A couple of episodes ago, Episode 158 to be specific, Auggie left us all sailing in the Timor Sea, enjoying the wind and surf, and each other's company. We had a great ten days in Darwin, and only reluctantly returned to the bleak, post-color fall of late October in North Dakota. The support crew, now a group of six, all headed to Chicago, leaving the 49ers in the care of a reliable shipping company that would ship them to the next needed port.
The rest of us had come directly back to Grand Forks, except that Auggie and Lynn had stopped for a couple of days in Madison to visit Lynn's parents, whom they hadn't seen since shortly after their wedding! Perry and Norman spent a couple of days in Chicago and then headed for Ironwood to introduce Norman to Paul, Amanda and Nettie. Norman was welcomed into the family without reservation, and felt as loved in Ironwood as he did with his own family in Portsmouth.
Goose had come directly to Grand Forks with Tim and me, and he settled into the little apartment that he'd rented on his previous visit. Now he had some time on his hands, and Tim and I made it our business to make sure that he got to know the Gang. They liked him immediately, and saw to it that he wasn't lonely in Grand Forks.
After his brief stop in Madison, Auggie arrived and told Tim and me that he wanted to have a meeting to set up the sailing schedule for the next two years! We knew that this was going to be the crucial meeting for our efforts to balance responsibilities at the university with Auggie's belief that we needed to be full time sailors.
As it turned out, Auggie and Tim were pretty much of one mind, and I just sat back and let them make all the decisions for my life for the next two years. This whole thing was, after all, Tim's idea and his dream. Besides, he was, technically at least, my boss at the university, and if he said I could be away sailing, then I could be. Auggie and Perry arrived in Tim's office for the big meeting with the two of us. He took out a calendar and said, "OK, we're targeting the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The team selection will occur in September of 1999, so the key time frame is about October of 1998 to August of 1999. Plan on being away from the University full time for those months. Summer of 1998 will be very important as well, and I assume that you can be away most of that summer. That means that you need to be fully prepared sailors by summer of 1998. It's now October of 1997, so we only have about eight months for the intense practice that we need."
He went on: "You also need to get experience in a lot of different water, because the crucial events of 1999 will take place in a lot of different venues, almost none of which are in the United States. Winter is upon the Northern Hemisphere now, so it means we need to be in the tropics or the Southern Hemisphere for the next few months. All that is background to the following schedule."
It was all spelled out on a chart which he taped to the wall. Sailing would be in week-long blocks, except for a couple of two-week blocks. Let me note also that Auggie's idea of a week was nine days-it included the weekend preceding and following. Here were his plans:
December 6-14, 1997
December 20, 1997-January 4, 1998
January 17-25, 1998
February 7-16, 1998**
February 21-March 1, 1998
March 14-22, 1998
April 4-18, 1998
May 2-10, 1998
May 16-25, 1998**
June 6-21, 1998
August 9-Sept 7, 1998
Sept 12-20, 1998
San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Perth, Western Australia*
Cape Town, South Africa
Toronto (racing and practice)
Ottawa (racing and practice)
Sonora Bay, Sonora, Mexico
* Participate in 49er World Championships.
** Last date shown is holiday, allows an extra day.
*** All other dates are for highly competitive races, this is for fun only.
Then, from October 1998 on, it's purely a race schedule. This assumes that Tim'n Charlie are doing well enough to qualify for all of these:
October 8-10, New York City
October 15-18, Singapore
November 1-4, Loano, Italy
November 9-14, Hyeres, France
November 25-28 (Thanksgiving), Los Angeles
December 5-6, Kingston, Jamaica
December 13-14, Canary Islands
Christmas Break. Home for Christmas
December 27 to Jan 8, 1999, Valencia, Spain for practice
January 9-11, Valencia, Spain
January 15-18, Sydney, Australia
January 22-25, Auckland, New Zealand
February 1-4, Rio de Janero, Brazil
February 14-17, Buenas Aires, Argentina
February 22-25, Cape Town, South Africa
March 1-3, Singapore
March 5-15, Darwin, Australia for practice
March 18-20, Cairnes, Australia
March 22-23, Christchurch, New Zealand
April 2-4, Naples, Italy
April 5-9, Loano, Italy
April 15-16, Miami, Florida
April 17-May 18, Canary Islands, rest and race
May 20-22, Toronto, Canada (The "Icebreaker")
May 24-29, Medemblik, Netherlands
June 2-4, Quiberon, France (English Channel)
We'll follow the summer schedule for top level 49ers. We can't be sure where the key races will be this far in advance.
September 1-10, 2009, Sydney, Australia (US Team to be selected, with sailing in the Olympic venue).
September 15-30, 2010, Sydney Olympic Games
Oof. Just the travel to and from would make the schedule brutal. I looked at it and wondered if I was up to it, and whether it would allow me to accomplish anything as Dean of Law. Tim looked at it, smiled, and said, "That works for me. How about you, Charlie?"
And just how was I supposed to answer that? Perhaps, "Oh, Tim, give me a break. This'll kill us." Or maybe, "I think Auggie is out of his mind." What I said, however, was, "If it works for you, it works for me."
Perry looked at it and said, "This'll keep us all busy. As soon as you all say this is a go, I'll get my team making all the arrangements."
Auggie smiled and said, "I was willing to negotiate, but just a little."
Tim said, "Doing this halfway would be just about as stupid as trying to drive to the North Pole. We're either in, or out. And I'm in. We put ourselves in your hands, Auggie, and we trust you. That's just about the level of being away from Grand Forks that you've been talking about all along. It's just that the reality is more difficult to absorb than vague generalities, like, "You'll be away half time in the coming year."
I asked, "Do most of the top sailors sail that kind of schedule?"
"Oh, no. They have real lives, some even have day jobs. But there is a big difference."
"And that would be?"
"Most of them learned to sail about the same time they learned to walk, and they hung on trapezes when you and Tim were playing on jungle gyms. You have a lot of time to make up for. And, although you both are in excellent physical shape, you need to develop the muscles and balance that're key to sailing a 49er. And those are different than pulling bowstrings and hanging onto still rings.
