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by Mark on 6/27/2004 (0)

There's no substitute for hands on experience at the beach.
The year? 1979. There used to be a concrete lake, complete with giant water slide, in Northeast Ohio called 'Pioneer Lake'.

Back then we didn't have have internet chat rooms. We dated for real. Boys and girls would hook up and meet, the pinnacle being a long day at Pioneer lake.

I still remember the names...

Us guys consisted of Bob Balla, John Harrison, Leo Parratore and me. The girls, Sherry Furst, Linda Dooley, Sharon Riggins and Linda Friedman.

Just saying hello, girls, if you stumble on this story...

I had a black, customized Dodge B-100 van, complete with bed and bar. It was awesome. I used to bus the gang out to the park, and we'd barbeque, lay in the sun and swim. Especially lay in the sun.

The girls and us would oil eachother up and waste the hours away, drinking Lowenbrau and eating cheeseburgers. Funny how romances came and went. I dated Sharon for a while, then Linda Friedman. John eventually got Sherry, which was a complete shock to score keepers on either side of the gang.

But, it was Linda Dooley that every guy really wanted. Once again, the skinny green eyed blonde steals the show. The really bizzare thing was, how close I got to her, and how I totally screwed it up. She used to let me use her bikini'd rear end as a pillow. Can you imagine that? Here I am, sunning with Linda's ass as a pillow, and I'd sit there thinking: "Do I have a chance with this chick? How do I get closer to her?"

For Chrissake, how much closer could I possibly get?

All I had to do was flop over on my stomach, and the mystery of life would have opened up before my very eyes.

That was the funny thing about dating as a teen. You had it right in your hands, and you screwed it up...How? To this day I hang my head in shame and disbelief.

Time passed, we got older, and we stopped doing the water park thing, and that was the hardest pill to swallow. It came to an end. People mature, develop new priorities, move on and settle down. When the weather turns warm every June, I think back to those times, and wonder if my life had been different if I hadn't been such an Eric Foreman type blockhead when it came to dating.

My learned, mature advice is to open your eyes and see the obvious, as hard as that might be to young people. Take some chances and push a little harder, firmly, but not too hard, when it comes to the dating game. It may make the difference between happiness and misery for the remainder of your life.

Anyhow, If anyone runs across Linda Dooley, tell her that the memories of her soft, fragrant heiney still haunt my very days, and ask her if she remembers the guy in the black Dodge van named Mark. If she says 'yes', tell her to grab some tanning oil and drop me a line.is0" style="display:no

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