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Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


Just exactly why the newest member of the Gang should get his story inserted at this point, I'm not sure. OK, we could argue that Judy and Sid have equal claims on being the newest member. Yeah, the numbers on the porno pictures (excuse me, the erotic pictures) in Gangland say Sid is last. Same difference. Charlie asked me to tell my story for this episode, and nobody turns down a request from Charlie!

I mean that. I've never seen anybody, certainly not anybody in the Gang, refuse a request from Charlie - or Tim. We all know that there's nothing that the two of them wouldn't do for us - really for anybody - so we can't say, "No," to them.

Charlie wants two things from me in this episode. A complete autobiography and to advance the story by filling in some of the details of the Gang both in the year before and the year after the Montreal Olympics. And, we all know that when Charlie talks about a complete autobiography he's thinking of sex. He was quite specific: tell us about your first time with a girl, first with a boy, and first by yourself. (I think he's most interested in finding out how boys learn to jack off.) Here goes.

Born and raised in Kansas by some pretty uptight parents. I'm the second of three kids, Phil's the big brother and Elizabeth the little sister - three years younger than me. Phil's eleven years older than me. I think that Mom had a couple of miscarriages between Phil and me, but that sort of thing simply wasn't talked about in our house, so I'm not really sure.

I followed Phil in the size department growing to 6' 4" by tenth grade. I didn't have much choice but to play basketball, and I guess I enjoyed it. I was pretty good, but didn't set any records and wasn't recruited by any of the big college teams. I wasn't interested in playing college b-ball anyway.

What can I say about my parents? Well, I certainly would have to admit that they loved their children, but they didn't really know how to show it. I guess "up tight" describes them. With a Puritan moral code. Honesty and trustworthiness were expected. If I'd have been caught cheating on a test or paper in school I think I might've been killed. Not literally, but I don't like contemplating the specifics. A note from the teacher about "deportment" was good for a serious spanking or grounding. None of the three of us really had much trouble with that. I guess I have my parents to thank for setting very high ethical standards.

But I simply couldn't buy it when it came to sex. I guess, if Phil hadn't been gay, I might've bought into their Puritan view of sex. Sex, even heavy kissing, certainly any kind of undressing, touching, even talking dirty was reserved for marriage. You got your entire sex education lesson on your wedding night. OK, I'll admit there's something to be said for waiting till you're married. But where did Phil fit into this? Phil was the fly in the ointment, the piece of the puzzle that didn't fit. The more I thought about Phil, the more I realized that my parents were way off base in their thinking about sex. It had never been said, but I realized that Phil was gay. Of course, by the time I was seven he was off to college. He often didn't come home for vacations and our parents didn't seem bothered by that. Clearly there was considerable tension between them, and just as clearly it was because they couldn't accept that Phil was gay.

This realization didn't come to me in one big "Ah! Ha!" moment, but gradually between the time Phil left for college and my trip to visit him at age 16. Charlie's already told about that trip, and the one just after my eighteenth birthday. He had good informants and got his facts straight for those stories.

OK, he asked me to tell about my "first time with a boy." It would've been in fifth grade with Jimmy and two other boys, Mark and Doddie. The four of us were good buddies and often played at one of our houses after school and on Saturdays. My memory is a little vague, but we were sitting around one afternoon, daring each other to do things. Somebody said, "I dare you to take off your pants." I'm pretty sure that was Jimmy.

"Dare you back."

"Double dare you."

"Double dares go first."

Surely conversations like that were part of your childhood as well. Jimmy finally ended it with, "OK, I double dared you, I'll go first." He sat down on the floor and took of his shoes and socks, and then his pants and underpants.

Doddie said, "OK, now what?"

"I dare you to touch it." That was Mark.

Doddie grabbed Jimmy's little dick and squeezed. Jimmy said, "OK, I dare you guys to take of your pants."

Mark said, "Shirts too."

Very quickly we were all naked, and grabbing each other's dicks. I remember saying, "Jimmy, lay down on the floor." I got between his legs and Mark and Doddie got on each side. We rubbed, tickled, grabbed, squeezed until Jimmy spoke.