"Oh, yes, and one more thing. As I heard it, you two guys wanted a medal. Well, they only give out three. So don't bother comparing yourselves to the rest of the pack of top 49er sailors. You want to be the best of the best. Ask Tim; the best of the best don't follow normal practice schedules. They write their own rules."
"You win, Auggie. I wasn't arguing, just asking."
Perry said, "Well, we're really going to see the world. You can bet the rest of the team is going to love this schedule."
Tim said, "Charlie and I are going to love it as well. We haven't had a chance to really travel in years; we've been tied to the university. We've arranged for the university to survive without us, and we're going to have a ball. And if we get an Olympic medal, it'll just be icing on the cake."
Auggie said, "Remember, the top three in Sydney get medals. But only the top one gets on the US Team. So the time leading up to team selection is more crucial than the time leading up to the Olympics. Be ready."
Perry headed back to his group and gave them copies of the schedule. Since they were all in the game for the adventure and travel, it looked wonderful to them. Perry said, "OK we have to head to San Carlos in Sonora, Perth, and Cape Town to make arrangements, and then we all meet in San Carlos. I think you would all prefer to move in pairs when possible, and for this coming job that'll work well. I assume everybody's in agreement on how to pair up."
They all smiled.
"If you want to come back through Chicago before heading to Mexico that's fine, or you can just head to Mexico. OK, who'd like to go to Perth now? It looks like we'll all be there for Christmas. Auggie doesn't seem to understand the concept of a holiday."
Gene spoke up for himself and Curtis, "I think we'd like to head to Perth. It'd be interesting to see another part of Australia."
Perry said, "You'll be seeing a lot of Australia before this job's over. Why don't you fly into either Melbourne or Sydney and take the train across the continent to Perth. It's supposed to be the longest stretch of straight train track in the world."
"That's hardly a job requirement."
"It is if I tell you to go that way. I think it's important that we check out that railroad."
"What would Fred think if he knew you tossed around his money like that?"
"Next time you see him, ask him. He won't answer me; he'll just say it's my decision. But I know the answer. Fred's quite eager that we love this job, enjoy it, get a lot out of it, and in so doing we'll be better at loving and supporting Tim and Charlie. In the Gang they always talk about 'love and support,' not just 'support.' Fred's a big believer in love and support. And he also knows that you have to be loved in order to love. I assure you, that you're loved by both Fred and me. And we won't show it by just spending money, but from time to time that isn't a bad way to show love. Now, have a good time in Australia, and don't forget that you have to get to Mexico on time."
Perry turned to David and Millie, "I hope it isn't presumptuous of me to think of you two as a pair-without defining the word. Would you like to head straight to Mexico, or take a little side trip to Cape Town?"
Millie spoke up, "I'd love to go to Cape Town. Does that sound like fun, David?"
"It sure does. Perry, do you mind being the one that simply heads to Mexico?"
"After we get things settled in Mexico, we'll head down to Chile and make arrangements there for February. Somebody has to go to Hawaii and Tonga as well." He looked over the schedule. "Actually, after Perth we have an almost two week open period. If we all get the boats loaded and shipped to Cape Town, we could all head to Hawaii and Tonga, make the arrangements, and relax and enjoy the South Pacific."
Auggie had been listening to all of this and said, "Sounds like a plan. Maybe some other members of the team will join you in the South Pacific."
There were eleven members of the team. You've heard more Tim and Charlie stories than you would ever want to hear. However, I do want to tell you some stories of the other pairs.
I am going to start with Auggie. He naturally paired up two ways: with Goose as a sailing partner, and with Lynn as spouse. Goose was a very shrewd young man, and he quickly figured out that the group that he was now a part of wouldn't tolerate any sexual relationship between him and the underage Auggie. Even though in many of the places we were headed the age of consent was 16, it was clear that this bunch used the age 18, and that Lynn and Auggie were only together because they were legally married. So Goose kept his hands, if not his eyes, off Auggie. He had no interest in Lynn; Goose was as completely homosexual as you could get.
The three of them got along well, and Auggie took advantage of every chance he could to sail with Goose in the Maddie II. They were as good or better than Tim and I in sailing a 49er, and would prove it numerous times. On the other hand, Tim and I stole a few trophies from them over the months. Luckily, Goose wasn't an American, so he and Auggie couldn't compete for the lone 49er place on the US Olympic Sailing Team. Nor on any other nation's Olympic team. Auggie couldn't resist reminding us, from time to time, that because of the nationality rules and how they affected pairs events, Olympic champion wasn't a synonym for world champion. That would lead to Tim challenging him to a head to head race. We won some, and they won some. I think they were more hard fought than our races against the world. We knew that if we could beat Auggie and Goose, we could very likely beat anybody.
Lynn had been an incredibly good sport about sharing Auggie with Perry. I don't think that I could've shared Tim like that in the second month of our "marriage." Both Auggie and Perry had protested, but Lynn had been firm: "I am not going to deprive Perry. He was kind to you before we were married, and deserves to have us be kind to him."
Nevertheless, I have to believe that both Auggie and Lynn were delighted to have Perry fall in love with Norman, and the idea of making him part of the team was fantastic. I chatted with Fred about it one afternoon in Grand Forks and he said, "It was a brilliant idea of Perry's. I know he asked Andy's permission-he's really very careful, much more so than he has to be. I hope that I would've had the good sense to suggest it if Perry hadn't thought of it, but I might not have. It's going to make the team function much better."
Lynn and Auggie were so obviously in love that nobody could miss it. They were cute together. Auggie was still a teenager, and unless he was on a sailboat, leading the team, taking photographs, or giving orders to Tim and me, he looked and generally acted the part of a teenager-well, a pretty mature one. And Lynn seemed to enjoy letting him be a teenage free spirit. They would run along the beach, splashing each other. They built sand castles together, made messes rubbing sunscreen on each other. If they were alone, their hands would climb inside each other's swim suit or clothes. And the presence of other members of the team didn't inhibit them.
