In my previous post I mentioned that breaking up with Alice, my high school sweetheart, was the second worst day of my life. For those of you who know about my life a bit, obviously the worst day was the day my mother was killed in an automobile accident in January 1966. I talked quite a bit about that day on other posts, so I’m not going to spend any time on it today. What I want to talk about today is the third worst day in my life – the day my marriage to my second wife, Glenna, ended on a very ugly note.
My relationship with Glenna was rather unusual even for the 70s. We had an “open” marriage, that is, no required monogamy on either side. I reluctantly agreed to this condition for us to get married because I was so totally “bewitched” by Glenna. She truly was the most captivating woman I had ever met up to that point. What I did not realize until it was far too late was that what Glenna wanted out of life was far different from what I wanted. She wanted material security along with her freedom to do as she pleased, while I wanted a stable traditional marriage with lots of love, both physical and otherwise. Material security did not mean much to me then and it still doesn’t. My interests and passions are more, for the lack of a better word, spiritual than those of most people. By spiritual, I do not necessarily mean religious in the traditional sense. Rather, I am looking for something more mystical, more esoteric. I am looking not only for a physical union and a psychological union, which is pretty much the definition of a good traditional marriage. I am looking, and apparently have found, a soulmate: my present wife Elizabeth.
I worked in the record business for about five years in the 1970s. I did everything from filling orders for customers to doing shipping and receiving, to being the LP buyer for a record wholesaler whose customers were small record stores that could not meet the minimum order requirements of the major label distributors. I loved that job and should have stayed with it, but I got offered the chance to work as a salesman for the distributing company of several smaller labels. The reason I took the job was that I was trying to provide more material security for my wife at the time: Glenna, obviously. Taking that sales job was a mistake because the company I worked for had a very different philosophy about music and sales than I did. As with so many times in my life, I became the victim of my own poor choices. I accept responsibility for those mistakes and their consequences. I have learned from them, although a bit more slowly than I would have liked. In the end, I would not be who I am and have what I have had my life been different. In case you’re wondering, I am extremely happy and at peace at this point in my life. I suspect there are a lot of guys out there approaching 70 who cannot say that.
One of the perks of being that LP buyer was I got lots of free records (You do know what those are, I hope? Hehe) And lots of concert tickets as well as invitations to promo parties for new artists. The fun thing about the promo parties was that I got to meet many of the artists for whom the party was being held. For instance, I got to meet Long John Baldry, Uriah Heap, Bob Marley, and a few others you probably wouldn’t recognize as readily as those. The concert tickets were always very good seats and sometimes were actually backstage passes. I was backstage for the first tour that the Allman Brothers did after the death of Duane Allman. I had box seats at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago for the Jefferson Starship. I even got tickets mailed to my house from Rolling Stone Records for the capstones first tour after they started their new label back in the 70s. I was extremely fortunate to meet all of these great bands and musicians. So, guess who was with me at all these concerts? Glenna!
Glenna was almost as much of a music buff as I am. Our tastes did not always match, so I often got promo copies of albums and concert tickets for groups that I did not really like. For instance, Glenna loved Crosby, Stills and Nash while I could, personally, take them or leave them. She also liked the group America. They were okay but not really my cup of tea. One group we did agree on was the Eagles. In the 1970’s we saw the Eagles a number of times. One of my favorite Eagle songs, Witchy Woman, probably describes Glenna and how I felt about her as well as any song I can think of. The only difference between Glenna and the woman in the song is that Glenna did not have raven hair. Her hair was brown. Yes, she knew about the significance of that song for me.
My marriage to Glenna lasted almost 10 years to the day. In the end, I think the breakup was for the best for both of us. I talked to her about 12 or 13 years ago. That was the last time and it is highly unlikely we will talk again. From what I can gather, she ended up in a long-term relationship with a mutual friend. Whether that relationship was one of convenience or of love, I have no idea and don’t really care, as long as she’s happy. Just as with Alice, my high school sweetheart and the subject of my previous post, a torch still burns in my heart for Glenna. That is just who I am and what I am.
I want to add a final thought here. I am in no way condemning Glenna for anything. She is who she is and I am who I am. Unfortunately, in time our personas clashed and no amount of love on either side could overcome those clashes. The ultimate fault in all my failed relationships can be summarized in the following (admittedly cliché) phrase: “looking for love in all the wrong places.” It was not until I met my wife Elizabeth in 1990 (at the age of 42) that I finally looked-for love in the right place and at the right time, strange as that may sound. At some point in the not-too-distant future, I will do a rather extensive post about Elizabeth and how we met and what she has meant to me these last 27 years. Until then, peace!