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Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


Scheduling our arrival in Michigan was difficult. I was obligated to the Court until the beginning of October, and the custom of overlapping the last week in September and the first week of October with the incoming clerk was well established. The University of Michigan, on the other had, used a trimester system that had the fall term beginning on the first of September, even if that was before Labor Day. We would miss the first five weeks. For normal students that would've been a deal breaker, but the University was really eager for us to come, and figured out how to work around the dates. Tim enrolled in classes that were largely independent work for the first term, and our teaching assignments were made two credit courses which met three times a week for the last 2/3 of the term. The S.J.D. program that I was enrolling in was very flexible, and there would be no problem with my late arrival.

But there was. The day after we got to Ann Arbor and settled into our house on North Campus we got a telephone call from Fred: Mom had had a heart attack and was in intensive care at United Hospital in Grand Forks. She was in pretty serious condition, but was conscious and knew Fred. We had to make a quick trip to North Dakota.

We were able to get a flight that night out of Detroit for Minneapolis. We were too late for the last flight to Grand Forks so we rented a car and drove. It would take a little over five hours, if we moved quickly; driving in the middle of the night we'd have little traffic. We expected to arrive about three, and almost precisely at three we drove up to United Hospital. Of course, the name of the hospital had confused us for a while, because until that year's merger it was called Deaconess Hospital.

Fred met us at the ICU. Sara, Billy, Carl, Carol, Felix, and Jim were there with him, as well as Brian Kranston, Fred's second in charge at his business. Prexy had been there for a while, but had had to leave. Fred took us right in to see Mom - technically there were only supposed to be two of us in the ICU, and we were supposed to wait till 3:50. Try telling that to Fred if you're a nurse. Or Tim. Or me. A doctor rescued the nurse before she got completely crossways with Fred, and took us in. Mom looked awful; of course it is impossible to look any other way with all of the hoses and wires they attach to you. But she was breathing on her own and could recognize us. She was able to smile her recognition, but didn't have the strength to speak. It was clear that our presence was tiring her, and straining relations with the medical staff, so we went outside.

As soon as we were outside Billy pulled Tim and me aside and whispered, "Don't mention Sam'l to Felix; I'll explain as soon as we're alone." Then he pulled us back to the group. Jim spoke up and said, "Andy and the girls were here, but I insisted that I would represent the four of us. There really isn't much we can do."

I said, "Thank you for being here Jim, but there isn't much anyone can do. Don't you all want to go home and let Fred, Tim, and me hold down the fort until morning?"

Carl said, "Talk to the doctor, but I'm afraid Mamie may not make it until morning."

Tim and I set off to find the staff cardiologist on duty. Mom had had a pretty serious heart attack, at home, in the middle of the afternoon. She'd been home alone, but managed to call Fred, who immediately called the ambulance. They got there ahead of Fred and had to break in the front door. She was brought immediately to the hospital and they were able to stabilize her, but the prognosis wasn't good. Surgical techniques today probably would've extended mom's life, but not much could be done in 1971 for her condition.

About 5:30 her breathing slowed and the doctor came and spoke to Fred and me about putting her on a respirator. We both said, "No." Mom had often spoken of not wanting to be kept alive on machines; she'd been adamant. If we were to respect her wishes, we would decline the respirator. Thank goodness all present agreed; even the doctor, who acknowledged that it would keep her alive but probably not be a road to recovery.

Mom died just after six in the morning. Andy, Amy and Kara had come as soon as the talk of a respirator had surfaced. She was moved into a private room at 5:50 and we were all at her bedside when she died. We think that she was aware of the people in the room who were there to love and support her. We can't be sure of that, but we choose to so believe. Fred, Tim and I kissed mom goodbye, but we'll never know whether she knew it.

Then Fred put his head on my shoulder and whispered, "When I married Mamie I knew that I would have to face this, but I didn't think it would come this soon."

