Tag Archives: John Botscharow

Witchy Woman

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!

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me

There is something special about your first love. No matter how the relationship ends, you carry a torch for that person for the rest of your life. That is certainly true about my first love, Alice, who I met back in the summer of 1964. I had just finished my sophomore year in high school. She had just finished her freshman year at a different high school. We met at a district convention for Teenage Republicans of Pennsylvania, which was held at Valley Forge.


I really don’t remember how we actually met during that can convention. All I remember is spending most of the day with her. The reason I was at that convention was because I had been elected treasurer of the local TAR chapter. The guy who had just been elected its president was a friend of mine named Jack. He was a senior. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to the convention. I said sure. I really had nothing better to do that day. It turns out Alice had been dating one of the other members of my local club who did not go to the convention. His loss, my gain. 🙂

Continue reading Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me

Backsliding Away

Today is the last day of March in the year of our Lord 2016. That means it has been five years since I had my pulmonary edema/heart attack/kidney failure. I had one foot through the veil. Nothing like a close encounter with the Grim Reaper! It makes you appreciate all the things you have, even if think only have a little. I think my last post explains how much I really had to lose.


One of the results of my near-death experience was that I quit smoking altogether. Cold turkey! No messing around! Although it has been five years since I spent two weeks in the hospital, it has not been five years since I gave up smoking altogether. In the last month or so, I have gone back to smoking my pipe occasionally. That is the backsliding I am referring to in the title to this post.


I know I will get a fair amount of criticism for my apparent weakness of character, at least from some of the fundamentalists on the Internet. So be it! I am almost 69 years old and I am fully aware of the consequences that I face for going back to smoking. I believe the consequences of smoking my pipe occasionally will be minimal. Certainly nothing like the consequences of going back to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, which I did for about 50 years. I know my doctor will give me all kinds of crap, if he finds out, as will my cardiologist. But, it is my decision and no one else’s. I accept the consequences. That is what a real adult does. Make a decision and live with your decision and its consequences. Don’t go blaming God, Satan, the tobacco company, the Marlboro man or anyone else. If you choose to smoke, like I did to some extent still do, it is no one fault but your own.

Continue reading Backsliding Away

Happiness is….

How do you define happiness? What makes you happy? Money? A big house? A big fancy car? Maybe a lucrative career? Or something else…


What makes me happy most of all is love. I need someone to love and I need to be loved. It seems I have been looking for love my whole life. Usually in the wrong places or with the wrong person. Before any of my ex-lovers get insulted, what I mean by wrong places is that there was nothing inherently wrong or evil with that person. It is just they were not what I needed and I was not what they needed. In situations like that, the best thing you can do is move on.


I have been married four times, divorced three times and have had several other non-binding relationships. Not that I consider marriage something nonbinding. Human relationships are not written in stone. God has nothing to do with our interpersonal relationships. We manage to screw those up all on our own. Lord knows, I’ve done it enough times in my life. Nothing to be proud of, but also nothing to beat myself up about either. Relationships come and relationships go. That is human nature or nurture, whichever you choose.

Continue reading Happiness is….

Confronting the Past

The past year has been very strange. First, my heart attack got me all nostalgic and doing a lot of reminiscing about my past. Then, a couple of months ago, I started hearing from people with whom I went to High School on my Facebook page. I had not really thought much about High School and the people from back then in over forty years. In some ways I guess was avoiding my past. Why?

I guess the reason is that the person that went to Upper Moreland High School back in the sixties is not really who I am anymore and have not been that person in a very, very long time. People back there knew me as Bernie, I now go by John because Bernie, to me, is totally inappropriate.

Bernie was shy, and very socially awkward. Also, he felt he was not liked by very many people. John, on the other hand, is quite gregarious and certainly not socially awkward. In fact, he’s been accused on numerous occasions of being somewhat arrogant. John is also quite outspoken, and that has gotten “worse” with age. Lol.

Hearing from all these “phantoms” from my past has been very emotionally ambivalent. I mean, I’m glad to hear from these people, but it has made me uncomfortable, probably because it’s been so long.

Because of all these trips down memory lane, I am seriously considering using this blog as a way to talk about my past. Given that I don’t know how long I have left in this life, I want to leave my “memoirs” for my children, at least. There is much about me they do not know. And this is the easiest way for me to tell them.

Special Announcement

I am very happy to announce the release of my “new” blog, Christian Heresiology. I used the quotation mark around “new” because this blog is a, in large part, reworking of my old Threshing Floor blog. Christian Heresiology is a heretical look at the politics and Theology of Christian Heresy from the time of the Crucifixion up to and including the Protestant Reformation. I say heretical because, in my opinion, the accepted history of the battle between Orthodoxy and Heresy in Christianity has been written by the victors in that battle, and is, therefore, quite distorted in favor of the Orthodox viewpoint. I think it is time that a more balanced view of that history needs the light of day.

I hope those of you who have some interest in the subject will take a look at my offerings. Please feel free to offer your comments, the link to the new site is in the sidebar.

Been a Long Time

Two years is a long time to have been away. Although I still have issues with my eyesight that make reading and writing on my own impossible, my youngest son, Michael, has agreed to help me by being my eyes and my fingers. Hopefully this arrangement will make it possible for me to post once a week on a fairly regular basis.

Also, if I can find my old files for The Threshing Floor, I intend to revive it as well, here on WordPress. Looking forward to talking to you all again soon.