If Auggie and Goose were sailing with Tim and me, they would almost always send us off first after lunch. That would give Auggie and Lynn a chance to play for a while, and Goose loved to either take a nap or pretend to take a nap and watch them out of the corner of his eye. Goose also liked to keep Tim and me posted on Auggie and Lynn's latest outrageous adventure, like the time Lynn and Auggie were swimming after lunch in one of the Tonga islands. They didn't have the beach alone-several other boats had picnicked in the same general area where we had. Lynn came out of the surf, walked up to Goose, tossed Auggie's swimsuit on the sand, and said, "Let's see how he handles that situation." He handled it by signaling Goose to bring the Maddie II out and pick him up. Lynn said, "Don't you dare take that suit along." Goose didn't. Auggie simply sailed naked for the first part of the afternoon, until Lynn signaled them to come by her little skiff where she was painting. She made him get in her boat, kiss her, and let her hands roam all over him before she handed over the suit.
Goose told me, "I know it was all done for my benefit. Believe me, I was glad that Gene and Curtis were willing for me to share a bed that evening."
That brings me to a little sidebar about the clothing that we wore while sailing. The seas could be rough; rain didn't stop us, nor did less than serious storms; temperatures ranged from hot to almost freezing, depending on location and time of year. So we wore anything from full body insulated wet suits, to not much more than a Speedo. We always wore a life vest, and to make it comfortable a tee shirt or muscle shirt under it. The life vests were specially designed things to add as little bulk as possible, and flex comfortably with the body. When you tipped, you were glad for the flotation, because it made righting the boat much easier-you didn't have to expend your limited energy staying afloat while you needed all your energy to right the boat. Shoes were special rubberized things designed to not slip on the deck or wings of the 49er, and with strong enough soles so that when you hung out on the edge of the wing, you had good support for your feet. None of this stuff was cheap. Once Crosse and Blanders had come on the scene, we ordered all of that speciality gear from them-except, of course, that which could come from the Fred's Sports inventory. However, for the very specialized items for sailing, Crosse and Blanders had a much better inventory than Fred's Sports.
Another quick sidebar. Norman started to give the team a nice discount when Crosse and Blanders supplied equipment. Perry found out about that with the first bill we received after Norman had joined the team. Perry had told Norman, "You will not give this team a discount. It's very generous of your father, and you too, Norman, but we don't get discounts anywhere else, and we don't expect it from Crosse and Blanders. We'll pay fair price, and that's that. Norman had tried to protest, but Perry would simply not consider it. Perry had won the argument with, "Look, Norman, you don't want me to have to have this discussion with your father, do you? I know you help him pay for a clerk, now the team can support him too. And it doesn't cost us anything, because his prices aren't higher than anywhere else we could get things."
"OK, you win Perry. I don't want to have this conversation with my father."
"Good. Now we won't talk about it again."
Well, while I'm talking about Perry and Norman, let me tell you a little more. Their time together up until their trip to San Carlos, Mexico, had been pretty hectic. First they were traveling through Australia, then supporting the team in Darwin, then flying to North America and getting ready for more trips. Then they landed in San Carlos. It took about three days to leisurely make necessary arrangements for the team. They booked themselves and the team into a first class hotel with a nice beach, swimming pool, jet skis, water skiing, and all the usual amenities of a top quality resort.
At that point they made a flying trip to Santiago, Chile, to make arrangements for the team in February. They worked quickly in Santiago, and in four days they were back at the resort in San Carlos, with no other responsibilities until the team arrived about two weeks later. Perry checked his email twice a day to make sure there were no problems for the rest of the team, and then he and Norman could play, play, play. With toys and with each other-I trust you know what I mean. Perry had water skied a few times in Ironwood, but Lake Superior was pretty cold, and that was the only place where he had a friend with a boat. Norman had been on a jet ski a few times around the Solent. They taught each other. They hired a ski boat about a half a dozen afternoons, and rented jet skis several times. And they swam, played tennis, beach volleyball, and one day rented a paddle boat-one of those things with huge balloon tires. That was fun, but more effort to move it than they liked.
They experimented with every conceivable way for two boys to have sex-the kinkier the better. They also explored as many different places as possible to have sex-but not on water skis; they only talked about that. They were pretty sure that the spotter in the boat would've had problems with that. On the other hand, once they were away from the shore, being naked on jet skis was exciting, especially the way the vibrations of the jet ski enhanced the vibrations of their minds. Two naked boys on a single ski, one cuddled behind the other, was the most fantastic kind of foreplay. Nights, on the beach, in the surf, in their beds, were all fantastic. Two weeks never went by so fast! By the end they were mature lovers, but they vowed that they'd never let sex become routine. It appeared that if any two could accomplish that, they could.
Oh, yes, with a little encouragement they liked to brag, which is how I'm able to tell this story!
We'll leave Perry and Norman screwing on the beaches of the Gulf of California, and join Gene and Curtis as they wing their way to Sydney, Australia. Perry justified their trip to Sydney-in his mind, nobody else thought it needed justifying-by asking them to make the arrangements for the three trips to Sydney that we'd be taking over the next years: January, 1999, September, 1999, and of course September, 2000, for the Olympics. They were a little startled when Fred told them to book hotel rooms for 150 Gang members and assorted hangers on. He wanted fifty rooms with two king beds each, preferably in one top of the line hotel-beginning September 4 and ending October 2. And while this may not sound like Fred, it was, in fact, very much like him: "And don't agree to pay Olympic Games rates for the ten days prior to the Olympics-drive a tough bargain."