Then came the awkward moment when everybody realizes that the patient is dead and that they should leave and let the nurses take care of the body. We filed out. Where to go? Billy, bless him, said, "We don't want to stay here. Everybody come back to Charlie and Tim's house. Fred, you too. You can't go home right now." He was right. That was the place to go. I don't know who called Prexy, but he got there just before we did and was waiting at the front door.

We all sat in silence in the living room until Fred stood up and said, "Mamie, your mom, had a good life. Seventy-one years of it. She wouldn't want us to be sad at her passing, but joyous at the wonderful seventy-one years she had. Tim, come here. I know from long conversations with Mamie that getting to know you was the most joyous thing in her life. You made Charlie happy and you made her happy. I know that the one thing that she would want said right now is 'Thank you, Tim.'"

I hugged Tim and said, "Thank you, Tim."

Tim said, "Mom was an amazing woman. She was born at the end of the nineteenth century but was ready to live in the twenty-first. I wish she could could have."

A taxi brought Wayne, Irma, Gill and Anita. They hadn't been able to make connections beyond Chicago the night before and had come up on the first plane this morning. They'd called the hospital and been told that Mom had died. Luckily the doctor knew where we'd gone.

I could see an issue looming that could've split the family: where would the funeral be, and where would Mom be buried? Fred handled it well. He got Wayne, Gill, and me together and said, "Mamie wanted to be cremated, and that will be done here. We'll have a memorial service here, and then we'll fly to Indianapolis and bury her next to Jason. We'll have either a graveside or church service there, whichever you three think would be best."

I asked, "Gill, Wayne, what do you think?"

Wayne said to Fred, "Thanks for those plans, Fred. I think you're right that Mom would've liked to come back to Indiana. Let's just do a graveside."

Gill said, "That's fine with me."

Fred said, "OK, that's settled. I'll make all the arrangements today. Will you two stay here till the memorial?"

I said, "You can stay here with us, there's plenty of room in this house."

Wayne said, "I'm sure that Irma and I would like to stay."

Gill said, "I have to head home. We'll come to the graveside service in Indianapolis."

The rift in the family simply would not, could not, heal.

Felix had disappeared into the kitchen and now came out with a simple, but large, breakfast. We all needed it. We all pulled up to the dining room table and ate. Conversation slowly returned to this normally voluble group. We reminisced about Mom and Dad, Mom and Fred, Mom and Charlie, Mom and Tim, Mom and Gill and Wayne. Everyone wanted to hear about our life in Washington and our plans for Michigan. We slowly returned to normal.

Three days later we held the memorial service. There'd been some discussion of where to hold the service. Fred spoke for himself, but he thought also for Mom, in saying that she wouldn't want the service to be anywhere that wouldn't be comfortable with Tim and me. That pretty much eliminated the local churches. The facility that was thought of as the University Chapel was Lutheran - Missouri Synod; that didn't work. I suggested the field house. Prexy was happy with that choice. Wayne was shocked, "My God, it must seat more than a thousand, how many people do you think are going to come?"

Prexy said, "A big chunk of the University Community. Charlie and Tim have only been gone two years. They're remembered and loved. Have the service at 4:00 on Thursday afternoon. Cancelling classes at three won't disrupt schedules very much."

Fred said to Tim and me as we were planning, "Your mother would've wanted a religious service. I've invited the Unitarian minister that married you two - well, conducted the commitment service. I found him serving a church in St. Paul. He'll fly up Thursday morning, and fly to Indianapolis with us on Friday for the graveside service."

Well, it wasn't SRO, but the Field House had more than 2,000 people: students, faculty, staff, friends, strangers. Most didn't know Mom, but they knew Tim and me, and this was how they choose to show their love. It was an incredible moment. It was a simple service, and at the end Tim and I stood and thanked the University community for their love and support. It couldn't have been more wonderfully expressed.

Fred chartered a plane, an old DC-3 that was available in Grand Forks, and we flew to Indianapolis on Friday morning. The service was at noon, and we flew home late afternoon. The plane stopped in Ann Arbor to drop Tim and me off, and in Minneapolis to drop off Rev. Millister. Fred thinks of everything: he had one of his clerks drive our rental car to Minneapolis and turn it in, and he flew back on the plane with the group.