"OK, let me play with you guys." He did. I think we all enjoyed it, because the whole business repeated every once and a while for a couple of months.

One day, while we were all naked, Mark said, "You know Susie Wall?"


"I talked with her. She'd like to play this game with us."



"Are you guys willing?"

We all hesitated, but decided that we were.

That Saturday we all got together at Mark's house. His parents were never home on Saturday afternoon if the golf course was open. We all sat around and looked at each other stupidly. Susie said, "Whose going first?"

Nobody was willing to go first, and that ended our sexual adventure for the afternoon.

A couple of weeks later, Jimmy, Susie and I did get together at Jimmy's house. Before Susie would come, Jimmy had to agree to go first, and he did. But he just pulled his pants and underpants down. He didn't take anything off. I pulled my pants down as Susie lifted her skirt and pulled down her panties. She was a pretty brave fifth grader. She was willing to play with our dicks and let us play with her. But we were completely naive and hadn't the slightest idea what to do with her. So we rubbed a little and that was it. And that ended all of my sexual adventures until the day in tenth grade when Jimmy invited me to his house. Charlie's already told that story, and there isn't much for me to add.

Jacking off. I guess there is a story to how I learned how. As you can guess, there was absolutely no sex education in my family. There was none in school before our junior year of high school. In eighth grade at some church youth program I had picked up a pamphlet - I guess you would call it a tract - that exhorted boys not to masturbate. It told of all the horrible things that might happen to boys who masturbated. Insanity. Sexual malfunction. Inability to have children. How could intelligent people write stuff like that? Did they believe it? I honestly don't know. The problem with the tract, however, was that they didn't say what masturbating was. I didn't have a clue. I could read that I shouldn't do it. And it was pretty clear from the tract that a lot of boys did it. But what was it?

I have no idea how many of my contemporaries were as that naive, but I sure was. In my house there was no such thing as a book that might provide answers to questions like that for a child. It was out of the question to ask my parents. My big brother was off in school. I wasn't comfortable talking to friends at school about this. So I went to the dictionary. The one in our house was a little old, but I looked up masturbation anyway. It was defied as "self-pollution." That was consistent with what the tract had said about it, but wasn't very helpful in telling me what it was. I looked up self-pollution. It was defined as "masturbation." I'm telling you that from memory, but I talked to Phil when I wrote this, and he referred to his dictionary collection. He found the one that had been around our house back then - the Sixth Edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, published in 1949. My memory turned out to be correct. And those were the complete definitions!

I set off to the library and found a more modern dictionary: Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition - the big dictionary. It was dated 1954 and it did have a decent definition of masturbation, roughly "stimulating the genitals to achieve an orgasm, exclusive of intercourse." Of course, nothing was said of semen coming out during an orgasm. I went from word to word, from masturbate to orgasm to coitus and eventually something led me to ejaculate. Finally, I figured out that the library might have more helpful books than the dictionary. I wasn't about to ask a librarian for help, but I finally found the section that had what in the mid-sixties in Kansas passed as sex education books for teenagers. I wasn't about to check one out, but I did find a place in the back of the stacks where I could read in peace.

I learned enough to decide to try it at home that night in bed. All that I can say is that my dick got a little red and sore before it exploded. Wow. Again, all that I can say is, "Try it, you'll like it!"

