky – the exotic dancer (not a stripper, a real dancer) whose hair color varied across the spectrum of the rainbow every few weeks.

Our love was pure. I never even kissed her though I did bring her home to meet my parents one Sunday night. They looked quite puzzled when she said she liked German industrial music.

The raunchiest we ever got was when we danced at an INXS concert in the Bay Area. We drove all the way and back in my 1966 VW Bug.

I heard from Becky a few months ago. She’s a married mom now. She said that Lukeford.com "was a very interesting web site."

She always had the most exquisite manners.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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