Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Some call it coincidence, we call it destiny

It was the 4th of July, 1981 – and it was HOT. Record hot.

We had been driving all night from Jacksonville Florida and were just east of St. Louis when the air conditioner in our tour bus decided it had had enough and suddenly gave up in protest. It was right around noon.

It only took a few minutes before we were gasping for air and panting like sled dogs in Alabama. Suddenly, as we crossed over the Mississippi and saw St. Louis on the other side, a vision appeared before my sweaty eyes. There on the river’s edge, right beneath the behemoth shining silver arch, was a huge festival where thousands of people had gathered amidst the colorful tents and spinning rides. It was like St. Louis threw a surprise party just for me!

But then as we drove past it I saw my present. Right smack in the middle of all the people was a geyser. A beautiful cold wet delicious geyser shooting straight up in the air, and raining down on what appeared to be a small group of people - including 2 girls dancing around in the water.

I ran up to the front of the bus and smacked our driver on the shoulder.

“Dude… we HAVE to stop down there for a break. We’re suffocating in this thing and we can cool off there in that fire hydrant.”

“Man, I’d love to Jeff, but we have to play in Kansas City tonight and we’re barely gonna make it in time as it is. And by the time we work our way through all that traffic and find a place to park this beast it will be another hour. Sorry bud – but we just can’t stop.”

* * * * *

In 1987 I was back in St. Louis again, but this time to perform for the Sammy Davis Jr. Telethon for M.S.

All the big stars were there… Sammy himself, Billy Crystal, Lola Falana, Lou Rawls and of course, Livingston Fury.

It was an exciting night to say the least. Hundreds of people packed the ballroom of the Adams Mark hotel, celebrities signed autographs, and for a few minutes earlier that evening, I was part of a historic and very worthy charity event.

But the best part was that fact that we were also hired to be the band at AJ's, the hotel nightclub, for the entire month to follow.

And the very next night is when I saw her - wearing a smokin hot skintight yellow minidress, dancing directly in front of the stage and sneaking suggestive peeks at me when she thought I wasn’t looking. Of course when you’re so cool that you wear sunglasses on stage, there really was no way she could tell when I wasn’t looking. Which was never.

Immediately after the first set ended her girlfriend came running up to the stage.

“My friend thinks you're hot!” she yelled over the Rick Astley tune the DJ was now playing.

“Well that’s true," I laughed, "I am sweating like a pig.”

And from there I made a bee-line directly to Charli’s table, where she immediately buried her face in her hands in utter embarrassment.

“Ah, don’t be embarrassed,” I schmoozed. “I was on my way over here anyway. Your friend just made it easier for me.”

And that’s how it all began. We spent every waking moment together that month getting to know each other… very well.

And one day we were looking through one of her scrapbooks from when she was younger, and on one of the pages was a picture from the St. Louis Post Dispatch of her and her girlfriend dancing around in a fire hydrant. I looked at the caption underneath the picture.
Young people taking advantage of a fire hydrant opened by the St. Louis Fire Department's Engine Co. 8 to help cool off VP Fair visitors on the riverfront.
Charli in the white shirt

I looked at the date at the top. It said 1981. This was incredible.

“Uh, please tell me about this picture.”

And that’s when Charli went on to explain how horribly hot it was that day, and how the fire department opened up the hydrant but for some reason they only kept it open for about 10 minutes.

“So you’re saying you were the only ones dancing in the water that day?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Because my sweet love… not only did I first see you 6 years ago, but I knew I wanted to be with you even then.”

And that, my friends, is what we call destiny!


Michelle said...

Wow. That story totally gave me goosebumps. Makes you really believe in destiny, doesn't it?

If my story isn't nearly that good, does that mean I'm with the wrong person? ;)

bon bon said...

man, this story should have ended in a musical crescendo, followed by some ad endorsed by sarah jessica parker!

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Totally was not expecting that. Fantastic story!

Jake Titus said...

I have a similar story. I was watching this girl pole dance in Reno when... oh wait, it's not at all similar. sorry, carry on.

Idaho Dad said...

Awesome story.

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Karl said...

Wow, that's almost Twilight Zone material. Freaky.

Kathy said...

Ooooo! Goosebumps here, too. I love stories like this. Destiny it is!

Anonymous said...

Actually- this should be spelled "you're" -- sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine! Nice post, though.

“My friend thinks your hot!”

Anonymous said...

What a cool story. I'm gonna go cry now.

Just kidding :)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

michelle - No, just the wrong writers ;-)

bon bon - I was with you... right up until the Sarah Jessica part.

ed - Thanks. Life if full of surprises sometimes.

jake - Why do I think you have a lot of stories that begin that way? ;-)

phil - So true.

karl - Except in Twilight Zone, the girl in the picture in the newspaper would have started to fade unless I was able to get her parents to kiss for the first time at their prom... Wait, wrong movie. Sorry.

kathy - Like Marty McFly said, "I am your density."