Let me digress back to dictionaries. In the big dictionary, the second edition of the big Merriam-Webster, none of the slang sexual terms are listed, you won't find cock, dick, or prick meaning a penis, no cunt, and certainly no f-word. Many of my readers won't remember the controversy over Webster's New International Dictionary, Third Edition, which came out in 1961. The editors at Merriam-Webster opted for a dictionary which would describe language as it was actually spoken by native speakers of English, rather than a dictionary that arbitrated what was correct English, which had generally been the approach in the Second Edition. Thus ain't became a regular entry, as did many other usages which had been considered slang, colloquial, or improper - terms which Merriam-Webster dropped from its word entries. This "permissiveness" outraged many critics of the dictionary. Also offending some persons was the inclusion of obscenities like cunt; cock, dick and prick to mean penis, and other sexually charged words. Phil tells me that one of his professors in graduate school had been an Associate Editor of the Third Edition. That editor told the class stories about the editing, including the decision to include sexual terminology generally thought of as vulgar or slang. However, they made an arbitrary decision, totally unsupportable by any linguistic argument, that the f-word would not appear. There hasn't been a Fourth Edition, but beginning with the Eighth Edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary fuck appears as both a verb and noun (as in "She's a good fuck"). The etymology of the word is given as probably of Scandinavian origin. The idea that fuck is an acronym of For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is unsupported.

I have digressed. When I showed this part of the episode to Charlie, asking him if this was what he wanted he told me, "Digress all you want. That's what makes this an interesting story. If people don't like the digressions, they don't need to read them. I enjoyed the business about the dictionary."

Charlie told you that I dated Susie once in high school, but she had no interest in building on our fifth grade sexual explorations. She didn't want to talk about it, and was clearly embarrassed. We didn't date again. In high school I never got as far with a girl as I had with Susie in fifth grade. A little petting was all.

College was another matter. In my sophomore year I took out a girl named Bessie. I liked her and she liked me. We had several dates and I wondered if the relationship might go somewhere. After about a month, Bessie asked me, bluntly, "Jerry, aren't you interested in sex? You've never hinted, never made a move. What gives?"

I may have had a girl's pants down in fifth grade. I may have done 69 with Jimmy in high school. I may have had a gay brother and had sex with him and his partner, but I was still pretty shy about sex with girls. But Bessie's question took away the barriers. "I... I... I guess I just was waiting for the right time," I answered rather awkwardly."

"Well, is now the right time?"

"I guess so."


"Yeah, now's the right time. But we're sitting in a public lounge. Where do we go?"

"You borrow your brother's car when you need it, right?"


"You need it now."

I called Phil, but got Franklin. I asked if I could borrow one of their cars - something I had done often - at their urging."

"Sure, come on by the apartment and pick it up."

Bessie and I walked over to the apartment. I knocked on the door and Franklin handed me the key. He noticed Bessie at the curb and motioned her up to the door. "Where're you two headed? Or should I reach the obvious conclusion?"

I turned red as a beet. Bessie wasn't phased. She answered, "We've only talked about what, not where."

Franklin said, "Save some gas, Jerry. I'm headed to the library for a couple of hours and Phil won't be home till late. You two can, unh, visit, here."

"You're serious, Franklin?"

"Of course."

"Bessie, let's just stay here. It's a comfortable place to relax."

"Suits me," said Bessie.

With that Franklin was out the door and Bessie was in. We stood for a while in the entrance hall, and I slowly embraced her and kissed her. It wasn't the first time we'd kissed, but I think it was the first time that our tongues had really explored each other. Our hands were soon groping each other, and very soon Bessie had her hands inside my pants, cupping my balls and squeezing gently. Oh, God, it felt good.

Bessie said, "Get your clothes off."

I started to undress, taking off shoes, socks, shirt, undershirt and starting on my pants. I hesitated a little. This was becoming a little embarrassing.

Bessie picked that up and teased me, "Shy, are you?"

"A little."

"Come on, get your pants off."

"How about you?"

"I'm not taking anything off until you're standing there, naked as a jaybird. Then I'm going to get you thoroughly aroused and ready. Then you can undress me."

I took my pants off, and then slowly pulled down my underpants. She came over, knelt in front of me and kissed my dick. I was thorough aroused and ready. "Undress me."

I did. Slowly and somewhat awkwardly. Women's clothes aren't that easy to undo, and I was a novice. But I got her undressed. She asked, "You've never fucked a girl, have you?"


"Are you ready?"

"I'm not sure."

"There must be a bed in here, let's find it."

