I met Ernie on January 17 in 1981.  On Valentine’s Day that year he showed up to pick me up at my dorm to take me to the….what was it called?  Downtown Performing Arts Center or something like that in downtown Champaign. His band was playing that night and I can’t quite remember who else was playing that night.  I think the Vertebrats played but I might be getting nights confused.  Anyone? 

His hair was all shaggy, he was wearing a cool jacket and carrying his bass…and in his other hand he had a bouquet of pink tulips and a little opal heart necklace from the antique shop.

I look back now and can’t believe we’d hadn’t even known each other a month.

He took me out for a pre-Valentine’s Day drink at Fries and Peanuts last night and we thought about that evening.  If I’m correct, last night we actually parked our mini-van in the surface parking lot that is where that building used to be.  Times change, huh?

We’re broke and frazzled right now and agreed that we weren’t doing anything for Valentine’s Day this year.

He showed up at my office today though….with a bouquet of pink tulips.

So for all the stress and worry in my life.  I have very, very good things too.