So welcome, Gary, back to my world. Gary was my roommate at the University of Tennessee from around 1987-1989. Not only did he become a good friend, he was a groomsman in my wedding. We lost touch after the wedding, he had moved on to Law School at Vanderbilt and eventually made it out to Denver, CO where he's married and apparently he and his wife have a great loft overlooking the Pepsi Center.
I wanted to introduce my regular visitors to him, and ask that he comment often and get to know you folks as well. Gary's a rare person, he's easy to know, easy to like and gets along well with anyone. He's bright and enthusiastic and bailed me out of a couple of tough scrapes back then. With his permission, I'll tell a few Gary stories...
- The first time I met Gary he scared the crap out of me.
I had moved into the Andy Holt Apartments at UT that fall as a junior. The suite we shared held four people, and my roommates at the time were Allen and (oh, I can't remember his name, sorry) in the first suite and Benton and myself in the second. Benton was unable to come back the second semester, so I knew I would be getting a new roommate, I just didn't know who. So about the first day of classes in the Spring Semester, I'd just taken a shower and was drying my hair (it was fairly early in the morning. And I actually had hair to dry, go figure) when I see out of my peripheral vision--this guy. Tall, blond hair, a little lanky. Staring at me with a goofy grin on his face and waving. Of course, I almost freak and drop the hair dryer, with this strange guy standing in my room. "Whoa, it's ok - he said. I'm Gary, your new roommate. They gave me a key and I came in while you were in the shower but I didn't know how to tell you I was here without scaring you".
"Well, you did a good job!" I thought. But we laughed about it after my heartrate went down.
- I'll have to ask Gary to supply the next thought - his first night on campus wasn't actually around me, but with Allen, our other roommate, and his friend as he helped them go on a hunt for Allen's girlfriend. But I'll let him supply those details.
- Eventually, Allen's roommate basically moved into his girlfriend's apartment somewhere else and we never really saw him again. But then at the same time, Allen's estranged, somewhat loopy girlfriend Wendy moved in with him. All unofficially - she had an official residence somewhere else on campus, but basically lived there. So it was three guys and a girl.
Wendy had Allen wrapped around her finger, and made her presence known when she wanted the least little thing. We'd be sitting in the living room watching TV and would hear, "Alllllllll-LLLLLENN!??!??!?!" from the back bedroom... Allen would immediately spring to his feet and exclaim Aldrichly, "Coming dear!" and trot off to, like, turn her pillow or something.
Not only that, she used about 3/4 a roll of toilet paper everytime she went to the bathroom. We could never really figure out why she needed so much, but it was almost always empty. As far as I know she never replinished it.
Ok, that wasn't really a Gary story but I'm sure he remembers it..
- One spring break Gary and his girlfriend and I and my girlfriend (Laura, who I eventually married) travelled to Panana City Beach in my car. One evening we were driving around getting something to eat, and Gary happened to be driving. (Gary do you remember this? :) ) Apparently Gary didn't know the difference between a speed bump and a concrete parking barrier...well, let's say our heads hit the roof of the car and my suspension was severely insulted...
- Gary, remember the girl who existed in two time zones? (Sorry, that one's not for polite company)
- As a theatre student, I took a directing course one semester and was required to stage a one-act play. Spring was coming up, and student actors in the department were becoming scarce. The play I chose, "The Public Eye" called for three characters, and I had no trouble casting the husband and wife from fellow students in my department. For some reason, I couldn't find anyone to play the lead - the ones I asked who would be good in the role had prior commitments, or were leaving town. Time was growing short, and while griping about my woe to Gary, he said, "I'll play it." Um...ok!
And he did. He took the part, memorized the script, rehearsed with the other actors and the whole thing was great. He saved my bacon on that one..
Unfortunately I didn't tape it - ah well.
- I graduate at the end of summer, 1989 and after spring was over I moved back home for the summer to finish up. Gary stayed in the apartment and roomed with former Vol quarterback Jeff Francis. We didn't get together much over the summer, and my graduation day I hadn't seen him for about a month or two. As I was walking down the aisle, diploma in hand and got back eventually to my family they said, "That was nice how you got to walk next to Gary with your diplomas".
Apparently, since they form two lines in and out of the platform, we walked off next to each other and had no idea the other was there...