We did. We lay down and hugged each other, our hands roaming all around. After a while Bessie said, "Look, Jerry. We can use our hands, our mouths, or you can fuck me. What would you like?"

"What would you like?" I asked. "I assume you've done all of those."

"Yes. Honestly, I like a tongue in my cunt. And I like sucking a dick. Let's do that, if you're up to it."

I was up to it. If I could suck Phil and swallow it all, I could handle Bessie's cunt. I slid down between her legs and put my face in her crotch. I wiggled my tongue inside and licked. After a while she told me to find her clit and play with it with my tongue. I did, and she didn't last long. Quickly her mouth was around my dick, and I didn't last long either. I remembered that when I had sucked Phil, I hadn't gotten any warning when he would come, and I had swallowed all of his cum, except for a little which I had shared with Phil by kissing him. I sort of assumed that that was the normal expectation.

It wasn't Bessie's. She was startled when I came without warning, and spit out the cum on my stomach. "Hey, warn me next time!"

I wasn't ready to tell her that when I had sucked a dick I had swallowed everything, so I just had to play dumb and apologize for not warning her. I did ask if she had ever swallowed it.

Her reply was "Yech. No."

That sort of killed the mood for a while, but we hugged on the bed and got back in a more loving mood. We fell asleep, hugging each other, naked on the bed - our clothes on the living room floor.

Franklin came in about an hour and a half later, found the clothes on floor, and had to decide how to handle the situation. He couldn't resist! He walked into the bedroom where we were sleeping and whacked me on the ass, rather hard. I jumped, and either the slap or the jump awakened Bessie. I was so embarrassed I didn't know what to do.

Bessie wasn't. She took one look at Franklin and figured out the situation. I think she also reached some kind of conclusion about Franklin by the fact that he had walked in on us. She said, "Oh, no. You can't be in here with clothes on. Get them off."

Franklin complied. Bessie said, "Wow, you've got one huge piece of equipment. Can I touch it?"

Franklin walked over to her side of the bed and stood so she could stroke him. "You have to get Jerry's permission to do any more than that."

Bessie said, "You aren't a virgin like this guy, are you?"


"Jerry, can he fuck me with that big cock? While he's doing it, you can play with his ass to keep him banging."

I don't know what made me say it, but I answered, "While he's fucking your cunt, I'll fuck his ass."

Bessie looked at me and said, "I'll be God damned. You're bi-. Neat. Let's go."

Franklin asked about a condom, but Bessie said she was on the pill and was safe. With that Franklin piled on Bessie and I scooted up behind Franklin.

All we needed now was for Phil to walk in, and, of course, he did. He watched quietly from the doorway, and when we finished he said, "Somebody has to take care of my needs."

Bessie said, "We'll flip a coin. Odd person out wins. If it's heads you fuck the winner. Tails the winner sucks you."

I said, "That's OK, Bessie. But a winner who sucks also eats, OK?

"OK." That was a little reluctant, but she seemed willing.

I won with a heads, and Bessie and Franklin watched Phil fuck me quite vigorously. I wasn't sure I liked the idea of my girlfriend watching my brother fuck me on the night that we first had sex. But one thing had led to another, and here we were. Bessie seemed quite excited to watch the whole thing.

Phil said, "Are we going to let these two have their clothes back? It might be interesting to see how they'd get back home without them."

This kind of teasing went on for a while, and eventually the four of us were dressed and drinking Cokes. I think Bessie would've liked a beer, but Phil was adamant that he didn't serve kids who're underage. Before long Bessie and I were walking back to the campus and her dorm. She said, "You have one incredible brother. And his partner's neat, too. So are you Jerry. I don't think very many Kansas boys could've handled that situation tonight."

"Me? I couldn't believe you. You're pretty special, Bessie."

"What you mean is, 'You're pretty loose, Bessie'. Admit it."

"Sexy maybe, but I don't like the word loose. You didn't do anything I didn't do, and I wouldn't like the term loose."

"God, most boys I know have a really serious double standard. What's good for the boy is definitely not good for the girl."

