December 22-28, 1996: Christmas in North Carolina
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December 31, 1996
New Year's at Ron and Lowery's

 

As we have done a few times before, I coordinated with Lowery and we hosted a New Year’s Eve get-together at his house in Hackberry Creek.


To introduce you to everybody, here is the whole gang at Lowery’s house for New Year’s. From the left are Sherman Carter and his partner Barry Skiba (they run the Oak Lawn Myotherapy Clinic); Ron Drew and Lowery, our long-time friends; myself; Buck and Mike Racke; Ron Ruckman and Prudence; Fred; and Jeffie.

You may have seen Barry and Sherman in pictures before; we have known them for some time, having met them through Lowery. They do massage, and both Ron and Lowery are clients of theirs.

Buck is a new addition to the group; he met Mike Racke at some point and they became friends. I confess that I never wrote down Buck's last name; although I knew it in 1996 I had forgotten it when I wrote much of the narrative for my pictures a few years later, and certainly can't recall it now, in 2015. And, as I may have mentioned on an earlier page this year, it is now to late to ask Mike, who died in 2001.

I think Lowery is more comfortable in his own space where he can pretty much control how things are done (which is always really well), and I’m happy because he has more open space than I do for entertaining. So we usually share the effort for gatherings like this.


At right is a nice picture of Jeffie, Fred, Mike and Buck. Buck is an interesting person who, for some time, he’s been sharing a house owned by a fellow named Larry out north of DFW. I think that Buck and Larry were once a couple, but I’m not sure about that. Anyway, they aren’t now, but Buck still lives there. Larry is gone on long assignments for the oil company he works for and earns a great salary, enabling him to keep the house and pay Buck to maintain it.

Mike met Buck through some mutual friends, and now Mike is also staying at Larry’s house, having for some time wanted to move out of his family house in Irving. Mike has told us that he feels a bit constrained living at home, and doesn't always like to keep his Mom informed of what he is doing, feeling it a small invasion of privacy. Mike's Mom goes to Michigan in the summer, and is only in Irving in the winter.

I also asked Jeffie to take a second picture of myself, Fred, Mike and Buck.

Buck knows a lot of people, and we’ve been to a couple of gatherings at Larry’s house where we’ve met them. Mike is no wallflower, but I think that Buck has gotten around much more than him, and certainly has a string of friends to prove it. I think Mike likes meeting all those other people. It is a situation similar to the one between Fred and I- he has always liked the fact that I had a wide circle of friends when he met me.


Not many of us like to go out on this particular evening- people are just too wild. We’d rather spend it with our close friends than with a bunch of strangers. I've never understood the attraction of making a reservation at some anonymous hotel or restaurant to celebrate the New Year with a bunch of people you might only have met that evening.

This picture of Lowery, Sherman Carter and Prudence did not turn out as well as I expected. (I actually think that my camera needs a good inspection and cleaning at least.) Barry and Sherman are two of Lowery’s closest friends; they run the massage/aromatherapy clinic on Oak Lawn. Barry is from Dallas, I believe, but Sherman is part Indian and is from Oklahoma; I am not sure how they met.

(I can report from my vantage point in 2015 that some years later the two of them moved to Antlers, a small town in southern Oklahoma; I believe this was just after Lowery and Ron moved to Tampa, Florida. Fred and I actually stopped to see them in Antlers one year on our way to do some hiking in Oklahoma and Arkansas. You'll see the page for that trip later on in this photo album.)


Here are Ron Ruckman and Prudence at Lowery’s house for New Year’s (with the stuffed cat that I got for Christmas and brought along to the party).

The relationship between Ron and Prudence is deepening, which I think is great for Prudence, even though Fred has some conflicted feelings about that. Fred is always talking about how he coulda/shoulda married Prudence, and now that she is becoming attached to someone I think Fred feels that a door is somehow closing on that possibility, which only forces him to come to terms with who he really is.

