Jimmy stood six foot two and was handsome with long flowing sandy brown hair. He was already the star quarterback of the Greenville High football team in his junior year. The kind of kid the boys envy and the girls swoon over. Driving an old Ford that he and his father had nursed back to life. Jimmy pulled up to the curb just as I was stepping out the front door.
Me, I’m Bobbi-Jo and I was a sophomore cheerleader with above-average academic ability. My sister insists I was already the frontrunner for Homecoming Queen come senior year. I’d never make it there to find out.
First, we hit the local Sonic outlet for a romantic dashboard dinner. It was where all the boys with licenses took their girls. It may sound all Jack and Diane but no one was suckin’ on no John Cougar chili dogs. After a bite, we headed to the Greenville 3 (because it had three screens) drive-in for the Friday night double feature. I don’t remember what movies were playing but I can still picture the spot where Jimmy parked that Mustang along the back row fence.
I remember the first time we met. It was the first day of 11th grade, Mr. Grady’s second period Math class if memory serves. My family had relocated from the west coast over the summer to accommodate my Dad’s big promotion. I despised my new home but it got better once school started, in part because of Darlene. She walked right up on the very first day and introduced herself to the new kid in town. Before long I was just another guy in our circle of friends. One of the gang. Hell, Matt and Chad are my blood brothers to this very day.
I know Darlene crushed on me for a few years before giving up the ghost. She never did come out and say it but I knew she was interested. We never dated unless you count me taking her to the high school prom. She’d broken it off with the douchebag varsity quarterback and didn’t want to go alone. Knowing I was going solo, we struck up a deal to make a grand entrance and light the night on fire. She deserved a proper prom, so we went all out on a gown (already purchased for the d-bag), a tux, a limo, the whole nine yards. It was high school romantic as fuck. I think she even tried to kiss me during Stairway to Heaven, but my eyes were fixed elsewhere.
Fourteen years, I’m certain she was shocked we’d made it this far and had likely thought about leaving at least a couple of times a week from about year four onwards. I believed I must have some magical powers that kept her hanging in. What else could it be?
Me, I’m just an average guy with an average job. Two nights a week at the local tavern with the boys plus golf in the summer and curling all winter long. Never less than five or six cases of empties waiting to be returned to the beer store and a fridge full of new ones just waiting for me to walk past. Trust me the wait is never a long one.
Most everyone has seen me on CNN’s investing segment. A successful investor who built an empire through sound investing decisions. Many follow my investing advice by reading my syndicated column published daily in countless newspapers or through my weekly investing podcast. For many, my philanthropic foundation and the work it does has touched their communities and families.
This story isn’t about any of that; this is the untold story of how it all came to be. It really should have been episode one of the podcast except that what I am about to disclose can never be documented, anywhere, ever. We are all haunted by a past and exposing mine would unravel all the good that has been accomplished since. Continue reading →