"I can't buy that," I said.

I kissed her goodnight at the dorm and headed back to my own dorm. No jacking off that night!

Our relationship continued. I decided that I really didn't need Phil and Franklin involved, so we usually simply headed to a motel. I'd check in in the afternoon and then bring Bessie after dinner. We'd be gone by midnight. We explored a lot of different sexual possibilities, but none that Charlie hasn't described somewhere in this story. I won't bore you.

As fun as the sex was, it was becoming clear to both Bessie and me that we weren't made for each other. Our interests were different. Our life goals were different. And our attitude toward sex was different. For me, there had to be an element of love in the sex. Bessie just considered it a good time. I'm not even sure that she didn't have sex with a couple of other boys while she was dating me.

I was just getting to believe that I needed to break it up when Bessie announced that she was transferring to the University of Kansas in Lawrence the next year. I'm pretty sure that this was her way of ending the relationship without a fight or hard feelings. I've always been thankful to Bessie for that.

I dated a few more girls while at Kansas State. I got fairly serious with a couple of them and we slept together a few times. But nothing serious developed and the sex didn't continue. And nothing else ever happened involving Phil or Franklin, though they questioned me, and kidded me, a lot.

Franklin and Phil hung around Manhattan for several years after they had finished their degrees. Franklin enjoyed his part-time work at Democracy House and neither of them seemed in a hurry to go anywhere. They admitted that they were just waiting for the Gang to make its more on Grand Forks, and that would be the year after I graduated from the university. I decided that I'd follow them to Grand Forks and continue my studies in psychology at the University of North Dakota. Phil assured me that I'd get accepted and he was right. I'll never know whether it was on merit, or whether Tim made an appropriate phone call. I don't really want to know.

[Charlie, here. Tim made no such phone call.]

At Grand Forks I was treated as one of the Gang by the most wonderful group of people. My God, no wonder Franklin and Phil had made a beeline for North Dakota when the others did. And there was a really cute, beautiful is a better word, diver that came over from Michigan with Tim. We met one afternoon when I was in the pool swimming laps. She and Tim came in and Tim called to me. I came up out of the pool and he introduced me to Judy Freeman. She said, "Hello, pleased to meet you," and that stuff. Then she just sort of stood there and stared at me. Then she floored me by saying, "You have the most beautiful body I've ever seen. Tall. Slender without being skinny. Perfection. God, those long legs are stunning."

Tim was grinning from ear to ear and almost burst out laughing. He said, "OK, Jerry. How do you answer that?"

I said, "By kissing her, of course." And I did. And I got away with it! "Will you go to dinner with me this evening?"

"I'd love to."

Tim said, "But first we have some diving to do. Back to your laps, Jerry."

Dinner was a trip. I hadn't been sure what to expect. After Bessie I was used to girls who weren't embarrassed to talk about, or do something about sex. But Judy didn't push in that direction at all. She did repeat her comments about my body, and I told her that I had pretty much the same impression of hers. But then discussion turned to life histories, future plans (the Olympics for her and less certainty for me), and this crazy Gang we seemed to have gotten involved with.

We started dating pretty regularly right that evening. She was living in the dorm and I was living with Phil and Franklin, where we often spent evenings. The closest we got to any kind of sex that fall semester was one evening when we were alone in the living room. Phil and Franklin were out. Judy said, "Jerry, stand up and take off your clothes. I want to oogle at that beautiful body."

I did, without much hesitation. I wondered where this would lead, and my wondering got me pretty hard. Judy said, "Turn around." I did. She stood up, hugged me a little, kissed me, and said, "Thank you. You really do have the most gorgeous body. I love it." And that was it. I put my clothes back on, and before long took her back to the dorm.

It was the next fall before we got any further. Our relationship deepened, we slowly explored each other's bodies, that led to hand jobs and oral sex. I had to admit that I wasn't a virgin, and Judy said she was, but just barely. She told of her exploits with Tim and Charlie, and her parents! Think of my parents, and imagine my reaction to the story she told of hers.