Curtis told me later that booking the hotels was fun. They'd go in to see the manager and tell him that they needed five rooms for the coming Christmas season (a slow season for hotels), five rooms for September of 1999 (one of those rooms for a week earlier and later than the rest), and, oh yes, fifty of the best and biggest rooms for the Olympic Games in 2000, starting ten days ahead of the games, and five of the rooms extending a week or so after the games. It was quite a package, and although most hotels could be guaranteed of full occupancy during the games, this involved a lot of room-days outside of the magic games period. They got offers from three hotels, but none could offer any quantity of rooms with two king size beds. In fact, only the Radisson could offer rooms with two queen size beds. The common offering in hotels in Sydney was either a king size bed or two twins, some hotels could offer two double beds, but only the Radisson could offer two queens, and then only 35 rooms. By adding some king size rooms, and a dozen suites with varying bed arrangements, they would able to accommodate Fred's estimated number of 150 Gang members and hangers on. Curtis realized at once that the manager of the Radisson both wanted their business very much, and knew he had the only hotel in town that could accommodate them. Curtis found he liked the man and quickly appreciated his position. It was agreed that Fred's Sports would pay the full rate for all rooms, but that included the period of the Games, when many hotels were jacking up their rates. It was a good deal for both parties, and Fred was delighted when he heard about it.
Finding a marina, shipping agents, and other sailing related services was easy, and Gene accomplished that while Curtis was dealing with hotels. They had a comp suite at the Radisson while they were there, and didn't hesitate to take advantage of it. On Wednesday they boarded the Indian Pacific of Australia's Great Southern Rail, and began one of "Australia's Great Train Journeys," ending in Perth, Western Australia. They were in a gold service car, roughly the equivalent of our first class, although the railroad also had a platinum service-but not on their train. They had a very comfortable bedroom with an upper and lower berth, but they quickly found the lower berth was wide enough to share. Meals were included in the price, explaining why it seemed so expensive. They were served in a very nice dining car, reserved just for gold service passengers. And there was a lounge car, which was ideal for watching the scenery go by. The trip was about 2,700 miles and took three days and three nights. It was a fun, relaxing time, and Gene and Curtis enjoyed themselves immensely. They hadn't had that kind of forced relaxation in years, and were delighted with the opportunity. They quickly realized that, teenager or not, Perry was one Hell of a boss. They'd love him forever for this trip.
Of course, that's exactly the outcome that Perry was hoping for! No fool he.
They arrived in Perth, easily made the necessary arrangements for the sailors, and decided to rent a car and look around the countryside. They'd come in from the east, via Kalgoorlie, so they decided to head south along the coast to Bunbury for a two night stay. Then further south and a little east to Albany, for another two night stay. Then back to Perth, and soon time to head to Mexico. They were ready; eager in fact.
OK, yes, of course they were sexual beings, and nothing on this trip inhibited that. However, I only know about the sex in their lives from Goose. They never talked about it, and nobody felt the need to ask. But Goose liked to talk (in private and usually pretty judiciously), and Tim and I learned a little about Gene and Curtis through Goose. Gene and Curtis used their hands to jack each other off. That was it. It was what they always did, and although they liked to vary the place, the physical practice varied very little. They had no interest at all in anal sex, and not much more in oral sex, but they had at least tried that.
Goose was a little surprised by their limited repertoire, but realized that he was the guest, the odd man out, and he played their game. He pushed them a little by offering to give them blow jobs, and Curtis accepted the offer. Curtis seemed to enjoy it, but it was clear that he was very reluctant to return the favor. Goose just decided to go with the flow. The pattern was that two men would lay beside the third and used their hands to masturbate the third. Then they'd change positions and repeat the process, and again for the third. The order varied, but not much else. Every now and then Goose would suck Curtis instead of using his hand, but never Gene, who clearly didn't want that.
Eventually Curtis offered to suck Goose. Goose assured him that he didn't need to feel obligated to, but Curtis wanted to try it again, having only done it once, years before. He let Goose come in his mouth, but immediately spit out his cum. Goose told us, "I love those guys, and they've always been very kind to me. I wouldn't push them into places they didn't want to go. But, my God, they're like an old married couple that never got beyond the missionary position."
Tim smiled when Goose said that, and said, "To each his own. They seem very happy together, so it must work for them. It sure as Hell wouldn't work for me."
As long as we knew them, we were never aware that Curtis and Gene ever changed their habits. In fact, it surprised us that, as conservative in their sex as they were, they were comfortable inviting Goose. But that never seemed to be a problem.
David and Millie headed to Cape Town. You might like a little background. David had grown up in Wausau, Wisconsin, and had worked at the local sporting goods store there in high school. He'd gone to college at the Point, the universal nickname for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. While he was there, Fred's Sports had bought the sporting goods store where he'd worked in high school, and when he came back looking for a summer job it was with Fred's Sports. He worked there four summers, and then was offered the assistant manager position in Iron Mountain. Two years later he was a manager, and a year later he was arranging for the installation of a ten-meter diving platform at the high school in Iron River-under the direct instruction of Andy Oldfield. Andy liked him, and was impressed with how well he handled the special assignments related to Willie. He was soon moved to Detroit when they opened a regional office there. That's where he was when Perry hired him. In his own words, much later, his sexual experience was zero. He'd dated some in high school and college, but had never had the nerve to talk about sex, nor try any kind of advance on a girl. In Detroit he'd led the life of a happy bachelor, with male friends rather than female. And that's how things stood when he found himself the only unattached, straight male on a team that included exactly one unattached female, straight or otherwise.
Millie's background was amazingly similar, except that it started and ended in Iron Mountain, with college at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. She'd dated very little in high school or college, and had been trained as an elementary teacher. She taught elementary school in Iron Mountain, living at home with her parents, for the next seven years. She had one boyfriend, a teacher at the local high school, but although she liked Philip, she couldn't see herself fully committed to him. So they broke up, and not as gracefully she would've liked. She blamed herself as well as Philip.
She tired of teaching, especially with a fairly rigid principal who disproved the old spelling pneumonic, "The Principal is a pal." She saw an ad in the window of Fred's Sports for a sales clerk, and she went in and got the job. Within two years it was paying better than her teaching job, and she decided to make a career of it. She'd been an assistant manager for less than a year when she had her fateful meeting with Perry, and was invited to join the team. Only to the extent that she and Philip had let their hands roam a few times, clothing all in place, was she more sexually experienced than David!
