I first met the lovely Langer sisters while I was hitchhiking around Australia in 1970. We lost touch for 43 years and only reconnected on our last trip down under. (If you’d care to read about it, you can go here and here.)
Jamie and I landed in Perth, Western Australia at about 7:30 Wednesday night. Early the next morning, we jumped in our rental car and drove 363 miles (about 7 hours) to Kalgoorlie, the outback town in which they live.About four hours into the drive, Jamie said, “We must really like these people.”
Sister Chrissy was scheduled to fly to Bali that morning, but she rescheduled her trip so we could all get together for another dinner.
These people must really like us.
We went to Wendy and Tiny’s beautiful new home for dinner, laughed for hours, then went back to the hotel to catch a little sleep before climbing back in the rental car early the next morning and driving 363 miles back to Perth.
Oddly enough, despite the fact that it was 43 years ago, I can pinpoint the exact dates I met both sisters.
I met Wendy on December 26, 1970. I was staying in Perth with the family of my favorite college professor. On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, they took me around town to celebrate the holiday with friends. At one of those homes, I was introduced to Wendy, who as I recall, was 19, living in Perth, and had just graduated from cosmetology school.
“She’s really pretty,” I thought. “I wonder if she likes long-haired, bearded, American hippie guys.” But a few minutes later I was introduced to a man who turned out to be her father, and he generously invited me to stay with his family (minus Wendy) over the New Year’s holiday at their house on the beach a couple hundred miles away.
I quickly assessed my options: House on the beach vs. hot Aussie chick who probably wasn’t interested in me anyway. I chose the house on the beach.
A few days later, on December 31, 1970, I met younger sister Chrissy. I had hitchhiked for two days to reach Esperance, the beautiful little beach town in which the Langer family lived, and arrived at their home just in time to accompany them to a New Year’s Eve party.
Odd, isn’t it, that I should recall my first meeting with both sisters 43 years later?
But, then, anyone who knows me has come to expect odd.