This is what our neighborhood looked like late this afternoon, after a day of steady snow.
It also is what my first girlfriend’s neighborhood looked like about this time, shortly after Christmas 1974.
Just before Thanksgiving of that year, our senior year in high school, my friend Joe started seeing Teri, who went to another school in our town. I wasn’t Joe’s wingman — he never needed the help — but we were tight.
One night, Joe dragged me along to Teri’s church to see or hear her in something. There, I met Karen. She and Teri were friends. So it seemed natural when Karen and I started seeing each other as well.
Now, 33 years later — and it still seems like yesterday — it’s a pleasant memory.
One of the things I remember is heading home from Karen’s house late at night, on a night with lots of new-fallen snow, a night like tonight. Everything is quieter, muffled by the snow. On the drive home, the only natural sound is the snow being crunched by the car.
The other sounds are these. They were on the radio in late December 1974, and they always take me right back to that time.
“Everlasting Love,” Carl Carlton, from “Everlasting Love,” 1974.
“You’re the First, the Last, My Everything,” Barry White, 1974, from “All Time Greatest Hits,” a 1994 compilation.
… and the song I most often associate with those snowy nights …
“Laughter in the Rain,” Neil Sedaka, 1974, from “The Definitive Collection,” 2007.
For all the laughter in the snow, though, neither Teri and Joe nor Karen and I were together all that long. Six weeks, tops. Just long enough to enjoy the Christmas season together.
When Teri and Joe broke up, that was the end for Karen and me, too.
Joe remembers it this way: “That was one of those mini-relationships. … Lots of fun condensed into a six-week courtship.”
Indeed it was.