Billy found time to tell us about Sam'l. About a month before, Sam'l had taken sick. It wasn't serious at first, but there was some kind of systemic infection that settled in his leg. They got the infection under control, but his leg would be crippled for good. Climbing stairs was almost impossible.

I said, "We told Felix that we'd install a stair rider to his apartment when it was needed. Why didn't he call us?"

"Felix knew that, and wanted to do it. But Sam'l insisted that he wasn't going to saddle Felix with taking care of a cripple. It was an irresistible force and an immovable object. But Sam'l was determined and flew to Florida to be with his grandson."

"My God, that could've killed Felix."

"It almost did. And to make matters worse, the grandson hates gays. He refuses to accept the idea that his grandfather is gay. When Felix called, the grandson wouldn't put him through. Felix' letters have been returned. He got one letter from Sam'l asking why he hadn't written. It almost killed Felix."

"Somebody has to go to Florida and sort this out."

"It's too late. After the letter from Sam'l I decided to to some checking. Sam'l died shortly after that. I told Felix and he cried, but finally he was able to say, 'It's better. Sam'l shouldn't have gone to Florida; he could never have been happy. I had him about a year. It may have been the best year of my life. I'm just going to have to be thankful for that.'"

Tim and I talked to Felix. He seemed to have come to terms with his loss. But we could tell that he'd been devastated - first by Sam'l's leaving; then by the inability to communicate. And then, finally, by the word of his death. Felix would never again be the loveable, dirty old man that we'd known our four years in Grand Forks. He died the following February. Larry arranged the funeral. It was in our house - well that day it was Felix' house. The Gang were all there except Merle and Tina, but of much more importance about two dozen of the boys that had roomed in his house were there. Felix had kept in touch with many of them. As is often the case with funerals, we wished that Felix had been able to be there to say "Thank you," and "Goodbye." I'll have to admit that Tim and I enjoyed showing off the restored house to its former residents!

We finally learned the secret of Felix' age: he'd been born in 1889 and was 82 when he died. He'd always been secretive about his age. Only his lawyer had known. That was the man that had drawn up our original contract of sale for the house. We'd seen him only a few times since, when he'd called on Felix. Tim reminded him that we'd never had to get out the contract. He replied, "You boys simply have no idea how much you meant to Felix. His years with you, and then the year with Samuel, were absolutely the happiest of his life. He was unhappy at the end, but he understood, and told me so, that you two had given him, in his words, 'The gift of life'. Now I need to act like a lawyer. Everything he owned he left to the two of you, share and share alike - those were his words. By the time you add up a little life insurance, some savings, a few bonds, and a stash of early twentieth century gold coins that he'd saved since the depression, it amounts to about $35,000.

We were flabbergasted!

By the way, he told me about his nocturnal visits to your room."

Tim said, "He what?"

"In these last years, especially since you two headed to Washington, I really became Felix' confidant. Billy and Sara as well. I'm not sure that I wanted to hear everything he told me, and he always reminded me of attorney client privilege. He needn't have. Even if I hadn't been his lawyer, I wouldn't have talked to anyone. You two were wonderful to Felix. I couldn't believe everything he told me."

Tim said, "You know, we kidded him about being a dirty old man."

"He loved that, repeated it all the time."

"But he was good fun, and good fun in bed, I might add. I hope that doesn't offend you. It wasn't charity."

"I'll try to believe that, but it's hard. In any case it will be with some considerable joy that I hand you the estate's check sometime later in the year."

What to tell you about our three years in Michigan? The contrast between the two Universities was startling. Maryland had been glad to have Tim, but he always seemed to be kept at arm's length - like they were afraid of him. The divers and gymnasts liked working with him, and benefitted from his coaching and advice, but he was never welcomed as one of them. His professors thought highly of him, but didn't take advantage of his talents - I don't think they perceived him as anything more than a bright student. The School of Education ignored him outside of class. The President of the University paid attention to him when forced to.