How do you like that... TWO references from the same movie in a row. Now THAT'S destiny!

anon - No, I quoted her directly, she said it without the apostrophe. ;-) Thanks for the heads up.

teacher - Ah, don't cry for me Argen... sorry.

Heather said...

What a fantastick story. Craig tells me we met several times before I paid any attention to him...

...and he's regretted the persistence ever since.

cathouse teri said...

Cute, cute story.

And I knew she said "your" without the apostrophe. My nieces do that all the time.

cathouse teri said...

By the way, I think Charli is too young for you. :)

Seals said...

What a great story! I saw my wife at a KFC drive-thru two years before I met her but I didn't hit on the hot babe working the window.

When the time was right, everything fell into place. We were engaged 10 days after we met. We were married five weeks after that.

We've been married 23 blissful years.

Mrs. R said...

This is just an awesome story. This should seriously be a screenplay. It would be a whole lot better than anything J-Lo has been in recently. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

So sweet! Hey I just got into town so I didn't get to weigh in on J-Lo. She starred along with Albert Brooks in the best movie George Clooney ever made, "Out of Sight".

Windyridge said...

Jeff, I love stories like that. You must have had a storybook wedding too.

Impetua said...

So cool. :) Glad you're still happy together.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, that's amazing! Congratulations on finding the right one!
:o) Elizabeth

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

heather - Ha ha. I'm quite sure he's wrong about that.

teri - Maybe the 17 year old Charli in the picture was, but she was plenty old (and wise) enough by the time I met her.

ajooja - Nothing says "hot babe" like a woman in a drive through window. Especially when she's handing you a delicious bucket of chicken!

mrs. r - So does that mean J-Lo shouldn't play my wife in the film?

rick - I haven't seen that one. But I don't doubt it's a good flick if Albert Brooks had something to do with it.

windyridge - Not exactly, more like a horror story. I'll have to share that one sometime too.

impetua - You, me and The Turtles!

elizabeth - I'm thinking about keeping her. We're celebrating our 19th anniversary this summer :-)

Ed said...

I had this same exact scenario with Scarlett Johannsen. was in my what!!!

Terrific story, Jeff.

Big Pissy said...

What a great, great story!

Love it! :)

Memarie Lane said...

Awwww that is the best story ever!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

ve - I'm pretty sure "in your dreams" is the only place you'll have any scenarios with Scarlett. Maybe not though... you are pretty popular with the ladies.

big pissy - Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by to say so :-)

marie - Oh, I forgot the ending... And they lived happily ever after. The end.

yoo hoo said...

WOW, and it sounds like you both even had the same children...that's such a great story.

Avitable said...

That is totally awesome!

Maureen said...

Awwwww... how romantic are you??? That is such a great story.

Meant to be. Obviously.

Amie Adams said...

That is the coolest story.

Completely meant to be. How romantic!

Julie Pippert said...

That is AWESOME, a wonderful, amazing, beautiful, romantic story.

MYM said...

Ahhhhhhhhh....that touches the hopeless romantic in me ... that I usually keep tied up in the basement and never let out ;)

Unknown said...

Dude. That story was fantastic. How neat is that?

robkroese said...

That was freaking sweet! Great story.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

everyone - Thanks for the nice compliments. You all are making me blush.

Durblady said...

Love this story . . . I knew you met in St. Louis but didn't have the "back story." Very cool!

wayabetty said...

I truly believe in destiny and fate! What a great story Jeff! And did Charli start the "wet t-shirt" contest?

It's been kind of crazy here, thanks for reading my latest post. I've been up to my eye balls with painting rooms, 4th one to go today and hopefully I'll be back to posting "normal" stuff soon.

Mom Thumb said...

That story is so perfect I have nothing to add.

JD at I Do Things said...

I have shivers. Seriously. What a great story. I agree with Mrs. R: This should be a screenplay or short story. It's just too perfect. And how cute is 1981 Charli?

Loved it. Thanks for sharing. I'll have a huge smile on my face all day.

JD at I Do Things

Mooselet said...

Well damn, if that isn't the best how we met story ever I'll give up chocolate for a month. You were lucky destiny smiled on you, my friend.

Bee said...

Oh, wow. That is AWESOME.

jake titus is crackin me up.

but Momma said...

I'm certain that you could get on Oprah with this story!

Anonymous said...

I was directed here from "You Can't Make This Stuff Up".

- Awesome story!

Anonymous said...

OMG! She's your LOBSTER! Awwww!

Sandy said...

That is about the coolest thing I think I've ever read in a blog. Honestly.

It gave me the warm fuzzies.

Roger Miller said...

That is such an AWESOME story. Way to go you two!!