36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 033: Anjali in a dress—dinner and dancing


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 33 — Anjali in a dress—dinner and dancing.
04-September-1971 (Sat.)


Anjali is shy
Spent the day writing many letters. Took a long time. Tried taking some pictures of Anjali but she was too nervous.

Our last big night together. First we went to the movies [English] Woody Allen’s
Bananas—hilarious. Satire on American things. Then we went back to get changed.

Went for dinner in an expensive restaurant. Not extremely fancy but good food. Anjali was a knockout. The first time I saw her in a dress—wow!

Then went to Volksgarten, where we danced to American rock music. Very expensive place, crowded, good band—we had a great time.

That night, we talked for a long time. We also “communicated” (as Anjali would say) quite a bit. I gave her my gifts, and she gave me one. Then I really felt sad because I knew she would be leaving. I think she felt the same way. She asked if I would ever go to Paris. I was hoping that I could. Then possibly we might be able to meet again. But she would probably be leaving that same summer, and I might not ever go, also. I knew that, most likely, we would never meet again, once she left. Went to bed 3:30 [a.m.].


A Woody Allen movie is always fun to see. Dinner and dancing rounded out the night. Anjali in a dress—wow! Looking back, I think that Anjali in a dress was the first time she presented herself as a young “woman” rather than a student. We danced and that was fun. She will be returning to her home in Paris in a few days.

Anjali saying goodbye
Something’s going on here. (Reiteration #5). Today, clinches it. Even though I don’t write it down, looking back, I’ve fallen for Anjali. Maybe it’s not full-blown let’s-get-married affection (How do you know? After all, we haven’t known each other that long.), but you know that it’s something special. Very special. Although we talk about trying to meet again, it’s possible that we won’t ever see each other again. And I remember being very saddened by that fact.

Innocence. Our “communicating” simply meant kissing. We were innocent. Both of us were young, and I was a good guy. Just special, innocent times, spending the night talking. As mentioned, she lived in Paris and we discussed whether we could “hook up” [a term not in existence in 1971, except on aircraft carriers or trucking rigs] in Paris one day. On this day in 1971, writing in the journal, I don’t know what the future will hold. (That’s why they call it the future.) Looking back, I have 20-20 hindsight and can wonder “Why didn’t you do or say this, or that?" At the time, you’re not sure what is happening. This type of uncertainty about the future is typical of all of us when we’re young. So, my advice to you is, don’t worry. Things will generally work out. Life will go on.

Well, once again, you, the reader, will have to wait to the end of this year to see if I get to see Anjali again. (Suspenseful music crescendos.)

Back to today in the 21st century—1971 was the
last century, holy cow!

I have a wife.

What does my wife think of all of this? When my wife came back from Europe a few weeks ago, I told her I started this blog about when I was 22, and a student in Europe. I said that she could read about all of my “girlfriends” at the time. She read the blog for just a bit (1 minute) and said, “That’s fine.” I could be a world-famous podcaster with hundreds-of-thousands of listeners and she might listen to one and say, “That’s fine.” Wives. (They would say, Husbands.)

What would Anjali, or the people mentioned in this blog think of this? Boy, at first I was a little nervous about doing this blog. What if Anjali’s husband or children read this? Or my friends and other girls that I met think? I am hoping that everyone will put this retrospective in perspective—it is a truthful look at being young, innocent, harmless, kids (err, students). As students, we did nothing bad or wrong. And, I hope that it will bring a smile to the readers occasionally, and remind you of your adventures when you were young.

[In trying to be sensitive to this issue, I decided not to use last names, although I wonder if I should. I plan on showing some pictures of everyone from this year. As 36 years have passed, I think we will be ok on the pictures. I DON’T LOOK LIKE I DID 36 YEARS AGO—believe me.]

Write me. There are not very many people reading this blog currently. Very few people know about it. Once I start posting pictures, I will try a bit of marketing. If you are a reader, please feel free to comment using Haloscan, or email me—address is on the Contact Me page. I would love to hear from all of you.

[Can anyone tell me how to show user comments at the end of each blog entry on the page? I am currently using RapidWeaver for my blog software. Any ideas?]

It would be way cool if word of this blog got out to some of my 1971 friends that I mention in this blog,
and they responded. The odds of that are probably one-in-6-billion. That would be something if it happened. Since I am not using last names, the odds of that are truly astronomical.

Viennese and European readers. If there are any Viennese, Austrian, or European readers that pick up this blog, I would welcome your comments and emails (and pictures). You could contribute additional insight into the history and culture of Austria and Vienna, and other places I visit. If this occurred, I might consider user-submitted articles and pictures on sightseeing venues, photo-sharing on the web, and perhaps a forum if we had a large number of readers. Podcast? Not out of the question.

If we generate millions and millions of page views, I’ll plan a triumphant return to all of Europe and call it
36 years later. You might have to put me up in your house until the real funding comes in. Happy

I will be the first to say that reading someone else’s journal, despite my witty humor, may not generate a million page views a month. However, it would be fascinating to get readers involved and see where we go from there. Thanks all.

Again, just some thoughts on the reasons for this journal. If I become too repetitive, I’ll stop these.

Youth. A large part of my writing this blog is to perhaps give insight and encouragement to young people who are going through the same things that all of us go through when we grow up and become young adults—school, studying, difficulties, problems, money, learning about yourself, learning to be social with others, discovering “personal” relationships, learning responsibility, and trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. You are not alone. There is precedence. Everyone goes through the same learning process. It’s called life.

You're special. Think life-long learning. Certainly, if you are young today, you are much more sophisticated than Anjali or I were 36 years ago. What’s important is that you are special. Each and every one of you is special, regardless of your age. Youth is special. Enjoy it. Be responsible. Stay in school. Do your best. Don’t give up—be realistic, of course, and have back-up plans…the world can’t support 400 million brain surgeons, lawyers, baseball players and rock stars. Still, give it a shot, don’t give up too soon, go for it. Try to be versatile by not putting all of your eggs in one basket. One of the most important skills all of us can develop is having the interest and capacity for “life-long learning.” In today’s “flat world” where there is no certainty of which careers will last a lifetime, the ability to learn and adapt new skills is important. Finally, and most importantly, don’t start dangerous and self-destructive behavior—drinking, drugs, and smoking. You only have one body. Take care of it. Do you want to spend the rest of your life trying to stop smoking?

Dream. When you’re ready…follow your dreams.

These will be themes that I will likely repeat throughout this journal.

Adulthood. I’m not going to lecture to adults (or young people), but those of us who are older can follow the same path as the young.

Energy of youth. Rediscover your youth. Don’t live in the past, but don’t be afraid to get excited about the things that used to excite you when you were young.

Creativity. Be creative. Buy a digital camera and start taking photos; write a song in Garageband [Mac]; take an art class; start a blog on the Internet; start your own private radio show on the Internet—you’re a podcaster now; write a short story, magazine article, poetry, or a novel—if the big boys don’t want to publish you, publish yourself at Lulu.com .

Never give up. Don’t give up on your dreams.

Start now! Remember, “It’s never too early to start. It’s never too late to start.”

My regrets? What would I do differently, if I could? My only regret, looking back 36 years, is perhaps giving up a bit too early on the creative dreams I had and what I wanted to do with my life (compose serious music, write pop, rock, commercial, children’s, and film music, teach college, be a writer, whatever). The good news is that I am rediscovering my creative energy. I'm very excited about some web ideas for the future. New things will be happening (I hope).

Nike. Do it. (Courtesy of Nike.)

Oh, don’t live in the past. I’m not. That is not what this journal is about. However, it is ok to remember great memories.


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