Ron is boisterous and outgoing, and draws Prudence out- which, I think, is good for her. Formerly married, I think he really likes Prudence and enjoys her company. I'm told that he put himself out there when he first introduced himself to her one night when they were both at the same bar. I would not be surprised if they were to move in together or even, sometime in the future, get married.

I think Prudence is at that point in her life where she would welcome having a constant partner- as her sister Nancy has had. And none of us relish the thought of growing older alone, and I am not talking about the "confirmed bachelor" or "spinster" sense. In today's world, it can be tough for forty-somethings (and thirty-somethings, for that matter) to meet quality people (cotillions having gone the way of the dodo bird and arranged marriages being so last Thursday). When we do, it is often wise to hold onto them, even if only a friendship develops. For the wider your circle of friends, the more chance that one of them will know "the perfect person for you". Prudence is a wonderful woman and would make a good catch for anyone; maybe that person will be Ron Ruckman.


Fred and Jeffie (and friend)
(Picture at left)
Fred and I really like having Jeffie in Dallas. Although she is wrapped up in her work and in her riding so that we don’t see her often, it is always enjoyable when we do.

 

 

 

 

 

(Picture at right)
Fred and I think that Buck has a current crush on Mike, but don't know if the feelings are mutual. They do seem to get along quite well, though.


Mike and Buck


These are our hosts for New Year's 1996- Ron Drew and Lowery Evans.

I met Lowery when Grant was alive, back in the late 1980s, and he has remained one of my closest friends ever since. He used to live in Garland in a small house that Grant and I visited quite a few times until Grant’s death in 1991. After I met Fred, he met Lowery right quickly and new friendships were formed. Lowery was also my introduction to Larry Marshall and a couple of other people as well.

About 1993, Lowery met Ron Drew, who worked for GTE, and Ron moved into Lowery’s house in Garland. A short time after that, the two of them moved to Grand Prairie, which was a lot closer for both of them to work- Ron at GTE and Lowery at Consolidated Freightways (where Lowery's Mom also worked for a time).

In 1995, so that Ron could be closer to work, the two of them moved to Hackberry Creek, a gated community very close to Las Colinas, where GTE is. Ron could even come home for lunch and a nap (a routine he continues to this day, using our little condo in Florida for the purpose, as it is only blocks from his current office downtown)!

They are quite happy in Hackberry Creek, although Lowery doesn't have the large back yard to take care of that he had in Grand Prairie. Still, there is enough land for him to engage his green thumb.


Sherman Carter and Barry Skiba
Fred and I met these two guys through Lowery, of course, but I’m not absolutely sure how he met them himself.

Fred and I
I can’t say enough good things about Fred. He is simply a great guy and I am very lucky to have hooked up with him.

Here are more of the pictures that Fred and I took this evening:


At left are Prudence, Judas and Lowery; Lowery and Ron have a second cat, Lady, and two small dogs, Madam and Princy. While Ron is not really the pet person, Lowery loves them all, as they keep him company all day. All four of them are “outside” animals, as Ron is mildly allergic and Lowery likes to keep the house neat.

Below are some of us gathered around the food table, to which some of us contributed and Lowery laid out:


We have had a number of gatherings at Lowery's house, and I have eaten meals there quite a bit (we have a standing Wednesday night date when I come out there after work and the three of us have dinner and watch some television). Lowery likes to cook, and did quite a few of the dishes this evening. Doing much of the cooking also allows Lowery a chance to prepare just what he likes. Lowery, like many of my friends, has quite a few food preferences and peculiarities. Not that I don't have a few myself, but I'm just saying.


Myself and Fred
(Picture at left)
Towards the end of the evening, Fred and I stepped out on the back patio so that someone could take our photo.

 

 

 

(Picture at right)
I really like how Ron and Prudence get along, and Fred and I hope that things go well for them.


Ron Ruckman and Prudence

We had a really good time this New Year's Eve, and I hope our friendships continue and expand in 1997.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


December 22-28, 1996: Christmas in North Carolina
Return to the Index for 1996