In 1983 I was 14 years old and I’d fallen in love for the first time. The object of my affection was an American boy by the name of Campbell T Fisher Jr (known as Toby). He and his family were sailing around the world in a small yacht. Their “modus operandi” was to stay in a place only for as long as it took them to earn enough money for fuel and provisions (for the next leg of their journey).
From the moment we met at a school dance, we knew that our time together was precious. Back then there were no cell phones (hence no texting) and no Internet. His parents didn’t have a car and mine worked all day, so we used to walk (a lot) to wherever we wanted to go. Money was tight for both of us, so going to watch a movie was a rare treat. The first movie he took me to see was “An Officer and A Gentleman” which was being shown at the Yacht Club where his family’s yacht was anchored. I remember thinking that the movie was so appropriate because Toby was my” officer and gentleman.”
Unfortunately they were only in Cape Town for 6 months. I was totally devastated when he sailed away, but we vowed to keep in touch and get together again as soon as possible. Keeping in touch meant “snail mail.” We’d write long, rambling letters telling each other everything that was happening in our lives. Of course, by the time the letter arrived, most of the news was “stale.” We also sent each other “mixed tapes.” Do you remember those? We’d put together compilations of sappy love songs and mail them to each other! (more…)