It's simply amazing what my memory has retained over the years. Important relationship events I thought I would never forget, I can no longer recall. As a result, in some cases I don't even know that I didn't remember because things are definitely fuzzy.
Does that make sense? Probably not but after all I am trying to drill down deep into those recesses of my mind covered with cobwebs.
Due to a series of recent life changing experiences over the past three years, I have taken a lot of time reflecting on my life from the far away past. People that I knew and loved for decades have suddenly died which leaves big gapping holes in my life, as I know it.
Those transitions have robbed me not only of the people so important in my life but blew holes into my normal relationship comfort zones.
Historically when I'm propelled out of those zones I have an immediate tendency to think about "the good old days" and yearn for those people and places that used to be part of my warm and fuzzies.
Never mind that you really can't go home again. Seriously you can't. But there is the misplaced fantasy of popping back in time and meeting old friends. Dangerous but very tempting.
When the practical me gains control, I remember the horrible high school reunions where I found mere shadows of my formed BFFs and the awkward phone conversations with old friends you no longer anything in common with.
Don't worry, I totally get the hard core realities. Which is probably why I force myself to abstain from digging through old phone books, day timers and searching online for email addresses.
Once I have recovered from my irrational need to "good memory dial" which is somewhat like drunk dialing, I force myself to make all sorts of lists to jog the cobwebs out of my memory cells.
What sort of lists? Those inane scribblings that start out with Best Year Of My Life, Best Friend, My Best Car, My Favorite City, Best Love, Best Hairstyle, Best Coat and on and on. Yeah, well you get my drift.
Farah Fawcett & Gary John Pawelko
Recently I was cleaning out a closet when I found some old photo albums of me coiffed in a perfect rendition of the Farrah Fawcett winged hairdo. For those not in the know, Farah became famous in the hair world for her feathered do, years before Jen Aniston assumed the crown with her Rachel Bob.
Even though I no longer can even remember the name of the hairstylist or the salon in West St. Louis County responsible for transforming me into a blonde Charlie's Angel Wannabe, I remember the look on my significant other's face the moment the style was finished and he saw the winged me.
My guy, Gary John Pawelko had a smile almost as large as the one on his face that he would sport when he was digging into a huge steaming bowl of Cunetto's Spaghetti con Broccoli (with white sauce), which he did on a regular basis during our years together.
Although the experience happened in a year with digits that I can't exactly recall, I know it was sometime during the original Charlie's Angels TV reign. The compliments flowed like wine when I arrived at work the next Monday after my angel transformation. Both women and men loved the look.
Even though the heavily layered winged do required the new acquisition of blow drying, hot curling and hair spraying skills, I loved the hairstyle. It was fun, sexy and my guy loved it. How could I not adore the look?
Blonde, Blonder, Blondest
Besides the memories of Gary inspiring my Farah lookalike transformation there were additional good tress recollections of his encouragement for me to scale to the platinum scale of the blonde range, although his mom was less than thrilled. Testing the ins and outs of Nice N Easy with Gary's feedback I eventually ascended to a Pamela Anderson hue of very light platinum. And let me tell you, dealing with rapidly encroaching dark roots was a constant battle.
As a big workout fan, he also encouraged me to work on my B&T, GarySpeak for my butt and thighs that he deemed in need to constant lunges and squats while wrapped in fat melting gear. Unfortunately in St. Louis during my on again/off again multi-year relationship with this very typical double Taurus (ruled by the beauty planet Venus) I was unable to find an easy way to suck fat off my body because lipo techniques were still very primitive at the time.
I like to think of my Gary Pawelko Period as the Beauty Phase of my life. It's not like I've gone to hell in a hand basket in the present day but I like to think I'M currently in my Brain Phase of my life which is a matter of pure business survival.
Yes, I care about my hair (a lot), skin and B&Ts but as CEO of two companies, I have to keep my brain revved to maximum speeds. Life is about choices and balance and I constantly work to get everything done that being a serial entrepreneur requires. Why do you think Pamela Anderson dyes her hair and walks on her treadmill at the same time? Yes, because life is short.