We decided that we were getting pretty serious, but Judy insisted that while sex was fun, she'd like to be a virgin until we had a definite commitment to be married. We decided to think about that until after the Olympics. She didn't want the burden of making crucial life decisions while she was preparing for Montreal.

Then she took her trip to Bloomington, Indiana, to practice with Billy, and do other things with him. She told me the whole story when she got back. Hey, I'm the one who had fucked Bessie many times, had had sex with my brother and his partner, had done 69 in high school with a boyfriend. Who was I to be upset about her time with Billy? And it was clear that it was just what she needed for her diving. It was also clear that it was important to Judy that I approve of what had gone on with Billy. I certainly did, and told her so very clearly. I'm not sure what about it made me compare it to my taking off my clothes at her request on one of our early dates. But that involved trust, and so did she have to trust me when I said that I completely approved of her relationship with Billy. She accepted that.

Well, you know the next two parts of the story. That year we were both invited to be members of the Gang, and that summer she medaled in Montreal. The night she won her second medal is the night she lost her virginity. I had asked Fred if we could have a bedroom to ourselves that night, and, of course, he agreed. Judy came back to the house instead of going to the Olympic Village, and we headed for our reserved bedroom.

As I knew she would, Judy asked me to stand naked. This time she did as well. Her diver's body is beautiful. She swoons over mine. I had stopped by a drugstore and gotten some condoms, and I gave her a choice of bright color, ribbing, or near invisibility. She choose the bright green, which she helped me put on my very hard penis. Then, slowly, lovingly, and a little awkwardly I entered her, and we made true love for the first time. It wasn't the last time, not by a long shot.

About eight weeks later we were back in North Dakota and taking a drive north along the river. Judy had suggested that it would be fun. We got to a little park and she told me to stop the car. We sat a while. I kissed her. She said, "We have to talk, Jerry."


"I'm pregnant."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. The doctor gave me the test results this afternoon. There isn't any doubt."

"Are you happy? Are you ready to be a mother?"

She broke down. "Oh, God, Jerry. Yes, I'm happy. But I'm upset. This isn't the way it's supposed to happen."

I got out of the car, thanking God every minute for the luck of the situation! I walked around and opened her car door and helped her out, reaching into the glove box behind her as she got out. We walked a little way into the park, holding hands. I stopped her, turned her toward me, got down on my knees and said, "Judy, will you marry me?"

Before she could say something like, "I don't want you to feel trapped into this," I reached into my pocket, pulled out the little box I had taken from the glove compartment, and slipped the diamond ring on her finger.

"Will you marry me?" I repeated.

By this time she was completely in tears. "Oh, God, yes, Jerry. This ring, where did you get this ring?"

"I bought the ring about a week ago. I've been waiting for the right time to pop the question. Tonight was obviously the right time. You never need think that I asked you to marry me because you were pregnant. I've known you were the right one for almost two years. Now that you've graduated and finished with the Olympics, it's time."

She looked at the ring on her finger, and eyed the tiny, sparkly diamond.

I said, "It's tiny. I wish it could be bigger, but that's all I could afford. It's an Art Carved ring. The jeweler in town says they're a very reputable ring maker. I don't know a thing about diamonds. But it seemed right. I hope you like it."

"Oh, Jerry. I love you. I love the ring. I'm going to love our baby. Oh, I'm so glad that I've never had intercourse with anyone but you."

"I wish I could say the same thing, but I can't."

"No, Jerry. Don't wish that. You shouldn't be ashamed of who you are or where you've been. I wouldn't want that. And I wouldn't want you to be different from who and what you are. That's who I love. It's kind of funny, though. Me with the liberal parents was a virgin when I met you. You with the up tight conservative parents weren't."

"I love you, Judy. We have to think. When're we going to get married?"

"I don't want to walk down any aisle with my belly sticking out. And I don't want to walk down the aisle carrying a baby. Let's do it quickly."

"When, where?"