Michigan's eagerness to get Tim, and me, presaged an eagerness to fully capitalize on our presence. There seemed to be no limit to the number of people on campus that were ready to take advantage of Tim's or my presumed expertise. The Vice-President for Development took him to lunch to talk about how he might support University fundraising. The Director of Athletics invited him to meet with all the coaches at a coaches' meeting - he started with just an open ended Q & A. The diving and gymnastics coaches and teams were utterly delighted to have Tim practice with them, and he did, regularly, of course. The campus Lincoln scholar sought me out to talk about papers in Illinois; he wanted to hear all of the details of my "find." The Dean of Law was eager to capitalize on my experience at the court, and asked me to lead a seminar group to talk about the Pentagon Papers case - to the extent that I wasn't limited by court confidentiality. And on and on.

Tim was in seventh heaven. He was busy as Hell. Diving and practicing his gymnastics four to six hours a day. Studying like mad. Basically he was following about the same schedule that he'd followed since 9th grade. Everybody that encountered him at Michigan was exhausted just hearing about his schedule.

While we lived in the house on North Campus, we had no classes or activities there. So, rather than head home for dinner and then return to main campus, we tended to eat breakfast at home, and lunch and dinner on main campus. Since we had both student and faculty status, we could eat at the faculty club, which we joined, or in the student cafeterias. This was our best forum for meeting new people - students and faculty; we tried to take advantage of it. In addition we got a lot of lunch and dinner invitations, mostly from administrators that wanted to talk or plan.

It quickly became clear to both Tim and me, however, that our original estimate of our ability to impact a mega-university like Michigan was correct. We were ducks in a large pond, not elephants in the University of North Dakota puddle.

Take diving, for example. UND had Harry, who never would've gotten to Worlds without Tim. Later they had Billy - because of Tim. And they had Tim. Tim's impact on the program was dramatic and overwhelming. At Michigan they asked Tim if he would work specifically with the group of divers that had been to or qualified for Nationals since coming to Michigan. Tim was glad to work with the group, but was startled to find that there were twelve of them. He was delighted to learn that it was six men and six women, indicating a serious effort to foster women's athletics, or at least women's aquatics.

In that group Tim found two that simply couldn't deal with his sexuality. They came once, and never showed again. Three of them came irregularly, and were willing to receiving coaching and suggestions when they were there, but weren't willing to get sufficiently involved to gain much from the experience. There were four that came regularly, worked hard, and really benefitted from the process, but never developed the rapport that would allow them to "soar with the eagles." Three, two women, Mima and Rhoda, and one man, Dell, all three juniors, soared with Tim the eagle. Billy'd talked of Tim's inviting him into his little private world, and how as a coach, when he gets a student diver that can come into that world he knows he has a new champion. These three entered that world, just like Billy. Two of them would make their marks before the year was out.

One evening at dinner Tim told me that he'd gotten an interesting lunch invitation for the following week. It was from Bo Schembechler, the Michigan football coach. Tim was worried that I might be upset not to have been included in the invitation. I said, "Tim, a social invitation at dinner I would expect to be included. This sounds like a business lunch. Have fun."

He did. Schembechler wanted a chance to get to know the multiple gold medal winner more that he was able to in the big coaches' meeting. Schembechler wasn't convinced that the "love and support" mode of coaching, as he termed Tim's approach, was appropriate to a body contact sport like football. Tim held firm in his belief that in all sports love and support produced winners. They did agree on one thing, Tim probably wasn't going to get hold of a football team to experiment with! Tim had said, "I don't even get to experiment with diving or gymnastics. I'm not their coach, and it's not my team. There would be more hugging and less yelling if it were my team."

Schembechler had laughed and said, "I'm told you're working with some of our best divers. Coach tells me that Dell is greatly improved."

"Love and support."