And that was the state of affairs as they winged their way to Cape Town, via London and Johannesburg. They decided that they'd break up the flight by overnighting in London and spending a day there. So they didn't book an airport hotel, but decided that they'd simply arrive (in the morning as almost all US-Europe flights do), head downtown, get a hotel, spend the day seeing the sights, spend a second night, and head on to South Africa the next day. It was a simple plan, but left an obvious door open. Millie wasn't sure until much later that the door had been left open deliberately as David made their reservations.
On the flight David finally got up his nerve to talk seriously to Millie about their relationship. They were in business class where there were just two seats in the row and the conversation was private. It took him a while, but he finally asked, "Where is our relationship going? I think the others on the team expect us to be a serious couple."
"Oh, I know they do. Their hints are pretty straightforward."
"You know, I've never really had a serious relationship. Not even a girlfriend in high school or college."
"I had one, a man named Philip, a teacher at the local high school. But I didn't think he was right for me. Love simply wasn't there."
"Millie, you're a nice woman; I think I could fall in love with you."
"Our being thrust together was just a coincidence; can it lead to love?"
"People find their partners in all sorts of strange places. Perry's a remarkable boy. I'm not really sure how he got the job he has, though it's clear that he's well known to Fred. But he picked us both because he saw something in us he liked. It's very clear that his judgement of people is much more than the ability to do a job. He takes the concept of love seriously, as do Tim and Charlie. I'd guess that applies to Fred as well, though we've only met him once. With that background, he choose both of us. It doesn't make the idea of our falling in love seem so far-fetched."
"You're right, David. But I'm still uncertain."
"Of course; if we weren't both uncertain, we might be characterized as foolish."
"No, I've listened to the stories of the people in the group. Love at first sight seems to be very common in this bunch. Tim swears he fell in love with Charlie instantly. Clearly that's true for Perry and Norman. Auggie says it was almost true for Lynn and him, but maybe it was the second date."
"I don't know about Curtis and Gene, they fell in love in high school, I think."
"Millie, I think I'm falling in love with you. Perhaps not on first sight, but you're a really wonderful woman."
"Perhaps I'll get there, but I'm simply not able to make my mind up so fast."
"May I ask something very personal."
"I think so. If it's too personal, I'll tell you."
"Have you ever had a sexual relationship? Did you sleep with Philip?"
"I guess I'm ready to answer that. No, I'm completely inexperienced."
"That describes me as well."
They were quiet for a long time. Then Millie spoke, "You didn't make a hotel reservation for tonight, did you?"
"Let's get adjoining rooms with connecting doors. How's that for a lack of commitment?"
"I'm just as shy of sex as you are, Millie. I like your idea."
They took the Underground from Heathrow, getting off at King's Cross St. Pancras, and walked into the station hotel. They got their connecting rooms, and were able to get occupancy right then in the morning-about 8:45 a.m. They went up to their rooms, put down their suitcases, and David knocked on the connecting door, which Millie opened. She invited him in. The room had only one chair, but he brought one in from his room. They sat and looked at the view out the window-a plain London street scene. Millie asked, "Now what?"
David replied, "The first question that all trans-Atlantic travelers have to answer when they arrive in Europe is, 'Do we go to bed now, and ruin our sleep schedule, or do we stay up and act like walking zombies all day?' There is, of course, no right answer. Time changes are no fun."
Millie said, "In our case there's an additional question. If we sleep, where do we sleep?"
"Ah, the lady knows how to get straight to the point."
"Ah, the man knows how to duck the issue."
"OK, let's agree that we're going to go to bed for a little while, since we didn't sleep very well on the plane."
"Well, it would seem we have a few choices. We could sleep together in one of our beds, or we could sleep separately. And if we decide to sleep together, there are a few other questions."
"Are we going to do more than sleep? Where are we going to get undressed? Are we going to wear pajamas? I think there are a few more that we might have to deal with."
"If it's that complicated, perhaps we should just each go to his own room and sleep."
"Is that what you want?"
"No, I don't think it is."
"Then those questions need to be answered, don't they?"
"Not necessarily. What if we just got on with it and didn't talk?"
"That could easily get one or the other of us in trouble."
"Perhaps. What if we both agreed not to take any offense?"
"I'll agree to that."
"So will I," responded Millie.
"So, what does that mean?"
"I think it means that you don't need permission to take of your clothes, or for that matter to take off mine."
With that Millie got up out of her chair, walked over and bent over David and kissed him. It wasn't their first kiss, he'd kissed her goodnight outside of her hotel room several evenings since their time in Portsmouth. But this was clearly different. He reached his hand out and put it on her breast, and she didn't seem to react negatively or fearfully as he thought she might. Hell, he was fearful, why shouldn't she be?
Millie felt his hand on her breast; a move so simple for most high school kids, but so difficult for her and David. But it came home to her that they had just crossed a threshold. She reached down and put her hand on his groin, squeezing a little. His pants prevented her from actually feeling much, but the symbolism of the act was very clear.
David's dick reacted immediately to Millie's touch. And he thought back to her saying that they shouldn't talk about it, just do it. He reached down with both hands and unzipped his fly, reached in and pushed down his briefs so that he could get his penis out his fly. It was very hard, and Millie took it in her hand and squeezed a little. He moved his hand back to her breast and they kissed again.
Millie stood up and said, "I hate to let go of that, but I think we're going to have to take off some clothes if this is going to advance at all. She started unbuttoning her blouse and soon was standing with only her bra above the waist. She thought, "Do I go ahead, or wait for some kind of reciprocation on his part?" She decided to go ahead. She slipped off her bra and then sat on the edge of the bed to take off her shoes and anklet stockings. David seemed to be in sort of a trance watching her. She decided to proceed and slipped off her slacks and stood in front of him in her panties. She said, "OK, your choice. Either pull mine down or take off yours."
David kind of snapped out of it when confronted with that question. He responded with, "Which would you prefer?"