We went back to Gangland that night and slept together. We fucked for the first time without a condom - whatever good the damn things had done I'll never know. By the next morning Judy had our wedding plans all worked out. We were married by the University pool by Judy's minister from Michigan. Her parents came, and were so excited by the idea of being grandparents, that the question of which came first, the baby or the wedding, was never discussed.

The resident Gang was in attendance as well as the swim and dive team and a few of our close friends. I invited my parents, but my father said, very firmly, that if Phil and that damn boyfriend of his were going to have any part of it, they wouldn't be there. Phil was my best man. If my parents wanted to exclude themselves, that was their business. One of Judy's fellow divers was her maid of honor.

The dress shop had just laughed at the idea of getting a wedding dress in a week, so Judy just got married in a new white dress. I wore a blue suit. As soon as the ceremony was over and I kissed the bride, Phil pushed us both in the pool! Franklin helped us out to a background of raucous cheers and escorted us to a van in which we were driven to Jerry's - Fred's favorite restaurant which he had reserved for the reception. While Phil drove, Franklin produced clean, dry clothes for us from a suitcase in the van. We changed en route while Franklin oogled and Phil cast glances in the rear view mirror. We ate and danced, kissed everybody, and proved that you can have a wonderful wedding at little cost on two weeks notice. It was truly wonderful.

Aside from the beautiful bride, Tim and Charlie were the hits of the reception. The Gang really only knew of their prowess as dancers by reputation. Their achievements on the dance floor had been in Washington. We had been told of twisting with Chubby Checker and waltzing with a former First Lady, but this gave us an opportunity to see them first hand. Judy's a pretty good dancer, and when Tim cut in on me after the first dance she and Tim were off in a swirl. I was glad, because I'm not nearly the dancer that Judy is, and it was nice for her to have someone to dance with who was as good as she.

Well, in fact, she was about as far behind Tim as I was behind her. They waltzed and swung around the dance floor and soon were getting cheers and applause from the rest of our guests. Then Charlie led Melanie onto the floor. The Blue Danube isn't easy to dance to, but that's what Charlie had asked the little band Fred had provided to play. The band did a good job, but Charlie and Melanie, by this time alone on the dance floor, took our collective breath away. They were magnificent. Arthur Murray would've been proud of his graduate that night, just as Tim was proud of his Charlie! Eventually we got Tim and Charlie off the floor and I was able to dance with Judy without showing too many left feet!

Our wedding night was spent in Gangland. Carl had temporarily changed the code, and he gave me the new code at the party, insuring that Judy and I would have privacy. Of course we knew that Carl had the new code, and we worried a little that he might've led an invading party. But he had promised us privacy and he kept his word.

We faced the same question that a lot of couples faced then and even more do today: If you've done it all before you're married, what makes the wedding night special? Our answer was simple, and enough for us. Being married, committed to each other in a new, stronger way, makes the wedding night special. The fact that the physical act is the same doesn't make any difference. The emotional act in totally new, and we felt it that night. We still feel it every night when we go to bed. It isn't being married that counts. Its being publicly committed that makes the difference. We were. We still are. God, I love Judy.

Well, our baby would be number seven for the Gang, following Billy and Sarah's two Williams, Carl and Carol's Nels, and whatever names Hal, Sue, Jim, Andy, Kara and Amy were going to give to theirs, all of which were soon to arrive.

In fact, Hal's came while Judy and I were on a short honeymoon. We had taken the Empire Builder to Glacier National Park. We spent one night in the hotel near the train station, and then headed to the Canadian side of the park, the Waterton Lakes National Park. We had been told that the hotel at Waterton Lakes was one of the most beautiful in the West, and there we established ourselves for four days. Fred had made the reservations, and had booked a wonderful room with a gorgeous view of the lake. We had breakfast in the room each day, sex so often we lost count, walked around the area, ate wonderful meals in the hotel, had more sex, ogled each other's naked bodies, slept a little, and repeated it all regularly every day. We both made a promise to each other that we have both worked hard to keep over the years: We would work hard to keep our beautiful bodies, but we would love each other regardless. To this day Judy will walk into a room where I am and say, "Jerry, take off your clothes."