"And damn good coaching."

"Dell and I have established a wonderful rapport. He's getting better."

"Coach dreams of his giving Billy Carson a run for his money."

"Dell is good. Billy is the best in the world, and I don't see that changing. I hope that nobody's setting Dell up for a disappointment by suggesting that he has a chance of beating Billy. I dive with Billy. I know how good he is."

"You seem very sure of yourself on that."

"I am. I know Billy through and through. He's the world champion. He'll take Olympic gold, both Olympic golds, in Munich. He'll remain world champion after the Olympics. I'd bet on the Olympics in '76 in Montreal."

"To change the subject, why aren't you competing in Munich?"

"I expect to in gymnastics. But not in diving. Billy and I don't compete against each other. Not since Mexico City."

"Who's the better?"

"He is."

"In Mexico City?"

"I came home with both golds. Billy had silver and bronze. But he would never have soared to the heights he's reached if I were still competing. It was time to let him go."

"That's part of what you mean by love and support, isn't it? That's how you expressed your love for Billy."

"Bo, I think you really understand."

"In all my years of coaching I've maybe had three or four players that would've behaved like that. They were good, but never rose to the top. Maybe in diving. Not in football."

"I don't know," Tim had said. "But you're right, nobody's going to give me a team to play with."

That night, when Tim told me of the conversation, he asked, "Well, Charlie, what do you think? Is football really different, intrinsically different, from diving?"

"I'm afraid it is, Tim. And a word of advice, when you become President of UND, don't try to muck around with the football team. Promise me that."

Tim laughed and said, "OK, I promise."

By the time we'd gotten to Michigan, congress was debating a new education law, and specifically debating a call for equality of opportunity for women - what would in 1972 be called Title IX. The idea of providing equal opportunity for women in athletics was scaring athletic departments across the country - especially those like Michigan that had major football programs which had no women's equivalent - neither an equivalent sport nor anything like equivalent resource expenditure. Tim was known to be a strong advocate for women in sport, and was invited to sit in on many of the discussions regarding how the university would respond to Title IX.

Tim was enthusiastic about the possibility of the law being passed, and refused to fall into the trap of believing that it spelled doom for men's sports. He simply said, "Add up what you're spending on men's sports, then on women's sports, get the difference, and that's how much money you need to raise each year. Or, you can seek endowment funds: then you have to raise 20 times that amount to provide the funds annually. Or some combination of the two."

This was considered to almost be hilarious - nobody thought that could be done. Tim asked, "What can you get out of the legislature?"

"Damn little," was the agreed conclusion.

"Even if they think that football might be threatened?"

"Football will be the last sport threatened at Michigan."

"Why? Diverting football dollars into women's sports would solve the problem in one move."

"And would cost the job of any administrator that suggested it."

There was pretty substantial agreement on that.

Tim replied, "No guts, no money. You have to go after the legislature, seek private donors, reshuffle some budgets. But be bold. Ultimately endowment is the way to solve the problem, long term."

I'd like to be able to say that that is the approach that the University of Michigan took. Foot dragging, shutting some small men's sports, and kicking and screaming, better characterized the University's reaction to Title IX. The same was true of most of the major universities for whom athletics were a major portion of their reputation. Tim considered this one of his major failures - that he couldn't move the University of Michigan to a bold response to Title IX.

You can't win them all, Tim. But you tried!

The Development Team, led by the Vice-President for Development, was more responsive to his call for bold action. As a publically funded university from a fairly wealthy, industrial state, the University of Michigan had never been dependent on private donors. They did receive a lot of money from private donations, but it was never a critical part of their budget: it was largely for special projects, buildings, and the like, beyond the publicly funded budget. But in the 1970's the industrial belt was becoming the rust belt. Industry was beginning to move offshore. Europe and Japan were making major inroads into the automobile market - which had been the source of Michigan's wealth. It was becoming clear that public funds for a world class university like Michigan were going to become scarcer and scarcer. The leadership of the University of Michigan could see the future and were seeking to plan for it. I think the State of Michigan's dependence on automobiles better prepared it for the coming of "rust belt economics" than some of the other industrialized states that didn't have a single product economy. VWs and Hondas, and many others, were obvious visible evidence of coming trouble. The Pennsylvania steel industry was under equal threat, but it wasn't so obvious - Japanese steel looks exactly like American steel; there is no trademark.

