Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My best friend, Ed.

It’sed been over 30 years and still every time we meet someone new together they get to hear this story.
I was 16, it was Christmas break of my Junior year.  The department my father worked for was having a conference up in Park City, so there were professors from all over the world coming into the Salt Lake airport.  I was one of the people hired to shuttle them from the airport to Park City in my dad’s 1974 Dodge  Van, about a 35 mile drive.*  Ed (who was brand new to Utah, and whose brother danworked in the same department) was hired to assign people to the different vans.
I was getting paid good money, for a 16 year old, so my parents tacked on the added responsibility of taking care of my little brother.  No big deal,   there was room in that big old van.  Except…
Whentanja I picked up Tanja.  If you’ve ever watched “That 70’s Show”, Tanja was our Fez my junior year.  She was a Foreign Exchange Student from Holland that hung around with my group.
So, my little brother, Tanja and I walk up to the table where Ed is sitting in the middle of the airport and somewhere in the conversation I con him into watching my brother while I drive up to Park City (and back, alone with Tanja) shuttling professors to the hotel there.  For the next 3 or 4 hours my brother had the run of the airport, and I had 30 minute stints alone with Tanja on dark, and fairly deserted, I-80. 
I didn’t know it at the time, but as Ed tells it now,school he was a little bit impressed at my manipulations that night.  He says that as I walked away with this  tall blond Dutch girl, my brother  sitting next to him, he thought “I have to hang around with that guy.”
A month later we ran into each other on the stairs at school and the rest, as they say, is history.
*Yes, it was 1976, when a 16 year old was allowed to drive University professors 35 miles in a big old van without seat belts, and you could stick a complete stranger with your 10 year old brother in an international airport.  And nobody thought twice about it.

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