I'll respond, as I take them off, "I want to see your beautiful body, too." We'll stand there naked, looking at each other. Then we'll kiss. Sometime sex follows, sometimes we simply get dressed again. Judy is the most beautiful woman in the world.

When we came back we learned that Hal and Sue had had their baby on October 13, 1976. It was a boy they named Harold, and who would be called Junior, whether he liked it or not. I don't remember hearing him complain, and he never sought to change it. Junior Bruder was always Junior. Now, however, he was too little to object. Everybody made a big fuss over him, and Hal and Sue were delighted.

Amy and Kara both had their babies before the year was out. Amy had a boy, whom they named Garrison (to be called Gary), and Kara had a girl they named Louise. Garrison was born on November 14, and Louise on December 9. His birth certificate named Andy as Garrison's father because he was Amy's legal husband. Similarly Jim was named as Louise's father on her birth certificate. But within the Gang it was clear that they had no idea who the biological father of either was, and didn't want to know. They were one family and wanted it to always be that way.

The Gang was popping out kids like rabbits. Nancy was pregnant. And word came from California that Sharon was pregnant.

Christmas in Grand Forks was cold, but wonderful. The previous year Judy had, like most college students, gone home to be with her parents in Kalamazoo. This year we decided to stay in Grand Forks, in our little apartment which we called home. I was still a graduate student. Fred and Franklin had approached me and asked if I was willing to consider going for a Ph.D. in psychology, so that I could be the staff psychologist for Democracy House. Until the program really got going and had several houses, it wouldn't be a full time job, but Fred was confident I could build a private clinical practice that would fill the rest of the time. If I was willing to make a commitment, Fred would find fellowship money for me to continue my studies. Is the pope Catholic? Of course I said, "Yes," and Judy and I were set, probably for life. We were both delighted at the prospect of being able to continue to live in Grand Forks and be part of the Gang.

Springtime meant a very large, pregnant Judy. She decided that she'd like to go home to Kalamazoo to have the baby. By the time we were ready to head to Michigan she was two weeks away from her expected delivery date. It was too late to fly. We got in my car and headed to Kalamazoo. Judy was huge but in great shape. We'd taken a Lamaze course, and I was planning to be in the delivery room with her - a practice that was becoming fairly common by then. We'd made two flying trips to Kalamazoo earlier in her pregnancy to meet with the doctor there who'd deliver the baby - and who'd delivered Judy 23 years before! She'd have the same pediatrician as well! Her parents were delighted with the arrangement, and it was a good time for me to get to know my new parents - the ones that through the rest of my life would really be the only parents I had. Steve and Sally were wonderful people, and treated me like the son they had always wished they might've had. I think at times Judy was jealous, but she had a good relationship with her parents as well.

Jude, short for Judith, arrived on April 18th, 1977, just two days late. It was an easy birth, and a thrill for me to be there, help Judy, and hold baby Jude when she was just minutes old. That night when I came home from the hospital Steve, whom I was learning to call Dad, had an unusual present for me. I unwrapped it and discovered that it was a Webster's New World College Dictionary. When I looked puzzled he said, "Turn to page 120." There he had carefully marked a word, bastard. "Sally and I just wanted to clear something up completely. Notice that the definition is a child born to parents who aren't married. Not conceived, born."

It was their way of telling me, and Judy, that our marriage, our love, and our child was fully accepted in the family. We had never doubted it, but it was important to Steve and Sally to make a statement. The gift of a dictionary had been the result of considerable thought and discussion on their part. We learned that later on that visit as they told us of their quest for a way to express their feelings. Judy and I couldn't believe how troubled Mom and Dad had been that we might've thought we were in any way rejected or marginalized by the fact that Jude had been conceived before the wedding. We assured them that Jude had not been conceived before the love, and told the them the story of the ring for the first time.

Jude was going to grow up in an environment of love.

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