Tim was made an unofficial member of the Development Team, and they talked long and hard about how to raise money, specifically how much effort should be put into endowment and how much into annual fundraising. Tim was a strong supporter of endowments - he saw them as the guarantors of the future of the university. During our second year at Michigan the University announced a major fundraising campaign under the banner "Raising the Standard." Tim was a major influence in their decision to make the goal $1 billion and to dedicate almost one half of the proceeds to endowment. That action was the precusor of more campaigns that have made the University of Michigan's current $5 billion plus endowment the tenth largest of any University and the fourth largest public university endowment.

Tim definitely won one there.

We tried to keep our lives as unchanged as possible. This meant that by ten p.m. we quit what we were doing, usually studying or preparing for the class we taught, straightened up the house, and headed for bed. There was one significant difference in Michigan from Winston House. At Winston House a cleaning service arrived once a month, as part of the regular Winston House maintenance, and gave it a thorough cleaning. In Michigan that job fell to Tim and me. We tried to keep up in our evening clean ups, but fell behind. About once a month or so - never as regular as Warren's cleaning service - we would take about a half day to really clean the place up. We hated that job.

We did like what came after the evening clean up. Well, we started during the clean up, which we nearly always did nude. A little teasing with the hands, or toes, was part of the game. We ended in bed, usually sucking each other, which over time had clearly become our favorite form of sex. Every now and then we had company. Ann Arbor isn't that much closer to Grand Forks than is Washington, but since both Ann Arbor and Grand Forks are considered to be in the Midwest, it didn't seem so far. Billy liked to drop in from time to time to dive with Tim. He said he needed it to keep in form. Both Tim and I doubted that, but we were delighted to see him. Sometimes Sara came and sometimes he came alone. In either case they dived together as much as possible and we slept together every night - with Sara joining us whenever she was along. My God, Billy was a sexy kid. And did he know how to flaunt it? We would skip our cleaning routine when we had guests and head straight to bed. Billy like to be last up the stairs: his clothes would start to come off at the top step and he would be naked and hard by the time he got to the bed. We never knew who he would aim for: Tim, me, or Sara when she was there. If you were in his sights you were going to get it, good. Billy could really deliver. It was almost as much fun to watch him head for someone else, as it was to be his target. I'll never forget the fun he had fucking Sara while he sucked Tim or me. Wow! If Billy was in town, we knew what was in store for the evening.

A visit from Franklin's folks gave us an interesting weekend diversion. When the trip had been arranged, Tim and I had talked about what we expected to happen. I remembered that the second night in Washington Peter and Norma had wanted us to "act normal." We'd interpreted this to mean that we should treat them about the same as we would treat our own generation: forget the need to talk and discuss intergenerational sex.

We decided that on this trip that's just the way we'd treat them. No talking, we'd relate to them about the same as we would Hal and Sue. That's what we did. We picked them up at the airport and we drove to our house in Ann Arbor, showing them the campus on the way. We asked if they'd like to change before dinner, and they said, "Yes."

We showed them up to our room and put their suitcase on the little rack we had for that purpose. At this point Franklin and Phil would've been opening their suitcase, stripping off their clothes and heading to the shower. We would've sat in the chairs in the room, or laid on the bed, and talked while they showered and changed. What was going to happen now?

Norma moved first, and was soon in her panties heading to the bathroom to wash up. She didn't close the door. Peter followed. Tim and I looked at each other and wondered what the night would bring.

They dressed in front of us, evidently comfortably, and we headed for the living room. We talked about Michigan, Franklin, Phil, the Gang, everything but sex. Finally Norma said, "OK. You aren't really going to tell me that if Franklin and Phil were here you wouldn't have talked about sex by this point. Perhaps what you were going to do at night?"