Gary also showed me how great blondes look in just about anything black. I have honored this wisdom to the current time, still favoring black suits and Porsches.
From Short Hair To Very Long
Ultimately Gary is responsible for journey into the Long Hair World. A huge fan of Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, Gary would always rave to me about her very long blonde locks. At one point I went short only to catch the beautiful Stevie in concert. A few days later Gary showed me photos of Debra Jo Fondren, the famous Playboy with ankle length hair posing on roller skates. I figured I could never sing with Fleetwood Mac or roller blade in tiny short but I could grow my hair very long. Which I managed to grow to several inches below my waist.
All because Gary Pawelko provided encouragement and other blonde role models. In reality, I love my very long hair (although no longer platinum blonde) more than any other hairstyle I have worn in this lifetime.
Gary John Pawelko Missing In Action
You may be wondering whatever happened to this beauty admiring Taurus man? The truth is that I have no earthly idea. The reality of the situation harks back to the idea of never being able to go home again. When I knew Gary, he was drop dead handsome, gathering digits from admiring females with a simple smile in their direction.
I would rather remember him the way he was "back then" rather than how he is probably in 2007. After a harsh chemical perm, at my encouragement during our years together, his strands never really recovered. His genetically determined hair thinning accelerated after that chemical treatment. Do I want to see him sans locks? Probably not, even though I don't have a problem with balding men. To the contrary, my current guy has a major bald spot but I could care less. He is definitely hot regardless of his thinning hair.
Gary and I had a sad parting in 1983 shortly before I moved permanently to Dallas. A few years later we managed to mend fences for the most part. Gary proved to be a good friend to me and my mother Rita during a difficult time after she suffered serious health problems. Landing in St. Louis after a long absence I called Gary who put aside some challenging bird problems to hang with me and my mom, who adored him.
We also had an annual phone ritual where we would talk by phone every year on our respective birthdays. I used to tease Gary, who was 11 months younger than me, he was "the same age as me on his birthday" every year. It was our little joke.
Approximately 5 years ago I called him before his birthday to catch up as usual. Gary had a new lady who appeared less than thrilled at my annual birthday call. Never mind that I was a couple of states away and happily committed to my Best Ever Love, a Virgo.
As a result of that awkward phone connection, we lost complete touch. The following year on his birthday I discovered he had moved with no forwarding contact info and currently appears to be MIA somewhere in the wilds of St. Louis Missouri.
Other Gary John Pawelko Memories
Besides being a classic double Taurus (Sun and Ascendent) who was chronically late with some hilarious consequences, he was the Best Party Guy I ever knew. No one could rock out quite like Gary. This music loving Bull dragged me to more rock concerts than I can even remember although I do recall a New Year's Eve gig with Bob Seeger when the city was covered in a treacherous layer of ice and Gary decided to illegally park his car in what turned out to be a very expensive ticket zone.
Due to his rock concert expertise I also managed to see many world class acts up close and personal during our time together.
Gary was also a world class party giver, Foozball player, sports fanatic, great cook and food lover. Once he drove his classic green Ford Falcon into the corner wall of a local truck stop on his way to get his greasy spoon breakfast fix. Don't ask me how he did that. I'm not sure he ever figured it out although I was tell him that in his hurry to eat, he lost all control of his vehicle. An example of driving while hungry I guess.
Bottom line, my memories of Gary revolve around my great looking blonde hairstyles (short, long and with wings) that he inspired. I also remember enjoying great music, food, fun and a few years of great thighs. Yes, those squats really work. But they hurt like heck. Isn't that what us women do? Suffer for beauty and to please their guy at the time?
If you're reading this ode to Gary Pawelko and live in St. Louis, if you ever run into him, tell him Karen from HairBoutique.com says "hey" and ask him what he ever did with that green Falcon that took out the local truckstop.
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