"Oh, no, buster. It's your move. Don't look for instructions from me."
He reached out with both hands and very slowly and hesitantly pushed down her panties to the ankles, and she stepped out of them. Millie was now comletely naked and standing in front of David, who was fully clothed except for his penis still sticking out of his fly. He looked her over, but made no move to take his own clothes off. He said, "I had no idea of how shy I'd be in this situation. I've dreamed of doing this with a girl, but the reality has me flustered."
Millie stood and kissed him gently on the lips and said, "I'll wait."
David moved around her and sat down on the bed. He slipped off his shoes and socks and unbutoned his shirt, letting it slip down his arms onto the bed behind him. Then he slowly, ever so slowly, stood up, unbuckled his belt and unhooked his pants. He let go and they fell down, catching about his knees. Since he had previously pushed his briefs down, the falling pants left him fully exposed. He kicked his legs a little till his pants and underpants were down at his ankles, and then he stepped out of them. He reached behind him and lifted the covers on the bed, sat down on the sheets, and backed up until he was flat on the bed, on his side. He took Millie's hand and pulled her in with him, putting the covers over both of them.
Millie laughed a little and said, "All that effort to get our clothes off and now we're covered up again."
David didn't say anything, but responded by pulling her over so they were spooned together. His right hand reached over her and started exploring her breasts. She let him, and then took his hand in hers and pulled it down toward her private parts. Millie's upbringing was so sexless, that it never occurred to her to even think of pulling his hand toward her cunt; private parts was what she always thought of.
David was far too shy to try to let his finger enter her, but he did explore the surface. Then they both relaxed, and the sleep which the airline trip had deprived them of came onto both of them very quickly.
They awoke around noon, and both seemed to be startled to find the other in the bed, naked. David said, "I guess we'd better talk a little."
Millie hopped out of bed and headed for the shower. "Order us some lunch. Fred can spring for room service." With that she closed the door behind her.
David ordered a nice lunch and then contemplated his next move. He was naked, and Millie had no clothes in the bathroom. She would come out either naked or wrapped in a towel-probably wrapped in a towel. David decided that he'd match her and went through the connecting door to his room and into the bathroom, where he got a towel and wrapped it around his waist-heading back to Millie's room.
Millie soon came out of the bathroom, with one towel around her head and another covering most of her body. She asked, "Did you order lunch?"
"Yes, I hope you like shrimp salad."
"Sounds great. Let's wait for it to come-it shouldn't be long-and then we'll lose the towels and eat."
"Sounds like a plan."
The shrimp salad didn't take long. They asked who was at the door and when a man replied, Millie went into the bathroom and let David let the bellman in to setup lunch. That didn't take long, and soon he was tipped and on his way. Millie came out, this time without any towels. She told David, "Lose that thing."
He did, and they sat down to eat, both bareass naked, although neither one of them would've dreamed of describing it in those terms.
Millie asked, "How old are you David? I'm amazed that I don't know, but as I stood in the shower I realized that I didn't have any real idea."
"I'm thirty-six; so, how old are you?"
"Thirty-three. When's your birthday?"
"My God, we were born on the same day, but three years apart. That's my birthday. What're the odds of that?"
"About one in three hundred and sixty-five."
"Well, you asked."
"I'm going to ask another question as well."
"You said you've never had a sexual relationship. Have you ever been naked with a girl? Seen a girl naked? Except in your family."
"Neither have I."
"How about with a boy?"
"David, you knew what I meant?"
"Yeah, I did. OK, so now I'm eating lunch naked, with a naked girl. I haven't the slightest idea where this is going."
"Oh, we both know where it's going. We just don't know the twists and turns it's going to take before we get there. Do you have protection?"
"Protection? Oh, you mean birth control-condoms."
"Exactly. If we're going to have intercourse I don't think we want to have babies."
"No. I never dreamed that I'd need to have condoms. Millie, this is all completely new to me."
"Me too. My sex education in school was pretty weak; they weren't allowed to teach about birth control-it would give us ideas. Sex education from my parents was non-existent. But I did learn this much; kids (and that includes adults like us) that think you won't get pregnant if you just do it once are called parents."
David said, "We have to make some decisions about today. Basically we have two choices: we can stay here in this room and explore our sexual boundaries, whatever they are. Or we can get dressed, see a little of London, eat dinner at some nice restaurant, come back here, take off our clothes again and explore our sexual boundaries. I guess the third option would be to come back here and each go to our own room and go to sleep."
Millie said, "Let's rule out option three."
"Good idea. So, are you game for option one or option two?"
"It may sound like a cop-out, but I'm for option two. I've never been to London except when we were between the airport and the train getting to Portsmouth, and I'd like to see more than the inside of a hotel room. The dinner sounds nice, and to think that Fred's Sports is going to pick up the bill! It'll also give me time to screw up my nerve for later in the evening."
David went back to his room to get dressed in fresh clothes, but he left the door open, and both of them peeked at each other a little as they dressed. Both understood that this was definitely going somewhere. They asked the concierge about tours, and found that a London Transport bus tour would leave from the King's Cross station in about an hour, giving them a two-hour stay-on-the-bus tour. They took the tour, getting back to King's Cross a little after 5:00 p.m. They decided to walk a little, and walked down King's Cross Road, continuing on along its extension. They saw a nice looking pub with an attractive dining room, The White Swan, and decided to eat there. They got a little intimate table in a corner, and it was clear that the conversation was going to turn to the potential future events of the evening. David asked, "Should we stop at a store, I guess a pharmacy, and let me buy some condoms?"
"David, I may be totally inexperienced, but I do know that we can have a lot of fun, and gain a lot of experience, short of needing condoms. Let's not be afraid of where this is going, but let's not feel we need to move very fast."
"Millie, what we did in bed with each other this morning is more than I've ever done with a girl. I'm scared, and I'm certainly not going to push faster than you want."
"Let's talk about Cape Town now. Things will happen naturally tonight."