We all started laughing. We had to admit, that Franklin and Phil would probably have inspired some pretty lewd conversation and planning for the evening. Norma said, "Good. I want to sleep with Peter tonight, but with you two in the bed with us. I've dreamed of that since Washington."

Tim said, "Your wish in our command. Now let's go to dinner." I've forgotten where we ate, but it was a good meal and got us in a good mood for the evening. After some conversation, in which sex wasn't discussed, we headed upstairs. Everyone seemed to undress comfortably, and we crawled into bed. Peter and Norma hugged and let their hands roam, but they seemed to be waiting for us. I kidded them that I didn't think that Franklin would've been waiting, but they didn't change their behavior. So I turned my attention to Tim. We kissed and then spooned. We could've gone to sleep, but it was clear that more was in order. Tim wiggled around and put us in a 69 position, side by side. It didn't take long before we both had a load in our mouths and we decided that, had our bedmates been Phil and Franklin, we would've kissed and shared with them. So Tim took Norma and I took Peter and we kissed long and deep, sharing out treasure generously. Peter and Norma seemed pleased. Peter said, "I really believe that that's what you might've done for Franklin and Phil. Thank you."

Peter and Norma sucked each other, but didn't try 69. We all fell asleep soon after.

The next morning I grabbed Norma and took her to the shower, followed shortly thereafter by Peter and Tim. Peter and Norma were eager to see Tim dive, so we headed to the University pool and Tim put on a little show. There was a small group of swimmers, and soon a little crowd was gathered around the diving pool. Tim couldn't resist an audience, especially with Peter and Norma in the crowd. His little show really was pretty spectacular. I couldn't help but wonder if Billy really was the best in the world. What we watched that morning would've been hard to beat. Of course, we were prejudiced judges.

Things that night differed only in the details. The showers the next morning were a little raunchier, but the facilities limited us to two by two: I paired with Peter; Tim with Norma. We returned them to the airport in the late morning, and they promised to give Phil and Franklin a full update. That afternoon Tim headed to the gym to catch up on his gymnastics, and I headed to the archery range. Night saw us spooned together and talking about the two previous nights. Tim said, "That was fun; I really was able to get beyond the generational issue and just enjoy them. How about you?"

"I couldn't help but think of Franklin and Phil. I know they approve, but the fact that they were Franklin's parents was hard to let go of."

"Don't let go of it. Embrace it. Franklin would want you to. If he can enjoy your love, be enriched by it, why shouldn't his parents get the same opportunity?"

"I guess you're right, but it takes getting used to."

"You looked pretty used to it last night."

"Oh, I was. It was fun. Exciting. Erotic. But also thought-provoking."

"You're right. I wonder when we'll be provoking some more thoughts?"

"Good night, Tim."

"Good night, Charlie. I love you."

Before I move on, I'll give you a little update on Tim's divers, Dell, Mima, and Rhoda. Dell's coach did, in fact, suggest to Dell that he should set his sights on beating Billy. Dell told Tim the next time they practiced together. Tim was shocked that the coach could be so stupid. After being tipped by Bo Schembechler, he'd warned the coach not to set Dell up for that kind of disappointment. The coach hadn't been listening. Tim said to Dell, "Listen, Dell, you're good. But you aren't as good as me, and I'm not as good as Billy. And you aren't going to be in the next several years. You have to believe me about that. I know diving, and I know divers. Billy's not going to be beaten in Munich, and probably not in Montreal.

Dell wasn't listening either. False hopes get you into trouble. He did go to the trials, but didn't qualify for the team. Tim is convinced that his failure was entirely the result of his setting an impossible goal.

Mima and Rhoda were a different story. They wouldn't make it to the Olympics, but they did make it to Nationals and did very well. They would be back as seniors, and Tim felt that it was very likely that they could be national champions in their senior year.

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