Flashback #1 – A Night in the Projects

stellaSometime in the early 80’s, my then girlfriend, Theresa and I decided to take a trip to Boston to visit my college friend Joe Szep.. Theresa had never flown before and we were taking Peoples Express. It cost $19 each way from Newark to Boston and you actually paid on the plane. I called my friend. I went to his mother’s apartment in the Stella Wright Projects in Newark. Even then, I couldn’t go there without him meeting me. In later years, even his protection was inadequate. He took us to the airport and I let him keep my car for the weekend. The flight was uneventful until we reached Boston where the airport was fogged in. We circled for a while before the pilot headed back to Newark. The flight crew came down the aisle and refunded everyone’s fare.

We ended up back at Newark at 11PM with no car. Since this was pre-cellphone I used a payphone to try and reach my friend. His mother said she would find him and a little while later he showed up at the airport to pick us up as the next flight was at 6AM the next day.

Theresa was already freaking out over the flight and then my friend brought us to the projects to his mother’s apartment. His mother had already set up a room for us and we crashed for about 5 hours before getting up before dawn to head back to the airport.

Theresa’s first flight turned out to be triple the distance with a surprise night in one of the most notorious inner-city housing projects in the country. She still married me and we have had plenty of adventures since in 33 years of marriage and an even longer friendship.

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