They did talk about their flight the next day, what they expected in Cape Town, what they had to accomplish there-that was all spelled out in a checklist that the group had developed in Freeport, and updated a couple of times since-and how long it would take. They talked about what they'd seen in London, how lucky they were to have the jobs they did, how remarkable Fred's Sports was, Tim and Charlie (me), Auggie and Perry the teenage managers, and many other things that had nothing to do with what was really occupying their minds. Dinner ended and they decided to take the Underground to Piccadilly Circus and walk around that famous area, which they'd seen on the bus tour in the afternoon. The nearest Underground station was St. Paul's, and it required a change of trains to get to Piccadilly Circus, but they enjoyed exploring the trains. They walked to Trafalgar Square, and around several blocks in the area, almost getting lost. They got back on the Underground and found their way back to King's Cross.
As they came down the hotel corridor Millie asked, "Your place, or mine?"
"We were in yours this morning, how about mine this evening?" He opened his door and they both went in. As soon as the door was shut he took her in his arms and kissed her, deeply.
She said, "We both know where this is going, or at least where it's starting. Let's lose these clothes. But I'll go into my room to undress, because I have to keep these clothes nice for the rest of the trip. I expect your clothes to be history when I get back."
They were ancient history. They kissed again, and fell on the bed, which David had stripped down to the bottom sheet. OK, now. Think back to your first sexual experience. Once you got over the clothes issue, and the touching issue, how fast did things move from there? Now add in the fact that these two had suppressed their sexual urges for about two decades, and now they were letting it go. Go was the operative word. They went from hands, to mouths, to tits, to belly buttons, to cunt, to cock, to clit, to anus, to all points in between very quickly. Then David exploded onto Millie's hands as she was playing, and that stopped them dead. Well, yes, they'd had enough sex education to know that that was likely to happen. Yes, David jacked off frequently and shouldn't have been surprised by this latest turn of events. But reality often bites, and this time it bit pretty hard.
Millie looked at her hands, and David headed to the bathroom to clean himself up. Then he tossed Millie a towel so she could do the same. David was now totally limp, and Millie was totally embarrassed, as was David. They looked at each other very sheepishly and it was anybody's guess what would happen next. Then Millie let out a little giggle, and David did the same. Then they were laughing out loud, and soon could hardly control themselves. It took them almost ten minutes to get calmed down. And then they realized that the ice was finally broken. Millie pushed David down on the bed again, and slowly massaged his dick. It was calm and deliberate, instead of the previous furious and uncontrolled. And it led to his taking her in his arms and kissing her quite lovingly. He pulled a sheet over them both and they slept the night.
The next day on the plane to South Africa David was reading an article in the South African Airlines magazine about the beaches in Cape Town. He said, "Clifton Beach is a topless beach and Sandy Bay Beach is a nude beach. Do you have nerve enough to try those?"
"Well, I know I can deal with a topless beach!"
"How about a nude beach?"
"Let's try it."
"Boy, you certainly aren't the guy I was dating back in Portsmouth."
"Isn't it wonderful?"
It only took them two days to complete the arrangements checklist and be ready to head....where? They'd been told they could head to Mexico through Chicago if they needed to touch base at home, or they could go directly to Mexico. David said, "I think we could stop anywhere in between here and Mexico that was a regular airline stopover and didn't add costs to the trip."
"That would certainly include London."
"Actually London is way out of the way. The obvious stopover between here and Mexico is South America-just look at this map." He got out Auggie's schedule and said, "We have races in Rio and Buenos Aires a year from February. Somebody has to make arrangements there. Let's email Perry and see if he'd like us to stop in those cities en route to Mexico."
"Not before we explore your sexy beaches."
"OK, but I'll email Perry and we'll check on flights."
That was done, and, of course, Perry thought it was a great idea. The trip to Rio would have three legs: first to Johannesburg, then a long non-stop to Sao Paulo, and then a hop to Rio. They booked their tickets for two days hence, and got in their rental car and headed to Clifton Beach. Millie had said that she wasn't sure just how comfortable she was going to be naked on a public beach. She wanted to start topless.
Clifton Beach was actually four beaches, and most of the toplessness was on the fourth beach, which is also where the swimming was best. There were plenty of topless girls, but plenty of bikinis as well. Both David and Millie found that they were most uncomfortable, not from the toplessness, but from the very modest swimsuits that they both wore. David said, "Well, I dare you, no, I dare us, to go get sexier swimwear."
"You're on." They left the beach, got in their car, and drove a mile or so up the road to a stylish retail area they'd been told about. They easily found a shop that sold swimwear. And there they learned the first rule of swimwear: The less material you get; the more you pay.
They quickly decided that they'd never have the nerve to buy the suits they wanted for themselves. So David picked out three for Millie, each smaller than the previous one, and Millie made similar selections for David. Then David made the second major discovery about swimwear: A lady's anatomy was more conducive to a bikini bottom than a man's. David was fairly well endowed and wondered just how he was going to wear the suits that Millie had picked out for him. In the car heading back to the beach he shared his dilemma with Millie. She laughed and said, "Now you know how girls with big boobs feel. At first it's embarrassing, and you slowly come to realize that showing off what you've got can be fun. However, I hasten to add that I've never had the problem. As you saw in the hotel room, I'm not excessively endowed."
"Well, I'm not excessively endowed either, but what I have is larger than the space available for it in the suits you bought me."
"What fun! And guess what?"
"I saw other couples changing on the beach. That's exactly what we're going to do."
"Not in the least."
They got back to Clifton Beach, laid out their towel in a not very crowded area, and Millie tossed David one of his new suits. He looked around and realized (1) Millie expected him to put it on, right there, and (2) nobody was paying much attention to them. So he slipped down his old suit and quickly pulled up the new one. He said, "My God, a jock strap is modest compared to this thing."
Millie made the same change, but left off the top to the new suit. She looked at David and said, "You look great. Let's go walk in the surf."
"I'll have to admit that you look great as well, Millie. But I'm not sure I can walk down that beach in this suit."
"This is the guy who was talking about a nude beach. That's tomorrow, by the way. Now, come on, let's go."
The one thing that saved David was the fact that whoever had designed the outrageous suit he had on had at least understood the concept of a hard-on and the fact that it generally isn't publically advertized. The suit was tight enough and strong enough that he found his dick was trapped and wasn't going to allow a bulging hard-on. Thank God. But the damn thing bulged without a hard-on! He made it down and back on the beach, and after about a half-hour actually was able to think about something other than his genitalia. Instead, his mind shifted to Millie's tits, which were gracefully bobbing with each step. They weren't real big, but they were delicious, with very red nipples. Oh, God, there was that hardening down below again; think about something different.
The next day as they drove to Sandy Bay Beach David thought about being nude on a beach. He realized that he wasn't going to have a tight suit to prevent a hard-on and he knew full well that that was what was going to happen to him on a nude beach. Just thinking about it would've given him a hard-on, except that he had another of Millie's suit choices on under his long shorts. Oh, well, he was the one who'd read about these beaches in the magazine and mentioned them to Millie.
They parked at Sandy Bay Beach parking area and learned that it was about a twenty minute walk along a fairly secluded path to the beach. They packed up the things they'd need, including water and a lunch and headed down the trail. They fell in with another couple and they all walked together. The man asked, "First time here?"
"Yes," said Millie.
"You looked a little nervous. First time to a nude beach?"
David said, "Yes."
Well, you get three kinds of people here. First are the nudists. It's a health or moral issue with them. They remove their clothes as a matter of principle. They insist it isn't sexual. You can believe that or not as you wish. Second are those for whom being naked with your girl is sexy. They're definitely frowned upon by the nudists, but as long as they don't have sex in public they're tolerated. Last are the gawkers. They mostly don't take their own clothes off and are deeply resented by the nudists. But they are legal, and as long as they aren't offensive and keep their distance, they have to be tolerated."
"So which are you?," asked Millie.
"Definitely in the second group. My wife and I have enjoyed nude beaches all over the world. We won't have sex on the beach, but I guarantee you we'll have great sex tonight."
David hesitated over his next question, but finally decided that he had to ask, "What about erections? You can't really control them?"
The man laughed. "The joke is that that's how you separate the nudists from the sexists. Don't worry, it happens to all of us. Just pretend it's soft even if it isn't. There isn't much else you can do. If this is your first time, you might as well get ready, because it's going to happen to you."
"I'd figured that out."
"Well, here we are. We're going down to that area by those rocks. There's a little shade, and good views of the beach. That's why we're here. You'll be seen there, but it isn't blatantly obvious, like those guys in the sand down there." He pointed to four guys who were stretched out on their backs on big towels, their dicks pointed straight up. "What to join us?"
David looked at Millie, who shrugged and said, "Sure."
They walked over toward the rocks, laid out their towels and their new-found friends calmly took off their clothes-they had no swimming suits; clearly planning to be nude the entire time they were on the beach. The man's penis was sort of half-erect, and he paid it no attention.
Millie and David easily stripped down to their bikinis, but didn't go further. The man said, "That's a great way to start. You'll get comfortable taking those off before too long."
He was right. They watched the others on the beach for a while, and walked around some. About three-fourths of those on the beach were naked, and about half of those were showing their genitalia and the other half were laying on their stomachs, showing only their butts. They were watched some as they walked along the water's edge, but not a lot. They wondered if it would be different if they were completely naked.
They got back to the rocks and decided it was now or never. Off came their suits. David was immediately hard as a rock. This time it was their woman friend who spoke, "Oh, look. You have a hard-on. I hope I'm embarrassing you; it's the most fun of the day. It's even more fun if you take your hands and try to hide it." That's exactly what David tried to do and he soon had three laughing companions. Then he dropped his hands and joined them.
The man said, "Everybody has to go through that. My wife has learned that once you get used to the idea that other people are seeing it, it's easier to deal with. She pulls that on everybody; sometimes on complete strangers. Now take another beach walk."
They did, and didn't seem to have many more eyes on them than when they'd walked before. As they walked fairly near one couple the girl said, "You were really sexier in bikinis." That was the only comment they got.
They left their new companions about three thirty, having agreed to meet at their hotel for dinner. They drove back to their hotel, went up to their room (in Cape Town they'd simply gotten one room with a single king size bed), stripped naked, fallen onto the bed, and without having talked about it in advance, wiggled around into a 69 position for the first time in their lives. It didn't take long for them both to come.
Well, I think you can figure the rest out. Actually, I don't have many more details. I heard the story in Mexico, when they announced they were getting married. They first told the story to Tim and me, and we thought it was so nice that we encouraged them to tell it to the entire team. Auggie's reaction was, "My God, in this bunch we have teenagers acting like middle aged managers and middle aged managers acting like teenagers. You guys are something else. It's wonderful."
Once they decided to get married, they wanted it to happen quickly. They set their wedding date for Saturday, January 10, 1998, in Iron Mountain, in the local Lutheran church in which Millie had grown up. All of her friends, and all of the church members, which meant most of the town, were invited. It was a very simple affair with Millie wearing her mother's wedding dress. A few of David's friends from Wausau and Detroit came, along with his family. And, of course, the other nine members of the team, as well as Fred, Marty, along with Andy and the foursome. It was followed by a simple picnic on the church lawn, and the only thing fancy was a huge wedding cake which was the gift of the local bakery which was owned by her mother's best friend since high school.
The date had been picked to be the middle of the sailing break between Perth and Cape Town, and Fred assured everyone that he didn't mind the extra air fares involved in trekking from Perth to Cape Town via Michigan. Tim and I had to come home to North Dakota anyway. I should note that Perry had planned for the support team to use the time between Perth and Cape Town to head to Hawaii and Tonga to make those arrangements and spend some time relaxing in the sun. Instead that trip was moved to the two weeks-with only one weekend-after Cape Town. Nobody minded the shortened vacation-they were all so enthusiastic about David and Millie's wedding.
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